While babe is still baking inside your belly, it’s not always possible to appreciate all the amazing changes happening on the inside – especially when all you’re experiencing is ridiculous cravings, savage heartburn, backache and swollen limbs akin to a pachyderm.
Here are 12 fascinating facts, courtesy of netmums.com about your unborn little one to remind you just how awesome this moment in time is (and to distract you from your sausage fingers):
1. Your baby is growing more bones than you
By the time your baby is born, it will have 300 bones inside that tiny frame – while adults only have 206! The bones in baby’s body will eventually fuse together to create the adult number.
2. Your baby has facial hair
Every baby develops a fine moustache while it’s in the womb. This fine hair, called lanugo, gradually spreads over their body to create a temperature-regulating layer not unlike peach fuzz. Unless your little one is born a preemie, the hair will shed before birth, and babs will eat it (seriously), excreting it out after its born.
3. Your baby’s heart is amazing
On average, it only takes one month for a baby to develop and start using its heart from conception. (This is usually the cluster of cells you’ll see on an early ultrasound.)
4. He can already cry
Babies cry in the womb – and this starts at about 26 weeks from conception. But it doesn’t mean your lil’ guy is discontent; crying is an important communication tool for babies, and practice makes perfect. Heh.
5. She thinks you’re hilarious
Although they can’t actually laugh, babies do seem to respond to their mum’s laughter by bouncing up and down. This happens from about 32 weeks from conception.
6. You might make him jump
From about 23 weeks your baby can be startled by sudden noises, such as your sneezing, or when you switch on the hoover. A new study by doctors at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center in New York City has revealed that mobile phone ringing may surprise and even annoy their unborn babies.
7. Your baby is already learning a language
Babies pick up the rhythms and intonations of their mother’s language in the womb. Experts claim you can even spot the difference between the developing languages of babies from their gurgles. Even more precious – research shows that your little one will remember stories if she hears them over and over again (so it’s really never too early to start reading to them!).
8. He might be a dreamer
Babies start to sleep from 4 weeks after conception. But what’s more, the REM sleep waves associated with the eye movements of dreams have been identified by 30 weeks after conception. So it’s possible that your baby might have a dream or too – although, unlike our crazy storylined dreams, the content would probably just be a whole lot of lights, sounds, and other unintegrated stimuli.
9. He can smell the same things you can
Smell is one of the earliest senses to emerge in a growing babe. It’s suggested that from about 28 weeks, your baby can smell the same things as you, as smell crosses the amniotic fluid. In fact, the sense is so strong that foetuses at this stage can be seen cringing and moving around agitatedly when the mother is exposed to unpleasant odours, like cigarette smoke.
10. Your baby already loves sweet things
Babies can detect flavours in the womb, as food you eat can alter the flavour of amniotic fluid. Even more interesting, is that from 15 weeks babies have shown a preference for sweet flavours by swallowing more fluid when it’s sweet and less when it’s bitter. No wonder vegetables are such a struggle!
11. He spends a penny
By about 12 weeks a baby is producing urine. It can be seen swallowing amniotic fluid, which is digested and filtered by the kidneys and urinated back into the uterus. Nice.
12. He doesn’t have kneecaps (kind of)
Babies are born without kneecaps – or at least ones like adults. Their kneecaps are made of cartilage and are much softer than yours. These caps will only harden into bone between the ages of two and six, though, as crawling on bony knees could get a little painful!
For more incredible stuff in-utero, check out this mindblowing look inside the womb.