17 things you didn’t know about your baby

Our health visitor reveals unusual facts about your little one

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Can your baby hear the beats in a piece of music?

1) Until 1914, mums in the US could buy toothache drops for their children containing cocaine!

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2) Babies kneecaps aren’t fully formed when they’re born – they’re just cartilage. they ossify (turn to bone) between the ages of 2 and 6

3) Newborn babies have a sense of rhythm and can detect when a beat’s missing in a piece of music

4) Sunken fontanelles (the soft spots on your baby’s head) can indicate dehydration.

5) Unlike you, your 6-month-old baby can breathe and swallow at the same time.

6) 33% of parents don’t know that settling babies to sleep with a soother can reduce the risk of cot death

7) You change your baby 4,500 times in his nappy-wearing year.

8) 10% of babygros actually contain more bacteria than the average household loo seat

9) Newborns don’t generate tears when they cry. Some take three months to start producing them

10) Many newborns wake up with sticky eyes in the first weeks due to a temporary blockage of the tear ducts

11) 48% of parents agree that it’s difficult to maintain a germ-free environment, as well as do everything else

12) A newborn’s toes may be curled but will flare if you run a finger along her foot. This is the plantar reflex

13) Babies born prematurely feel more pain in later life than those who go full term

14) 1 in 10 births (13m a year worldwide) are premature. 85% of these are in Africa and Asia.

15) 64% of parents say their baby experiences tummy troubles at least once a month.

16) Talking to your baby using real words (rather than cooing or babbling) boosts his brainpower

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17) Baby swimmers have better balance and are better at grasping things than non-swimmers

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