Last updated September 9th, 2020
If you’ve had a baby recently, congratulations! Your new bundle of joy is ready for lots of love, diaper changes, and constant attention. Every baby comes into the world with their unique traits, whether its size, eye color, personality, and of course how much hair they have.
A commonly asked question, it’s totally normal for your newborn to be hairy. Lanugo, the hair that your newborn still has, developed around the 4th or 5th month of pregnancy, usually comes off at the end of mommies pregnancy period, but can also last for a few weeks or months after birth. It’s a totally normal and common process, and you shouldn’t do anything extra to remove it.
The extra lanugo that’s on your baby’s skin was meant to help keep them warm and cozy in mommy’s womb until they had enough body fat to keep their own body temperature regulated.
Lanugo is a Latin word, literally meaning wool. Your cute little lamb will get rid of his/her super fine and soft wool soon enough.
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What babies tend to have more hair?
It’s not set in stone, but it’s been more common to see babies who are premature or babies with darker skin tone have more hair.
When it comes to premature babies, it makes total sense as your little one was still trying to stay warm in the womb, and didn’t have enough body fat to have a higher body temperature.
I didn’t know this, but when I researched in Wikipedia, I saw that some babies who had more lanugo could have been caused by malnutrition. If you’re worried about this, it’s definitely something to discuss with your baby’s pediatrician during regular visits.
The cause of extra hair for babies comes from a mommy who might be malnourished. The extra hair is like self-defense to stay warm, at a time when there isn’t enough body fat to take care of the process.
Is it normal for my baby to be hairy?
As you’ve read so far, having lanugo is totally normal for your baby. Full-term babies would have gotten rid of their lanugo hair inside the womb, whereas babies who are a bit earlier than full-term or premature would need more time after birth to get rid of the extra hair.
The extra hair was meant to keep them warm and didn’t yet come off. As a curious parent, you started researching this topic to get more informed. I want to give you that relief that it’s totally okay for your baby to be hairy for a little longer.
The hair will naturally come off in a few weeks to months, gradually over time.
What you don’t want to do is to apply too much pressure during bath time to try to rub it off. Your infant has very sensitive skin, and trying to rub off the hair will not help at all.
How can I safely remove the extra baby hair?
I wanted to make a section just about this, for those who learned about what Lanugo was and still want to do something about it.
During my research, I was surprised to see different cultures with home remedies to get rid of the extra baby hair. Please listen here and don’t attempt to do anything about your baby’s extra hair. It stayed naturally and will go away naturally over time.
The different home remedies, using odd ingredients to rub over your baby, might not only cause skin irritation but also upset your little one.
How long does lanugo remain after birth?
This depends on each baby, but the quick answer is over a few weeks to months.
You’ll notice the decrease of the extra hair over time, to give you comfort that it’s gradually going away.
If you notice your baby’s Lanugo is not gradually going away or seems to be getting worse, than you may want to discuss this with your pediatrician. You’ll have frequent check-up appointments during the first few months after birth, so you can talk about any hormonal imbalances like congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) that might be affecting your little one.
I wanted to give you all angles regarding Lanugo, to show you how it’s a common occurrence that can (and should) go mostly untreated. I wrote a similar post about newborns with greasy hair, another thing that parents commonly lookup a remedy for, but one that will usually get better naturally over time.
If you have any concerns, the next best thing to do is to discuss your baby’s unique situation with your pediatrician.