Wondering what it’s like for babies in the uterus? From conception to birth, life in the womb is mysterious and beautiful. The mother’s body is changing miraculously to accommodate her little one, while the baby is going through drastic transformations and strong emotions to get ready for the big day.
Although some people believe in "tabula rasa," the assumption that people are born without any knowledge about the world, scientists today prove that unborn babies are actually active learners who are prepared to meet the outside world.
As the womb is a warm playground full of passing gas, smells, and noises, a developing baby is learning a lot about their body parts, surroundings, and loved ones. Lounging in the amniotic fluid and playing with the umbilical cord, the baby can recognize their mother’s smell, develop food preferences, and even smile. In fact, modern scans show that babies do some sneaky and surprising stuff in the womb. Funnily enough, baby boys can even get "excited."
Surprisingly, moms can boost their child’s sensory experience and learning skills. Just get those pickles and ice cream, mama, and play some baby Mozart!
From language development to secure attachment, here are 20 surprising things a developing baby is experiencing already in the womb.
20 Your Unborn Baby Can Become A Wild DJ
From punk to country, everyone loves music. Believe it or not, even your growing baby is already a huge music fan, mama! Research shows that unborn babies enjoy listening to some good music in the womb and react to different sounds by moving and grooving.
According to livescience.com, babies can also recognize melodies heard in the uterus which can help them relax and fall asleep. We should note that the human hearing develops in the last trimester and music appreciations start soon after birth. So, get comfy, mama, and play some Mozart to help your baby become a musical genius.
19 Sensory Experience In The Womb Boosts Learning
While we all dislike strangers who do not hesitate to touch a pregnant woman’s belly, we have to agree that belly touches can be soothing. Interestingly enough, research shows that when a woman touches her belly, her baby reacts to the familiar touch by moving and kicking.
According to whattoexpect.com, this stimulation helps babies learn and bond with their parents already in the uterus. Sensory experience can boost learning and help children acquire numerous skills early in life. Just keep rubbing your beautiful belly, mama. There’s no doubt your little one is wriggling their little arms and legs in joy!
18 Your Unborn May Have Many Sweet Teeth
Pregnancy comes with lots of weird cravings. But don’t worry, mama, we all like the combo of pickles and ice-cream! Actually, a pregnant woman’s eating habits can affect a baby’s tastes as taste buds develop in the womb. We should note that there are five basic tastes: sweetness, saltiness, bitterness, sourness, and savoriness.
One thing that new moms have no idea about is the fact that pregnancy cravings can shape their baby’s eating habits. According to whattoexpect.com, a diverse menu can actually benefit kids and help them enjoy new foods after birth. Funnily enough, scans show that babies can literally lick the womb.
17 Your Baby Can Smell What You Are Smelling
Fetal development is amazing. Perhaps you’ll be surprised to learn that your baby’s smell develops in the womb, around six weeks of pregnancy. According to whattoexpect.com, a mother’s eating habits can affect not only her baby’s taste but their sense of smell. Surrounded by amniotic fluid, babies are able to detect odors in the uterus and react to them.
Funnily enough, unborn babies can also smell their moms, which is a vital function after birth. For instance, a newborn can find their mother only by smelling her. No, you don’t need an expensive perfume, mama; your little one simply loves your smell!
16 Flavor Learning In The Womb
What you taste, mama, your baby tastes! As explained above, a mother’s lifestyle can affect her baby’s food preferences later in life. Scientists are fascinated by this cute phenomenon, which is also known as flavor programming.
Expert Gary Beauchamp told livescience.com, "There is strong evidence that as a fetus, you are able to detect food even all the senses may not be up and running… We're an omnivorous species; the idea is that you learn what your mother ate while still in the womb, and then you'll know the flavors that are available and safe for you." Food preferences continue to develop after birth.
15 The Uterus Is A Noisy Playground
The womb is like a wonderful playground full of noises, burps, bowel movement, and fluids. The womb is also a magical place which helps your little one feel warm and safe, mama; a cozy place which in addition adjusts to their size. Amniotic fluid helps your baby grow and lounge around for up to nine months. According to parenting.firstcry.com, moms should drink plenty of water to increase their amniotic fluid levels during pregnancy.
