Also known as hoglets or piglets, baby hedgehogs are born with soft, pliable quills that are embedded within a fluid-filled layer of skin, meaning these quills aren't exposed when they are born, making the process safer and easier for the mother hedgehog. Within the first day of the hoglets' lives, this soft layer of skin will dry out and retract, which exposes the quills and allows them to begin the process of hardening and darkening. At this point in the hoglets' development, there are about 150 quills on each baby's back, and they are white in appearance as they emerge from their protective layer of skin.

As hoglets age, their quills will typically darken at least a little bit, particularly toward the base where the quills meet the skin, though different hedgehogs may have different coloring, from brown, gray and black to all-white albino varieties. By the time they reach 1 month of age, most hoglets will have opened their eyes and developed a dense coat of quills that are darker than they were when they were born. At this point, wild hoglets will learn survival skills from their mothers before striking out on their own at around 10 weeks old.