Newbie mom? Yeah, I thought so. The truth is, once you hit the second kid you have all of this information dominated. You have probably studied a million different milestone charts to make sure your child is growing at the same pace the other is.
You want to be one hundred percent sure that the child you birthed is normal. And that is ok, but you will soon learn that kids grow at their own pace and sometimes don’t develop at the same rate other kids do, but will eventually catch up.
You have probably monitored the height, the weight, the motor skills they develop, and many other milestones. If you are reading this, you have probably also monitor your baby’s hair growth. Just like the other milestones, your child’s hair is probably just developing at its own pace. However, it is actually important that you learn to recognize what is normal and what isn’t.
So, here is a quick guide on baby hair growth, why won’t it grow, what is normal, and other common questions you probably ask yourself a lot.
What is actually normal
Hair growth can actually begin as early as the womb, it usually does indeed. Most babies are born with hair, however, between birth and 6 months, they tend to lose a lot more hair than the one they gain, or even than the one they were born with. A common reason is that rubbing causes your baby to lose it because baby hair is much thinner and delicate than adult hair. Also, the outer environment is definitely a little more corrosive than the womb environment, which totally weakens the hair. Usually, baby hair will fall in patches making your baby look, not at its best. But hey, you can always go Latina-mode and shave the head, they are supposed to have better hair if you do. If you don’t shave them, the hair still grows back naturally in a few weeks or even a few months, this is because that hair loss is normal. Obviously, and especially if you are a newbie mom, you’ll be worried if your child is developing at a normal pace, and if his or her hair growth is normal, some kids take a lot longer to grow hair than others and that doesn’t mean absolutely anything. However, there is a point where it is, indeed, no longer normal, keep reading to identify the signs of abnormal hair growth.
When is it not normal anymore
Notice your child’s head and growth pattern. If it is just patched that means you are safe. However, if the hair is in patches and the parts where they are lacking hair is scaly, as in looking extremely dry, then your baby might have ringworm. Though it isn’t very common, it is a possibility. Ringworm, despite the name, isn't really caused by a worm but by a fungus, making it a fungal infection. There is also the possibility of a genetic disorder, which are extremely rare but, again, can happen. Since these diseases are usually because of mutations or recessive genes, your or your partner probably don’t have it but are both carriers of the specific gene that causes the disorder and have transferred it to the child. It is not your fault, you have no control over that whatsoever. If you are carriers of genes that cause abnormal hair growth, your pediatrician will help you determine it. Actually, your pediatrician should be able to determine any of the three mentioned above.
What are the available treatments?
There is nothing you can just go to the drugstore and buy to treat your child’s abnormal hair growth. Most of the times, the pediatrician will advise you to let your kid grow, and his hair too at the rate nature has dictated for them. Eventually, the baby will catch up a no one will ever remember he was a bald little infant. On the other hand, if your baby has ringworm then you will probably be recommended by your pediatrician to apply an anti-fungal treatment. You should do this not only to control it and eliminate it in your child, but also to prevent it from spreading to other parts of their body, or to avoid another member of the family accidentally catching it. Finally, if the slow hair growth is caused by a genetic disorder, which is rarer, then the way to treat it will variate depending on what disorder we are talking about. Some disorders might not have treatments, or working treatments available to the particular condition the kid has, the doctor will recommend you all the steps you need to follow if it comes down to this.
When should I call my pediatrician?
To know if you should contact your pediatrician you need to examine your child and not only how the hair is looking. Call your pediatrician if you notice the child’s bald spots are scaly because this means it is probably ringworm. Also, call the pediatrician if there is a skin rash since this could mean another kind of fungus, bacteria, or allergy. Most pediatricians will not worry if the hair growth is slow as long as the baby is not showing any other signs of illness. However, you can never be too sure, so if the hair the infant lost doesn’t grow back after a couple of months then just give your doctor a call and let him determine if there really is a problem or not. If nothing seems to be physically wrong with your baby, the pediatrician will probably be running both skin and genetic tests in order to determine what is wrong, if anything is really wrong which it probably isn't.
The bottom line is, do stay put in case you see any red flags but try not to worry too much about it. Every kid grows at its own pace and that includes their hair.