After all, the womb is an exciting maze full of tastes, touches, odors, and movements which help babies learn more about their surroundings and the world outside.
14 Unborn Babies Need Lots Of Light
Although the womb is a wonderful playground, we have to agree that it‘s a bit too dark in there. So babies need lots of sunlight to thrive. Moderate amounts of sun exposure during pregnancy can help babies develop and benefit from some vitamin-boosting rays. What’s more, sun exposure has been linked to vitamin D levels, which is crucial for a healthy pregnancy.
Interestingly, babies keep their eyes shut for up to the seventh month. According to parents.com, vision is the last sense a baby develops. Yet, unborn babies react to light and learn to blink and focus already in the womb.
13 Your Baby Loves When You Rub Your Belly
Your baby’s senses develop in the womb. As explained above, your baby loves when you rub your belly, mama. In fact, touch is the first sense a baby develops. Research shows that babies not only respond to touch but start actively exploring their own surroundings. When a mother rubs her belly, her baby may kick or touch the amniotic sac wall on the inside. Such interactions sooth babies and help them learn about the world outside.
According to todaysparent.com, preemies also crave for their mom’s touch. As professor Heidelise Als says, "You will see these little preemies trying to bring their hands together… They search, literally, with their feet to try to find a boundary."
12 Unborn Babies Are Great Language Learners
Not many people know that the womb is a baby’s foundation for their language development. Recent studies show that unborn babies react not only to their mother’s voice but to their native language already in the uterus. Expert Melissa Gurfein told webmd.com, "Really what it is saying is that infants are learning and tuning into the speech patterns of their first language(s) earlier than was originally thought."
Our world is beautiful and diverse, so do not hesitate to teach your little one your native language, mama! Raising a bilingual child is fascinating. Personally, I find my 2-year-old daughter's ability to string words together in two different languages simply adorable.
11 Your Baby Can Feel Your Emotions Already In The Utero
Fetal development is an exciting journey, marked by changes, new experiences, and amazing reflexes. On top of that, health professionals agree that prenatal development is detrimental to a child’s social skills and behavior later in life. Interestingly enough, a woman’s emotions can affect her baby’s development and learning. According to getfitforbirth.com, a pregnant woman’s thoughts and emotions can shape her child’s emotional well-being and self-esteem.
In fact, negative thoughts and stress can lead to high levels of cortisol which may have a negative impact on child development. So, just keep calm, mama, and get ready to welcome your bundle of joy!
10 Bonding With Your Baby Bump Is Real
Although babies are shown many things in the uterus, mom is their favorite stimulus. Your baby loves when you rub your belly and talk to them, mama. Among all the cacophony of gas and noises, your baby can recognize your voice and bond with you. According to livescience.com, babies can perceive speech and discriminate their mother’s melodic sounds.
This will help babies bond with their loved ones. In fact, research shows that newborns react to familiar stimuli and pay more attention to their mother’s voice. Just sing or talk to your belly, mama. Your little one already loves you!
9 Babies Can Recognize Mom & Dad
Babies are little geniuses. They can recognize smells, tastes, noises, and touches. The good news is that babies can even bond with dad. Although mothers have the advantage to bond with their baby in the womb, fathers can also rub their partner’s belly and talk to their little one. According to romper.com, babies can recognize their father’s voice after 32 weeks.
Nevertheless, experts claim that newborns enjoy their own speech patterns the most. Studies show that babies enjoy listening to a fellow baby’s noises, which helps them perceive their own voice. In the end, baby talk is not only cute but beneficial.
8 Scans Show That Babies Do Amazing Things In The Womb
Pregnancy is a learning process for the baby. It’s not only sounds and tastes that prepare babies for the big day. Your unborn child is like a playful scientist who enjoys exploring their surroundings. Kicking, licking, pulling the umbilical cord, and so much more; scans show that babies are not passive while being in the womb.
Interestingly, 4D scan technology shows that babies practice facial expressions in the uterus. Isn’t that adorable? In addition, according to earlylife.co.uk, babies also yawn, hide, hiccup, and smile. I still remember the first time I saw my daughter moving in my belly and touching her ear.
