We’re all different, so why do we expect when our babies are born that they should all look the same? Some of them are born with a full head of hair, like my eldest. She had the exact same hair (even in the same style!) as my husband. Others of them are born with not a speck of it, like my friend Andrea’s baby.
Some babies come out with blonde hair when both parents have dark hair. Others have curls when neither parent has a wave in sight. So what’s going on here?
The short answer is genetics. You have tons of genes in your body and it’s really just like a random bingo game which ones will be drawn when you and your love make your baby. You might not have thick hair, but your newborn could be blessed with it thanks to your genes.
Relative: A guide on how often to wash baby hair.
Some Babies Are Just Born Hairy
For me, I didn’t expect lots of hair on my first daughter. I don’t even really think I thought about her having so much hair. I’ll never forget that moment I first saw her face. I was still woozy with drugs from the emergency c-section and the nurse handed her to me.
I stared right into her big watery eyes and silently screamed inside my head. “Ahhhhh! She looks nothing like me! She looks just like her dad! Look at all that hair! She has a mop top!”
Then my inner voice started kicking my brain, telling it we were doomed, that we’d never be able to take care of this creature. “What have I donnnnnnneeeeeee?” And just like that, a snap second after, I was totally in love. All of this took maybe 5 seconds in duration but my point is, it’s totally normal, especially when you see all the hair, or even a lack thereof.
She had a mop top though, much like my husband’s typically-styled Asian hair. And guess what? She lost it. Not all of it, but parts of it on the back of her head. This, incidentally, is extremely normal. Yes, that’s right. It is normal for your baby to lose some or even all of its hair in the first year. New hair grows in and replaces what they shed.
That means your baby’s hair could even grow back in a different color or texture! Crazy, right?
Warning: Babies May Lose Hair
Lucky for me, my friend Missy had given me some advice when I was close to my due date. She told me about the hair loss thing. She’d run to her pediatrician in tears when her firstborn lost all his hair. The doctor reassured her it was all perfectly normal and not to worry.
It was probably the best baby advice I’d received as a new mom because I didn’t see that in any of the books I’d read, at least I surely didn’t remember reading it. So now, I’m passing this information on to you so you don’t panic. You’re welcome!
Second Baby May Have Different Hair
Three years later, I went to have my youngest. Another c-section, but this time I’d planned it so it was much easier. Once they handed her to me, I was stunned to see she wasn’t quite as hairy as her sister. She had hair, a pretty decent amount. But it was almost in an old man-like pattern, like when guys lose their hair.
In fact, with her red, wrinkly face, she looked like a grandpa. My husband nicknamed her “Grandpa Face” which was hard not to laugh at. I couldn’t take the pain from my incision every time I laughed though. Thank goodness for those pain meds!
Now that both my girls are a bit more grown, I can tell you my eldest doesn’t look like her dad anymore. You can see a resemblance for sure, but she looks just as I did as a kid. But prettier. Her hair is long, thick, shiny, and straight. Yes, I’m totally jealous of it.
So is her sister. My little one cries because she wants me to do all these fancy hairstyles on her as I do for her big sister. The thing of it is though, her hair is much thinner. And it’s curly, like those big doll curls at the ends. She’s learning to rock her own style though it can be trying on my patience at times when she wants a braid and it is shorter and thinner than her sister’s.
Do Hairy Babies Cause Heartburn?
You’ve likely heard about the old wives’ tale about hairy babies causing heartburn. Well, it was proven true! So if you’re experiencing a lot of heartburn, you’re likely going to have a baby with a lot of hair, even a full head of it like my big girl.
Yes, I had heartburn with both of them, though it was much worse with my first one because she had so much hair.
With my second daughter, I remember having heartburn, but it just wasn’t as awful. For my first one, I called my favorite cousin, a mom of 3, and she promised me that the heartburn would go away soon after delivery.
Honestly, you’re going to have all these visions of what your baby will look like. Even with 3D ultrasounds, it’s still a shock when you see your baby in person for the first time. Nothing you read ever fully prepares you for it. I think I like what Miranda said best in the show, Sex and the City, “I feel like there’s a giraffe in the room.” She hits the nail right on the head with that statement.
One Last Thing…
Don’t get hung up on how your baby looks at birth. Hair or no hair, the color of the hair, eye color, wrinkly faces, and all that jazz, it’s going to change. The nurses at the hospital all cooed over both my daughters after birth, but they were especially crazy for my second daughter. They said she was gorgeous. My husband and I looked at each other dubiously while he mouthed “Grandpa Face” at me.
Babies tend to grow more into their looks around 3 months, which is why they never use newborns for movies, TV, or commercials. By 3 months, my little one was so gorgeous, we never expected it. You’ll see!
Leslie Berry lives with her husband and two young daughters in Los Altos, California, where she loves helping other moms get comfortable with motherhood and embracing the insanity with facts peppered with laughs.
She loves eating too much sushi, exercising, and jamming out on her Fender. Read more about Leslie here.