I remember people telling me, “Enjoy the newborn period; it passes so quickly.” With our babies changing so rapidly, we often forget or miss these little-known facts of infancy:
- There is a “soft spot” in their skull that does not become solid until around two years of age. This allows their head to mold when passing through the birth canal, thus allowing them to be born.
- They are able to hear in the womb and they can recognize their parent’s voices at birth.
- The average length of the umbilical cord is about 50 cm. This is just long enough to nurse, even before the cord is cut, subhan'Allah.
- When their cheek is brushed, they turn towards the touch, open their mouths, and try to latch on and suck.
- Babies first few bowel movement are a sticky, tar-like substance called meconium. If they are exclusively nursed, it changes to a thin consistency and is yellowish in color after a few days.
- Newborn babies can see, however they may not track or follow an object for a few months.
- Their vision is limited to 20-30 cm. Just far enough to see mother’s face while nursing in her arms.
- Newborn babies don’t have tears. Sure they cry, but they emit no visible tears from their eyes until they are several months old.
- A baby typically is born with dark or gray eyes. It’s not until a few months after birth that their true eye color can be determined (about the time their tears come in).
- At first, babies cannot automatically coordinate breathing through their mouths. If their nose is plugged they must cry in order to take in air.
Subhan’Allah, Allah (SWT), in his infinite wisdom created all mankind in stages. It is amazing to gaze into the eyes of a newborn and know that he was created from nothing but drops of fluid. Even before the child was born, his provision was promised his and his fixed time in this world was set.
On the authority of Abdullah bin Masud, who said : the messenger of Allah, and he is the truthful, the believed narrated to us :
"Verily the creation of each one of you is brought together in his mother's belly for forty days in the form of seed, then he is a clot of blood for a like period, then a morsel of flesh for a like period, then there is sent to him the angel who blows the breath of life into him and who is commanded about four matters: to write down his means of livelihood, his life span, his actions, and whether happy or unhappy. By Allah, other than Whom there is no god, verily one of you behaves like the people of Paradise until there is but an arm's length between him and it, and that which has been written over takes him and so he behaves like the people of Hell-fire and thus he enters it; and one of you behaves like the people of Hell-fire until there is but an arm's length between him and it, and that which has been written over takes him and so he behaves like the people of Paradise and thus he enters it."
(Related by Bukhari and Muslim)
It is a great blessing and responsibility to watch and guard our babies as they grow and pass through the many stages of this life. The creation and growth of our child is one of the many miracles from Allah (SWT). What an honor it is to be witnesses of this miracle from the start, alhamdulelah.