11. As late as 1985, doctors believed babies didn’t feel pain and conducted surgeries with no anesthesia.
Between the late 19th century to the early 20th century, doctors performed surgeries on babies without any anesthesia because they were taught that newborns do not experience any pain. This unbelievable misconception arose by misinterpreting the discoveries that were made in embryology at that time.
It was believed that infants do not remember any pain and since they did not have a conscious memory, there would be no long-term harm. Scientific studies that were conducted on animals having various brain lesions were misinterpreted into saying that any response to pain seen in babies was only spinal reflex. Also, it was believed that one could do nothing about relieving pain in babies because nobody could measure an infant’s pain.(source)
12. Baby cages hanging out the window were used in America in the 1920s.
In 1922, Emma Read, from Washington, patented the idea of baby cages that could be suspended upon the exterior of a building from the window inside the parents room. The reason behind this then-inncuous-now-unimaginable idea was to help the parents who were raising their children in crowded cities and thus, had cramped spaces inside their homes.
The then East Poplar borough council in London proposed to fix the cages outside the high-rise buildings so that the babies could benefit from the direct sunlight and fresh air. The cages were also distributed to members of the Chelsea Baby Club who lived in high buildings and had no gardens.(source)
13. During pregnancy, if an organ damage occurs to a mother, the fetus present inside her sends stem cells for repairing the damaged organ
Mothers who experience heart weakness during or after the pregnancy recuperate almost instantaneously. This is possible due to the fetus present inside them that donates its stem cells for repairing the damaged organ. This was confirmed in an experiment that was conducted by Hina Chaudhry of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.
In this experiment, two lines of mice were chosen: normal mice and mice genetically engineered to express green fluorescent protein (GFP), which glows a distinctive green when exposed to blue light, in their cells. Hina and her team mated normal female mice with GFP-producing male mice. This meant that half the resulting fetuses had the GFP gene, too, making their cells glow, too.
After 12 days, the researchers gave half the pregnant mice heart attacks. As the scientists observed the female mice’s heart tissue two weeks after the heart attacks, they found glowing green tissue – cells that came from the fetus – in the mom’s heart.(1, 2)
14. Neuroscientists believe babies don’t dream for the first few years of their life.
Babies do not dream for the first few years of their lives. This was studied by psychologist David Foulkes in “Children’s Dreaming and the Development of Consciousness” (Harvard University Press, 2002). As per the study, an interesting finding is that babies spend half their sleep time in REM (rapid eye movement) sleep phase and it is in this REM phase that adults start to dream.
However, due to the limited experiences of a newborn and their brains’ immaturity, Foulkes and his team infer that infants spend most of the starting years of their lives dream-less.(source)
15. While in the womb, the babies grow mustaches…..that they eat. The hair is called lanugo and it falls out before a baby is born and is eaten by the baby and then becomes part of its first poop
Babies grow mustaches even if they are inside the womb. This happens when the fetus is about 5.3 inches (135 mm) long and weighs about 6 ounces (170 g). Fine hairs are developed on the upper lip and over the next month, the hair spreads all over the body. This hairy coat is called lanugo and a baby starts to shed each and every hair one by one before birth or soon after birth.
Each hair, after its being shed, is consumed by the infant and turns into a black substance called meconium which is excreted in the form of first bowel movement of the baby.(source)
- A human baby has over 60 more bones than an adult.
- A newborn baby has about one cup of blood in its body.
- Babies are born with no bacteria in their bodies.
- 1 in 5,000 babies is born without an anus opening.