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17 Bizarre But True Facts About Your Baby

If you've ever held a newborn baby, you know firsthand how fascinating these small creatures really are. They're so animated and aware, clearly bursting with life, but completely helpless. The smell of their heads is intoxicating. The feel of their soft bodies sleeping on your chest is indescribable. And yet our babies have more crazy skills than you probably realize.

You can read all the baby books and be fully prepared to feed, change and clothe these growing humans, but I guarantee there's a lot you don't know about the inner workings of your little one. Tonight, while you marvel at your infant's fluttering eyes and deep breathing, ponder some of these bizarre but true facts.

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1. Babies don't cry tears.

You'll inevitably notice that your newborn's fierce cries don't produce the overflowing tears you'd expect. That's because their brand new tear ducts can only produce enough fluid to lubricate their eyes—making it look as though they're born without tears. Real teardrops won't flow for at least a month or two. (And when they come, they'll break your heart.)

2. Baby's eye color can change.

Has your baby's eyes turned from blue to brown? The production of melanin, responsible for eye color, typically isn't triggered until light hits those pretty peepers. And even so, the amount of melanin totally depends on genetics, which can take time to develop—usually between 6 and 12 months. (My son's eye color changed four times before settling into a hazel color.)

3. Babies aren't born with fully developed kneecaps.

Until the toddler years, their kneecaps are made almost completely of cartilage.

4. One in three infants are born with a birthmark.

And it's much more common in girls than boys. Who knew!

5. Your baby has more bones than you!

We lose 64 bones from birth to adulthood, due to the spine and skull fusing as we grow.

6. Your baby can probably swim.

Thanks to something called a "dive reflex," newborns can naturally hold their breath in water while their heart rate slows to conserve energy. (A possible tie to our ancient marine past?) They lose the ability pretty quickly, but you can find some crazy videos out there of people throwing brand new babies into water so they can "swim."

7. They can definitely crawl.

First studied in 1987, the "breast crawl" is the phenomenon of newborns, when placed on their mother's stomach, being able to "crawl" to their mother's breast to nurse all on their own, within an hour of being born.

8. Babies are born with fuzzy, blurry vision, and yet they can recognize their mother right away.

(Awww!) Even still, they can only see about 8 to 12 inches away, and prefer black and white graphic images.

9. Babies can recognize their mom's voice above all other sounds.

Which is pretty amazing considering newborns have limited hearing due to their fluid-filled middle ears.

10. Your baby intuitively knows how to groove.

It's a fact new moms eventually find out in time, with an iPhone shooting video in their hand. But research shows babies are born with an innate understanding of rhythm, and that music actually precedes (and is connected to) a toddler's understanding of language.

11. Babies have way more taste buds than you—ALL over their mouths—which they eventually lose.

And yet they don't register the taste of salt until around 2 to 6 months, possibly because of their kidney development at that age.

12. Babies can breathe and swallow at the same time!

Your newborn's larynx (aka their voice box) and hyoid bone sits higher in the nasal cavity than adults (and even kids). But within a few months, the voice box will drop and the trick will be up.

13. A newborn's heart beats twice as fast as yours.

Typically between 120 and 160 times a minute.

14. A baby is born every 3 to 7 seconds.

(Depending on the source.) And every year, 450,000 U.S. babies will be born premature.

15. More babies are born in July, August and September than any other time.

It peaks in August, probably because their parents were cooped up in winter, with nothing better to do than get pregnant.

16. During pregnancy, your baby's weight increased by 3,000 million times.

And then your baby will further quadruple in size by the end of the second year.

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17. Your baby probably understands quantum physics better than you ever could.

Quantum physics is so mind-bending because it flies in the face of everything we understand about reality. But because babies don't yet have a sense of "normal," and their idea of object permanence isn't formed, they live in an existence where quantum physics makes just as much sense as anything else. "Babies lose their intuition for quantum mechanics when they're about 3 months old , which is the age when they learn to play peekaboo," Seth Lloyd, an expert on quantum computing, said at the World Science Festival in New York. When an infant plays peekaboo, they don't get it. "She'll just be like, 'Daddy left the room,'" Loyd said. This aligns with how particles appear and disappear, neither here nor there, in all places at once.

Photograph by: Nikki Addimando

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