Newborn babies might look like the most helpless things on the planet but they can do some things you’d never believe.
For all their fragility, babies have a few abilities that adults don’t have. Sure, they can’t hold up their own heads with their necks and, from time to time, they forget that they need to breathe to stay alive, but in some ways, newborns are incredibly resilient.
Babies have super powers that’ll change the way you see your child – and that you definitely shouldn’t test out at home.
1 | Incredibly Strong Grips
When most people look their newborn babies in the eyes for the first time, the thought that pops into their heads usually isn’t, “I wonder if this baby can do a chin-up.” Fortunately for the world, though, that’s exactly what goes through the minds of scientists.
Newborns, as it turns out, are way stronger than they look. One scientist – apparently of the mad variety – dangled 60 newborns from walking sticks and proved that some babies can cling to a pole and support their own body weight for several minutes. He found out that even the weakest babies could hold up their own weight for at least 10 seconds, which is at least long enough to humiliate someone in the gym.
All that strength comes from the same grip your baby uses to wrap her little fingers around yours. When babies curl their fingers around something, they’re secretly using a massive amount of strength. If you lifted them up, they’d be able to support their own weight.
2 | Growing Back Fingertips
Like we said, don’t test any of these at home, but if your baby ever did lose a fingertip, according to some doctors, it wouldn’t take much to fix it. Up until the age of eight, children can grow their fingertips back.
There are stem cells in a baby’s nail cuticle that give them lizard-like regenerative powers – at least as long as they don’t get cut past the edge of the nail. Just like an adult’s fingernails are constantly growing, a baby’s entire fingertip will constantly grow, even if the worst happens.
So if your child ever gets a cut on their fingertip – uh, you should still go to a doctor and do whatever the doctor says. Don’t take medical advice from an article on the internet.
3 | Instinctive Swimming Abilities
If a grown-up falls into a pool without water wings, they might be in trouble, but babies know exactly what to do.
Babies have an instinctive ability to swim. If you put a newborn in water, they’ll instinctively start doing the doggy paddle and, if their heads go under, they’ll hold their breath. They’ll even come back out giggling and smiling.
For some reason, we lose this ability as we get older. After six months we lose our swimming instincts, and whether we sink or float comes down to what we’ve learned. But for a newborn, it’s all instinct.
4 | Super-Sensitive Hearing Powers
Babies hear all sound frequencies simultaneously. That means that they hear every little thing going on around them, even those little background noises we tune out. If a pin drops, you might not hear it but your baby will.
As we get older, we develop the habit of focusing on one thing at a time. When we listen to someone talk, we just focus on what they’re saying and block out everything else.
But babies don’t. Babies use their hearing like an animal waiting for a predator to attack, trying to pick up every little sound around them. So a pin drop is going to be almost as loud as your voice, and your baby is going to hear a lot of things that you’ll miss.
5 | Growing Their Hearts Back
Not only can babies grow their fingertips back, but they can even grow part of their hearts back. It’s believed that you could surgically remove up to 15 percent of a baby’s heart and they would just build it back up.
It’s been proven on mice, the animal that we’ve all collectively decided we’re going to turn a blind eye to whenever scientists perform twisted experiments on them. Baby mice still have enough stem cells to grow back part of their hearts, and there’s every reason to believe human babies do, too (although, for obvious reasons, nobody’s tried it yet).
6 | Healing Their Mothers From The Womb
Babies have superhuman healing powers, and like all superheroes, they don’t keep them for themselves. For as long as they’re in the womb, babies help their mothers, lending their powers to keep them safe.
Babies improve the immune systems of pregnant mothers by sharing their stem cells, but they do more than just keep their mothers from getting colds. When a mom get injured, her baby will send stem cells to her wound to help her heal. If she have a heart attack while pregnant, her baby will actually send stem cells to her heart tissue to help repair the damage.
Who would’ve thought it: before your children were even born, they were keeping you safe.