Nothing seems more fragile and helpless than your newborn child, held in your arms for the first time. It turns out, though, that newborns are actually incredibly durable and capable little things in some ways. Your newborn child can do things that you can only dream of. But we only discovered this through some scientific experiments that are completely insane—and that you shouldn’t try on your own baby.
#10 – Newborns Can Swim
A group of scientists decided one day that it would be a good idea to dip 36 newborns’ faces into cold water and just see what happened. Surprisingly, instead of committing mass infanticide, they discovered something amazing—the babies instinctively knew how to hold their breath. They survived and even came out giggling and smiling.
Babies can do more than just hold their breath, though. In another experiment, researchers had parents hold their babies in the water with their tummies down. The babies started kicking and moving their legs in a doggy-paddle motion that actually kept them afloat.
The experiments proved that newborns have an instinctive ability to dive and swim. Researchers also found, though, that we lose it when we turn six months old—something they presumably discovered through an experiment that went slightly less well.
#9 – Young Children Can Grow Their Fingertips Back
If your child accidentally loses part of a limb, you might not need to panic. According to Dr. Christopher Allan, “Kids will actually regrow a pretty good fingertip, after amputation, if you just leave it alone.”
It’s something that Dr. Allan discovered with an eight-year-old patient. She had cut off the tip of her middle finger in a bike spoke, and Dr. Allan couldn’t figure out how to reattach it. So he told the family, “Just stick the tip back on and hope for the best.”
When the girl came back a few weeks later, she had wisely ignored Dr. Allan’s advice—and her fingertip had grown back on its own. Further research has proven that this isn’t an isolated case. Kids can grow fingertips back as long as the slice doesn’t go past the edge of the nail.
#8 – Newborns Have Monkey-Strength Grips
When a newborn baby wraps his tiny hand around his parent’s fingers, it’s such a precious and life-changing moment that it never even occurs to most parents to think, “Let’s see how high I can lift this thing before he lets go.”
Fortunately, that’s exactly where a scientist’s mind goes, and they’ve found the answer. As it turns out, if you lay a baby down and place your index finger in his palm, your baby will cling on with so much strength that, if you lift him into the air, he’ll hold on—and he won’t fall.
You should not try it, though. Sometimes, the baby will spontaneously release his grip in the air, a fact discovered by scientists who felt that counting on a newborn’s strength to hold him in the air would probably be fine and that nothing tragic would occur.