Babies have more bones than adults!

Believe it or not, a newborn has nearly 100 more bones than we do! At birth, babies have around 300 bones, while most adults have a total of 206 bones.


Baby bones have more cartilage

When babies are born, some of their “bones” are technically cartilage that eventually hardens into bone as they grow.

Before birth, the skeletal structure of a baby starts out as cartilage, a firm tissue that’s softer and more flexible than bone. As the little one absorbs more calcium from milk and food, his cartilage gradually ossifies to become hard bone. Around the time he’s about two or three years old, some of his bones begin to fuse together. The process won’t be fully complete until after he’s an adult to allow his entire body to grow.

Adults still have some cartilage, but far less than newborns. Most of the cartilage in adults is located at the ends of bones to help them to glide smoothly over each other at the joints. Cartilage also gives a flexible shape and structure to places like the ears and nose.


Are babies born without the kneecap?

One example of a bone that babies are born without is the kneecap (or patella). The kneecap starts out as cartilage and starts significantly hardening into bone between the ages of two and six years old. In most cases, several areas of cartilage in the knee begin to harden at the same time and eventually fuse together to form one solid bone.

Published in Dawn, Young World, October 23rd, 2021

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