A newborn’s skin colour can vary from pink to dark red. His hands and feet are sometimes paler and may stay blueish for up to 48 hours. The skin may also be mottled. This is due to cold – your baby is still learning to control his own temperature. In most cases, the mottling disappears once your baby is in a warm place.

The skin is usually smooth, soft and transparent in places. It may wrinkle and peel, especially on the hands and feet. It is sensitive to heat and cold. At birth it may be covered with a whitish coating, which will be absorbed in a few hours or days. Some babies, even premature ones, can also have skin covered with a fine down, which goes away after a few weeks.