Today is the day-the day you have spent the last 9 months preparing for-the day to bring your newborn home from the hospital. But this day and the days that follow bring with them many questions about what is and what is not normal.
Here is the ‘head to toe newborn chat’ I give to all of my patients on discharge day from the hospital. It answers the questions I am most frequently asked at the first office visit. I hope it puts your mind at ease and helps make the transition to new parenthood easier.
First, we will start at the head: All babies have “soft spots” or fontanelles. They are present to allow for the brain to grow inside of the skull. The fontanelle that is easiest to feel is the anterior fontanelle, or the one in the front. It is usually open until 15 months of age. You can touch it gently-you will see your pediatrician do this at practically every visit. Even though there is no bony protection over the fontanelle, there is still padding so you don’t have to worry about causing injury to your child with gentle touching.
Moving down to the eyes: It is normal for babies’ eyes to cross in the first six months of life. It takes time for them to develop proper muscle control over their eyes. If it persists after 6 months, talk to your pediatrician about it.
You won’t know your babies eye color at birth. Usually by 6-12 months, the eyes will reach their permanent color.