12 Things No One Ever Tells Us About Baby's First Month

Caroline Olney | Mar 27, 2015 Baby
12 Things No One Ever Tells Us About Baby's First Month
Image: Uber Images/shutterstock

newborn baby
Uber Images/shutterstock

Thought all the surprises are over now that baby is finally here? Think again. The first month after a baby is born is really just an adjustment period for them -- their little bodies are learning to cope with the real world after all that time in the comfort of mom's womb. That means they're going to go though a lot of weird changes ... and it's all stuff that no one really likes to talk about before it starts happening.

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Some of the stuff that new parents find in their baby's diaper or on her body are going to seem straight-up strange, so we thought we'd give all the new moms and dads out there a heads-up. In the emotional rush after baby is born, it seems like no one takes the time to write down all these weird things that happen in baby's first month. Sure, baby's first poop might be something a new mom is curious about, but what about baby's skin, or her hormones, or even getting baby acne? (It happens.) Well, we've put together a collection of baby tips that a new parent should know about.

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Here are 12 things that'll happen during a baby's first month that no one bothers to warn new parents about (but are totally normal!).

  • He'll poop a black, oily liquid


    Image via djedzura/shutterstock

    It's called meconium, and it's a little gross ... but this is all the stuff that was in your baby's body when he was a fetus that he need to get out of his body. It'll probably last a couple days after he's born at most -- his poop will look more normal once he starts digesting his food.

  • She could get her period


    Image via ZeroOne_Th/shutterstock

    This happens to about one in 10 baby girls, and it's usually a very small amount of blood. But don't worry, this does not mean early, early, EARLY puberty. It actually has to do more with your hormones than hers -- she goes through a kind of withdrawal after being cut off from all your pregnancy hormones, and getting a pseudo-period is one of her body's ways of coping.

  • She could also grow breasts


    Image via Natalia Kirichenko/shutterstock

    This also has to do with the weird hormonal things happening in her body, and these "baby breasts" usually go away halfway through the month. After that, it'll be a solid 13 years -- give or take -- before they'll come back again ... if she's lucky.

  • She might be the wrong color


    Image via Tatiana Katsai/shutterstock

    If your own skin is dark, your baby will probably be born with skin that is a couple shades lighter than your own. Her skin will get darker during the first few days after birth, but it might happen in splotches -- the area around her fingernails, for example, is usually one of the first places to get dark pigments.

  • He could be hairy


    Image via nattanan726/shutterstock

    In the third or fourth month as a fetus, your baby started growing a soft, downy hair called lanugo. Most babies will shed this before they're born, but it's not that unusual for babies, especialy those born prematurely, to keep the hair for a week or two after they're born.

  • She could stop breathing (but be totally fine)


    Image via Oksana Kuzmina/shutterstock

    Called periodic breathing, some babies will stop breathing for 10 seconds or so while they're asleep. It's different from apnea (a serious condition, and one you should talk to your doctor about if you have any fears or suspicions) and not as serious -- there actually don't seem to be any repercussions at all. 

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  • He could get an erection


    Image via Andriy Maygutyak/shutterstock

    Weird but true -- baby boys actually get erections pretty frequently. Girls can get stimulated, too ... and what's even more startling is that this stuff often starts while the baby is still in the womb.

  • His skin will peel off


    Image via Olesya Feketa/shutterstock

    Not all of it, obviously ... but it's very common for babies's skin to get leathery and flake off in the first week or two of life.

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  • She can get acne


    Image via AlexSmith/shutterstock

    Acne on babies looks a lot like acne on adults, and it's usually as harmless. It's also a result of your baby recuperating from your pregnancy hormones leaving her system, and it'll usually show up two weeks after she's born. Don't pick at it! It should go away on its own.

  • He'll be jumpy


    Image via BrianWancho/shutterstock

    Newborn babies have a lot of reflexes that they grow out of pretty quickly, and the startle reflex (officially called the moro reflex) is probably the most dramatic. If your baby feels a loss of support, he'll flail his hands out to the side and spread his fingers.

  • She'll sneeze at everything


    Image via Reynardt/shutterstock

    Your baby's sneeze reflex makes it so everything (and that can be smells, sounds, and even sights) make them sneeze. It can be worrying, but she's likely not suffering from allergies -- it's just her body adjusting to all the new senses.

  • He could be cross-eyed


    Image via Dmitry Kalinovsky/shutterstock

    It's pretty normal for babies to be a little cross-eyed, and in most cases it will slowly go away before they pass the month mark. There are muscles in the eyes that he'll need to learn to use before he can focus without his eyes crossing, but that learning curve is pretty standard for newborns.

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