19 Parents Shared How They Reacted When They Saw Their Newborn Babies for the First Time

To all of you out there who do not have children and whose only reference about birth is what they see in the movies, we have some unfortunate news: the cute babies you’ve seen on screen do not actually look like that in real life. Babies do not come into the world clean, pink, and smiling, and labor is very hard, not only for the mother, but also for the newborn. They are usually dirty, swollen, or purple — but even still, they manage to make us fall in love at first sight.

Bright Side has compiled the first impressions of moms and dads for you of when they see the faces of their newborns and we can tell you for sure that, even if it’s not as neat as in the movies, it’s incredibly beautiful and strange at the same time.

  • Hahaha this is me! I looked at my newborn and I was sure he was the most beautiful baby ever. I felt bad that the baby clothes catalogue had to use such plain looking babies when I had (what I thought was) a baby supermodel right there in my arms. When I was pregnant with my second I was worried he couldn’t possibly be as beautiful as his older brother: what a terrible start to life to be in the shadow of the world’s most beautiful baby. Then, the impossible happened, #2 was born and he was somehow even more beautiful! Turns out bonding hormones just hit me extra strong and my babies are just normal-looking squinty, blotchy, wrinkly potatoes like everyone else’s. ©CatastropheWife

  • Nobody warns you about the cone heads. Even a cursory heads-up like, “your baby’s head is way squishy and will be weird looking immediately after delivery, but it will be regular baby-head shaped in a couple of hours,” would have been very helpful. ©skelebone

  • When my son was born and the nurses wiped him off and handed him to me, I felt like Rafiki holding up the Lion King. The world was singing. I looked at him and he was so beautiful angels blushed. It was unreal how I felt. I bragged about how he looked to everyone who would listen. A year later I looked again at a baby pic and was like, “Oh. I may have been impaired by that rush of endorphins...” ©Sunhammer01

  • Exactly this. My son’s eyes couldn’t even move together in the same direction when he was 5 min old. I didn’t see it and didn’t care, though. Now he’s a super cute little boy—people say it often so it’s not parental bias—but like almost every other newborn, he looked pretty weird at first. ©garibaldi18

  • My dad’s first words to my mom post-delivery were, “That is the ugliest baby I’ve ever seen.” And of course, she busted out sobbing. Of course, I was born in ’68 and fathers weren’t allowed in then. And my mom pushed a long time so I was born with a cone shaped head. Mom said it came to a perfect point on top. Haha! ©rebel1031

  • It’s a long running joke that my 21-year-old son was an ugly baby. It even got worse as he had the nastiest baby acne I had ever seen. He is now a handsome young man in college so he never takes the joke seriously. As he was my first child, my reaction was to ask my wife if all babies looked this way when born and hope it would improve. He did. Just took a bit longer than I assumed. ©Wha_She_Said_Is_Nuts

  • Especially when people drop crazy money on newborn photo shoots... Like, it looks like a sleeping goblin potato, it doesn’t matter how many flowers you put around it. I’m due in June, I’ve already told my husband we’re absolutely not spending money on photos of our baby when it’s in the ugly goblin phase (yet to see a baby NOT in that phase). I know my opinion will probably change when it comes out. But I’d rather spend the money on when they hit the actual adorable age, when they can sit up and smile. My parents got a professional picture of my brother at 9 months old and it’s hands-down the most adorable baby picture I’ve ever seen. ©mynameismilton

  • My mother maintains that I was the ugliest baby she’s ever seen to this day. I was premature, skinny, and oddly long. There are very few pictures of my infancy around my parents’ house — lots of my sister, as she was the quintessential adorably chubby baby. ©Foxtrottings

  • Newborn babies are really ugly because their face is squished by going through the birth canal. They’re often a bit too red or a bit too grey, and also smeared with all kinds of fluids (but at least they bathe them). They need about an hour to start resembling a little human. My first daughter was born underweight so her face looked like a little alien, no puffy cheeks. My second daughter was carried a bit over term so her face was red and irritated (they lose the greasy protection when procrastinating). My youngest son was born legs first so his face actually wasn’t as squished, he could be considered cute from the start, except he was born with dark hair not only on his head, but also on his earlobes, nape, and shoulders, so my first thought was, “Geez, I gave birth to a werewolf.” ©cototudelam

  • I had a C-section, so she was covered in goop. Before they took her to weigh and do those things, they brought her over and said, “Kiss your baby!”. I looked at all the goop on this kid and was hesitant, but my husband and all the doctors and nurses were all very excited so I did. It was gross. They all cheered after I kissed her, thankfully the noise cover up the sound of me gagging and spitting. Gross. ©Suepr80

  • My family has large heads. My wife’s family has small women. My children very much took advantage of the softness of their skulls. The first child was squeezed so bad that her head was completely elongated and when she was first put into my wife’s arms, she was like lavender purple. Totally looked like an alien or something. After the first independent breath her color went back to normal pretty fast, and her head got back to the right shape after about 2 days. Lemme tell you — those weird caps for babies in hospitals? NOT just for baby warmth. Also cause weird heads. My second was a lot more “normal” looking, but still not completely. Mostly just the misshapen head. ©superkp

  • I did the same. My baby was 9 weeks early, I legitimately couldn’t see that he was skinny and “unfinished,” I just wondered how everyone else wasn’t embarrassed about their ordinary babies when mine was so fantastic. Looking back at the photos, I can see what people meant. He wasn’t cooked yet. I still think my kid is the best, though. 😂 ©Captain_Quoll

  • Agree. When we look at photos of our son when he was less than 2 months old, both my wife and I admit that he looked weird. It wasn’t until he got a bit older and started smiling that he looked cute, and he has ever since. ©summerexpress
  • I thought my daughter was the most beautiful creature on Earth when she was born, for real. I look back at those newborn photos now, 8 years later, & I’m like YIKES. Not only are newborns inherently weird-looking, but mine was 2 months early. Her limbs were scrawny, she was beet-colored, and she had no eyelashes. She was literally a fetus. Once she plumped up into being an actual baby, she really was beautiful— and still is. She stops my heart, she’s so beautiful. But even I can now accept that I was blinded by maternal love when she was a newborn. ©youhaveonehour
  • I have had 2 girl babies. The first one came out looking like a perfect little doll. The second one came out looking like Mr. Burns. ©smartypants333
  • My youngest daughter was very red, features were all scrunched up, with hair on her head that stuck straight up on top and an extremely hairy body, including her face and especially on her back. My ex was worried that she had that werewolf hairy gene... in other words, it was clear that he thought she was hideous. I still remember that look of disbelief on his face when she was born, lol. As for me, I was just more relieved than anything that the birth was over with and despite her not looking like a picture perfect baby, she was perfectly healthy. It took about 3-4 months for her features to clear up and the hairy down on her face and body to go away. But her nickname, monkey, stuck. She turned out to be a very pretty child, still is. ©chismosamimosa

What was your impression when you saw your newborn for the first time? And if you haven’t had one yet, what do you imagine it will be like? We’d love to know.

Preview photo credit JuliusVrooder / Reddit
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