7 Amazing facts about babies in the womb

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Here are some things you probably didn't know about your baby's development

Plenty of expectant parents prepare for the next chapter of their lives by getting as much information as they can from different sources, and it’s inevitable that in the end, they turn into walking encyclopedias on anything baby-related. Such was the case of new dad Dave Mosher, who compiled this list of surprising facts he learned as he prepared to become a dad.

Here are the ones we found especially curious and interesting about how babies develop in the womb:

1. Babies can hear inside the womb

And the uterus is very noisy! By the baby’s 16th week, his ear structures would have been established enough to pick up sounds. By then, he can hear his mom’s heart beating, her eating and digestive activities, her breathing, her walking, talking, exercising, and so forth. Babies also learn to recognize voices while inside the womb, which is why moms and dads are encouraged to talk to their unborn baby.

baby development in womb

Photo: Fotolia

2. Loud noises can damage your baby’s hearing—even in the womb

Preggy moms, you should probably take a rain check on that rock concert. Experts say that pregnant mothers should avoid very loud noises (those exceeding 115 dBA). These include gunfire, jet engines, chainsaws, heavy machinery, and yes, loud music and concerts.

3. Babies can see light from the outside

Some time between weeks 26 and 28, your baby’s eyes will start to open, and though their vision will be blurry, they’ll be able to see light, like the sun or a flashlight beam on his mom’s belly. Some experts recommend going outside often to help the baby’s eyes develop.

baby development in womb

Photo: Fotolia

4. Babies swim in and drink their own urine

When they turn 8 weeks old, babies start to pee inside the amniotic sac, and by week 20, most of the amniotic fluid is urine. They start drinking this mix of pee and amniotic fluid around week 10—when the baby is finally able to swallow.

5. Babies can taste the food mom eats

The baby’s taste buds begin to develop around week 11 and become fully mature around weeks 28 and 29. Flavor from the mother’s food makes its way to the amniotic fluid, which the baby drinks. Babies also snort up amniotic fluid, so some scientists speculate that they can smell food.

6. What mommy eats affects the baby’s future food preferences

Studies have shown that if mom avoids certain foods, the baby will probably do the same in the future. What moms eat also affects the flavor of their breast milk, so this also affects the baby’s preferences.

7. Babies cry in the womb

Look! After playing a sound through the uterine wall, this fetus was observed opening her mouth and gasping, complete with a chin quiver.

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