7 Many Reflexes Are Present In The Utero
Babies do amazing things in the womb. For instance, they practice sucking their thumb in the uterus. According to ranker.com, this is an essential step in child development as sucking is important for taking in food.
Actually, newborns come with various automatic reflexes, such as startle reflex, suck reflex, rooting reflex, and grasp reflex. Grasp reflex, for instance, is important to help your baby’s motor skills and sense of touch. Interestingly enough, familiar sounds affect a baby’s suck reflex. Studies show that there’s an increase in brain activity and the intensity a baby sucks a pacifier in the presence of a familiar sound.
6 Your Little One Is Already Practicing The Skill Of Walking
Fetal development, as described above, is magical. When it comes to reflexes in newborns, the stepping reflex is one of the most fascinating skills babies have. According to verywellfamily.com, the stepping reflex (known as walking and dancing reflex) is an involuntary movement which helps babies adjust to their new surroundings. Just hold your baby and place their feet on a flat surface; they’ll lift one foot and then the other. Who knows?! Your newborn might even start walking!
Surprisingly, such skills develop in the womb. By kicking your belly and touching their own feet, your baby is practicing the skill of walking.
5 Raising A Baby Einstein
Many parents hope they’re raising an Einstein. From weird parenting trends to social media feuds, moms take things to the extremes to influence their unborn baby’s IQ. Take classical music, for example! Although playing baby Mozart has become a must for many 21 century moms, experts claim that there’s no proof that classical music influences a child’s intelligence.
Psychologists reveal that the most important thing moms can do is create a loving and relaxed environment. As babies learn by repetition, experience, and association, the only thing they need is lots of love. So, create a positive image about yourself, mama, and enjoy your pregnancy!
4 Unborn Babies Can Smile
One of the most surprising things that babies do in the womb is smile. Interestingly enough, 4D scans reveal babies practice facial reflexes already in the uterus. Professor Stuart Campbell told bbc.co.uk, "What's behind the smile, of course, I can't say, but the corners turn up and the cheeks bulge... I think it must be some indication of contentment in a stress-free environment."
Well, there’s no doubt that your sweet baby loves being in your belly, smelling your scent, and playing with the umbilical cord. And we guarantee that your little one is happy for having you, brave mama!
3 Babies Can Cry Within The Womb
We know that babies cry a lot outside of the womb. What about within the womb? Surprisingly, babies cry already in the uterus. Don’t worry, mama, your little one is not upset with you; they are still content with their quiet and safe environment. Crying is simply an important milestone and indicator of healthy development. According to verywellfamily.com, crying is a fundamental response to different stimuli and represents complex coordination between different systems.
Experts believe babies start crying by 20 weeks of pregnancy. In fact, neonatologists explain that premature babies can produce sounds and exhibit crying behavior as early as 24 weeks.
2 Prenatal Development Is Unique
From conception to birth, prenatal development is unique. A normal pregnancy lasts around 40 weeks and it’s divided into three trimesters. According to livescience.com, the first trimester is crucial for the embryo as the lungs and heart begin to develop. We should note that "after the eighth week of pregnancy, a developing baby is called a fetus." The second trimester is marked by continuous growth and development. During the third trimester, the mother’s body will change dramatically and false contractions may occur.
Yet, every pregnancy is unique and feeling a new life inside your body is simply amazing, mama.
1 Your Baby Can't Wait To Meet You
Pregnancy is empowering and emotional. In fact, the final weeks of pregnancy are often described as a waiting game for labor to start. Surprisingly, your baby is also excited to meet you, mama! Although babies experience a variety of changes and emotions in the uterus, researchers claim that babies are also preparing for birth.
According to bbc.co.uk, modern 4D scans can reveal some curious insights into prenatal development. Professor Stuart Campbell said that babies "make breathing movements inside the uterus, but there is no air, and they blink, but there is no light, so it seems they are making preparations for birth."
Sources: Early Life, Get Fit for Birth, Live Science, Live Science, BBC, Parents, Parenting First Cry, Ranker, Romper, Today's parent, Verywell Family, Verywell Family, WebMD, What to Expect, What to Expect, What to Expect