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The baby secret no-one's brave enough to confess

One in 5 parents are secretly disappointed in how their baby looks. But don't say it out loud!

According to the survey of 1000 UK parents, only eight per cent of parents discuss their baby's less-than-perfect looks with someone other than their partner. Many admit they'd get offended if someone suggested their baby wasn't beautiful, even if they shared the same thought.

Sound familiar?

Is it okay to think your baby isn't as good looking as you'd hoped? I have to confess that my first thought when I saw my second-born, a son named Giovanni, I was a little taken aback.

He was very squished, very grumpy and had a stranger upper lip. He was red and discoloured.

But it wasn't Giovanni's fault his mum was just a little disappointed he wasn't better looking. It was his big brother's fault.

My first-born son Philip was born looking like a doll: long eyelashes, shining eyes, happy, peaceful... the nurses gushed, the relatives gasped, the friends cooed...

Giovanni was a big baby, he didn't open his eyes for three weeks and when he cried he sounded like a cat having a fight. Philip sounded like a little bleating lamb.

There's a famous saying, "Ugly in the cradle, beauty at the table" and that was certainly the case. Fast-forward two years later and the friends and family who were a bit quiet when first faced with Giovanni started suggesting I enter him in photography competitions and baby commercials because he was just so good-looking.

Giovanni aged 2
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Some kids are born gorgeous, and some take time to grow into their looks. I think it's normal for parents to assess their child's looks. We want them to have the easiest life possible and the last thing we want is for them to be teased or ridiculed for how they look.

One of my friend's babies had a dramatic forceps delivery and her little boy looked like a cone-head for ages. She couldn't wait for him to grow out of it. Another had a little girl with such excessive eczema that she got sick of the pitying looks.

We love our children no matter what and not all babies look like dolls. In fact, most look red, misshapen and angry when they are born. But gosh, do we love them all.

The funny thing is that while we worry about how our children look, many find their quirky little faces enchanting. They're all cute, in their own way.

 Have you ever been secretly disappointed with your baby's looks? 

It took Jo twenty years to get the career of her dreams as a writer. She became distracted from her goal by a radio career and then one as a radio and TV traffic reporter. She's released one book that didn't sell very well but maintains that was due to insufficient advertising (she's brilliant, didn't you know?). She's married with three kids so has a wealth of parenting experience to draw from. She's been working on a novel for eight years and plans to get it published, if she ever finishes it. Contact Jo on Facebook and Twitter.

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