This week your sweet child is measuring around 19 inches and 4.5-5.8 pounds. That makes baby roughly the size of a durian! Even your little one’s head is growing this week. It has gained about a half inch in circumference to accommodate the growing brain. Right now the head grows easily because the plates of bone in the skull haven’t fused together. This will make it easier for the travel through the birth canal. After your little one is born, those plates will grow together more and form a protective shell for that smart brain. It won’t completely form until early adulthood to make room for all the growing and learning that occurs in the formative years.
Your little one is eager to learn already. Inside the womb, baby is opening their eyes while awake and closing them while asleep. Light can penetrate the uterine walls, which means your baby is already learning about daytime versus nighttime.
Baby is also learning how to coordinate the body this week. Breathing is in synch with swallowing and sucking. Your child is probably sucking their thumb in the womb and swallowing up to a pint of amniotic fluid per day. Your amniotic fluid is actually at full capacity now that baby is so big.
Baby is rapidly growing and preparing for the outside world. Your child now has its own immune system. You are now passing along your antibodies to your child. These same antibodies are passed along to your child through breast milk after birth, helping your little one grow and be healthy.
Are you feeling the heat? Your metabolic rate is in overdrive causing your body to overheat and making even subtle movements more difficult. Your metabolism isn’t the only culprit for difficulty moving – your growing uterus is also responsible. You may even find yourself waddling these days and finding a comfortable position to sit or sleep may be difficult.
Sleep in general may be difficult these days. Many women – three out of four, in fact – develop pregnancy insomnia. Those pesky hormones could cause it or your wandering mind that is keeping you preoccupied with tasks to complete before baby’s arrival. At this point in your pregnancy, rest is very important so give your mind a break and try to get some sleep. Avoid eating or drinking before bedtime and try reading a book or listening to relaxing music as you fall asleep. This is also a perfectly good reason to solicit a massage from your partner.
Nine Months From Now...
Your child is getting awfully strong these days! Your baby can probably pull itself into a standing position and stay there with support of the object they’re leaning on. Your child is possibly even starting to crawl. Their growing mind wants to take everything in and if your baby is intrigued, it’ll roam around the space. Everything your baby comes in contact with will be put through a sensory test. Your baby will evaluate touch, sound, sight, smell, and taste, which means that object is going in the mouth. If it’s small enough to fit in a toilet paper tube, it can be a choking hazard so keep your space safe.
When they’re not crawling around, they’re sleeping. They’ll get around 13 to 14 hours of sleep per day, including two naps that average around an hour each in the morning and the afternoon. Getting your little one to fall asleep may be a little more difficult since they know even when you’re not in the room that you’re still around. This separation anxiety will go away when they’re around two years old.
Your baby is still getting breast milk or formula but you should include foods into their diet. Their pincer grasp (first finger and thumb grip) and chewing abilities should be developed enough to include finger foods but make sure they’re finely cut to prevent choking hazards. Enjoy trying new foods with your baby and explore the healthy options that are available.
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