"Exceptional Care for Families with Newborns"

I Had a Hairy Baby

Lanugo, a hairy baby

Why doesn’t anyone tell you that you might have a hairy baby?! A hairy, furry, fuzzy BABY!

Imagine expecting to give birth to a soft, sweet precious, beautiful little girl and opening your eyes to a bald-headed baby with hair on its BACK, SHOULDERS, and ARMS!

I mean, you are blown away by the fact that you’ve finally got this baby in your arms but this is not what you expected… and no one ever talks about it…

It’s shocking and for that reason, we are talking about it.

The first thing you should know is that it is totally normal, so take a big deep breath, and blow it away! (Sorry, that’s the doula in me talking!)

The technical term for this is Lanugo and it is best defined as the soft, fine hair that covers the body and limbs of a human fetus or newborn.

This developes around 16 weeks of pregnancy and in many cases the hair sheds around the 8th month. As you may have figured out, that is not always the case. Some babies hang onto this hair for a bit longer. That was the case with mine! I had a hairy baby.

I mean everywhere! Even her ears had hair on them…

Why lanugo, why a hairy baby?

The truth is, we’re not sure. Scientists have not actually figured out the exact role that lanugo, or hair on a baby plays in its development.

During pregnancy, the lanugo becomes encased by vernix caseosa which is the cheese like coating on a baby that rich in antioxidants and anti-infection and anti-inflammatory properties.

This paper from 2009 suggests that the combination of hair and vernix, may aid in the development of different hormones within the fetus. But again, there is no information that has been shared that definitively explains this phenomenon.

What I can share (from personal experience is that your hairy baby will shed this hair.

In fact, if you look closely, you will find these tiny, thin fine hairs on your baby’s sheets and in their clothes and soon after, you’ll no longer see it on their ears, backs or shoulders.