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Your Newborn's Appearance

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Mar 3, 2024.

What do I need to know about my newborn's appearance?

Your baby may look different than you expect. Some of your baby's body parts may look a certain way because he or she was in your uterus for many months. As your baby grows, many of these features will change.

What do I need to know about my newborn's head?

What do I need to know about my newborn's eyes?

What do I need to know about my newborn's nose?

What do I need to know about my newborn's mouth?

What do I need to know about my newborn's skin?

At birth, your newborn's skin may be covered with a waxy coating called vernix. As the vernix comes off and the skin dries, your newborn's skin will peel. Babies who are born after their due date may have a large amount of skin peeling. This is normal. Peeling does not mean that your newborn's skin is too dry. You do not need to put lotions or oils on your newborn's skin to stop the peeling or to treat rashes. At birth or during his or her first few months, your baby may have any of the following:

What do I need to know about birthmarks?

It is common for a newborn's skin to have birthmarks. Birthmarks come in different sizes, shapes, and colors. Some birthmarks shrink or fade with time. Other birthmarks may stay on your baby's skin for his or her entire life. Ask your newborn's healthcare provider to check birthmarks you have questions about. Your baby may have any of the following:

What do I need to know about my newborn's breasts?

Your newborn boy or girl may have swollen breasts after birth for a few weeks. This is caused by hormones that are passed to your newborn before birth. Your newborn's breasts may be swollen longer if he or she is being breastfed. This is because hormones are passed through breast milk. Your newborn's breasts may also have a milky discharge. Do not squeeze your newborn's breasts. This will not stop the swelling and could cause an infection.

What do I need to know about my newborn's genitalia?

What do I need to know about my newborn's toes and fingers?

Your newborn's fingernails are soft, and they will grow quickly. You may need to trim them with baby nail clippers 1 or 2 times each week. Be careful not to cut too closely to his or her skin because you may cut the skin and cause bleeding. It may be easier to cut the fingernails when he or she is asleep. Your newborn's toenails may grow much slower. They may be soft and deeply set into each toe. You will not need to trim them as often.

When should I contact my newborn's pediatrician?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your baby's care. Learn about your baby's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your baby's healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your baby. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.