Have you ever wondered what it's like in the womb for a developing baby? It's not something you can really remember, but it's where everyone began their lives. While the best pregnancy apps can help alleviate some of the stress of not knowing exactly what's going on inside your belly, it's always comforting to read and learn about the actual developmental process.
As you experience bizarre changes in your body because of pregnancy, know that some of those changes are to accommodate your baby in the womb. Your body works to keep the womb warm and the baby surrounded by fluids so that it can float, squirm, eat, and sleep.
So what does a typical day feel like in a mother's belly? You may be surprised, or maybe even a little grossed out, by some of the things babies go through. But don't worry - the pictures you'll see are all sorts of cute as you learn what being in the womb feels like.
The day starts for your baby like it does for the average person: with waking up. Unfortunately, there's one major difference with a baby's sleep cycle while it's still in the womb. To put it simply, they sleep almost all the time! When your baby is at about 32 weeks, they sleep a total of 90 to 95 percent of the time. That means that the kicking you feel is often done while the baby is asleep.
Even towards the end of your pregnancy, close to birth, your baby still sleeps about 85 to 90 percent of the time. If only they could get a little more shut-eye after birth.
While your baby is awake and floating around inside you, it will probably open its eyes. Babies start opening their eyes at about the seventh month of pregnancy, even though the eyes are fully developed by the fourth month. Even though the eyes are still just formed and barely opening, that doesn't mean your baby can't see what's going on around them. They will be able to see their own limbs, the inside of the womb, the umbilical chord, and more, though they will be viewing it all through amniotic fluid.
Perhaps most interesting is that light is able to penetrate the walls of the womb and get to the baby. Even before they are born, babies will begin reacting to light and darkness, and will be able to tell when the sun is shining on you or if you're taking a moonlit walk.
You've felt your baby kick before at this point, but why is it doing that? As it turns out, your baby is not content just staying in one place. While your baby is awake, they are going to actually get a little acrobatic. By 37 weeks, your baby will have developed enough coordination to grasp things, kick, and interact with the womb around it. This enables them to kick off of the walls of the womb in order to simulate walking or jumping, like you're one big bounce house and they're up for a romp.
They may also do such strange things like lick the side of your womb once they get cuddled up close to it. Yeah, your baby might be that weird before it even gets outside your body.
It's been known for a long time that babies can hear things outside the womb during development. Thus, the idea that listening to Mozart makes your baby smarter is a popular one, though it isn't necessarily true. Rather, the fact is that your baby is reacting to outside stimuli.
Around 26 or 27 weeks, babies begin to respond to sound vibrations in the womb, and many of those stimuli your baby hears on a day-to-day basis come directly from you. They will hear your heartbeat, your voice, and the sound of your body functioning around it. By about 30 weeks, they will begin to hear sounds outside the womb, such as other voices and music. They will be able to recognize some of those sounds once it's outside the womb.
But, there's no strong evidence that Mozart in particular makes a baby smart, though music in general seems to stimulate the baby. In other words, crank up the Metallica or Beatles, because your baby's movements may help let you know what it is they prefer to hear.