Lanugo is the name given to the first hair which is produced by your baby’s hair follicles. Your baby usually starts producing lanugo whilst inside your womb around the fifth month of pregnancy. Whilst inside you, the lanugo almost completely covers your baby apart from a few areas including palms, soles of feet, lips and nails. Lanugo is a very soft and fine type of hair.
Most of this very soft lanugo hair is shed from your baby’s skin during your seventh or eighth month of pregnancy. However sometimes you can still see some areas of lanugo after your baby has born and this is completely normal. Common areas for lanugo to still be present after birth include the face, the ears and on the back. Babies who are born prematurely are more likely to still have lanugo hair present.
Having lanugo hair after birth is not a reason for concern and will not affect your baby now or later. There is no treatment for lanugo hair as it will fall out over time, usually a few weeks. Some parents try rubbing the hair to encourage it falling out although there is no need to do this and the hair will fall out on its own accord when it is ready.
If you have any concerns or questions about lanugo hair or your new-born baby’s appearance, you should speak to your midwife or health visitor for advice.
by Jenny, mum to William and James