What do Newborn Babies Look Like?

Cone shaped heads, wrinkles and blue gray skin. There’s reason why your newborn may look more alien than human at birth. 

When babies are first born, they’re hardly the picture of infant beauty portrayed in advertising. Rather, a baby born at term can appear quite strange to many unprepared parents. The first time you see your newborn, he or she may be covered in a soapy white substance called vernix leaving the skin looking scaly. The skin may be loose and wrinkled, and your baby’s skin color may be pale, even blue-gray, changing to a healthy pink after that important first cry. Your baby may be bald, or a have a full head of hair. There may be a fine downy hair covering a large part of his body. Your baby may have pink patches called stork bites on the forehead or neck, and the eyes could be puffy and swollen.

Another part of a baby’s appearance that surprises new parents is the shape of the head. According to pediatrician Dr. Jane Hailey, “babies who are born vaginally often have heads which we call banana or cone-heads. This will go down in time.” Dr. Hailey adds that sometimes babies’ heads will have some “bruises which also go down in time. However sometimes they can get quite hard before they disappear and turn into skull bone.”

Once your newborn is home, you can expect a few skin rashes during those first few months of life. “Newborns always have rashes,” explains Dr. Hailey. “And by the time the sensitive skin rashes calm down they get newborn acne around 6 months of age. Most rashes are completely harmless but they do cause parents a great deal of anxiety.”

Usually a few gentle baby creams and lots of tender loving care are the best cure for an occasional rash. Still if the rash has you concerned, never hesitate to contact your baby’s doctor to rule out anything more serious.


Adapted from The Parent Report Radio Show. Any advice or information contained herein should never be a substitute for professional and/or medical advice, diagnosis and treatment. For more information please review Terms of Service.

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