A full-term newborn baby weighs on average 3.5 kg (7 lb 11 oz), measures 51 cm (20 in) in length, and is well prepared for survival. Many aspects of a newborn’s appearance, such as the shape of the skull, are a result of the transition from the uterus to the outside world and are different from those of a fetus or older child. Such differences are normal and usually disappear relatively quickly. Other structures, such as the long bones, are not yet fully formed. The baby also has primitive reflexes, such as a grasp reflex, which are important to survival but disappear with increasing age.
From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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