While you’ve been hard at work keeping your baby safe and warm, your baby has been busy growing, developing and learning all kinds of new tricks. The third trimester is particularly exciting, because our little ones are really starting to act like tiny humans!
Here are 5 things your astonishing little baby is up to during the third trimester:
1. Getting chunky
Your baby’s limbs are pretty well formed at this point, so now he’s busy packing on the ounces. During the last few weeks of pregnancy, baby is gaining about 1/2 pound a week. The fact he’s developing will help keep him warm, and of course be readily available for pinching (oh, those rolls)!
2. Practicing his breathing
Your baby is getting all the oxygen he needs through the umbilical cord and placenta, but he is still hard at work learning how to breathe so he can transition easily when he comes into the world. At the moment of birth, a baby’s circulatory system changes dramatically, enabling them to breathe air like we do. That first breath=breathtaking indeed.
Related: What partner should know: the third trimester
3. Opening his eyes
Babies can begin to see light in the second trimester—but starting at around 28 weeks, they are able to open their eyes and blink. If you shine a flashlight on your belly you may get a wiggle from your little guy—baby’s first game! Interesting fact: Unborn babies’ eye pigment is still developing, and continues to do so after birth. So while many babies are born with blue eyes, most of them won’t continue to have blue eyes as they grow up.
4. Tasting… & peeing
Your baby can actually start to taste the foods you eat in the amniotic fluid. So while you’re enjoying your favorite foods, your baby is learning to love them too. (Want your baby to develop a love for kale? This recipe might help!)
This next part isn’t as cute to think about, but it’s oh-so-amazing and important (and he’s actually been practicing this trick for some time now). Drum roll… he’s peeing! He swallows some amniotic fluid, digests it and then urinates. Just think of it as good practice for ALL THE DIAPERS in his (and your) very near future.
5. Listening to you (& loving it)
Your baby has been able to hear for a while now (since about 18 weeks). But by the third trimester, his listening skills have improved a lot, and he can now hear AND RESPOND to you. In fact, a study found that when moms sang the word “la,” their babies actually opened and closed their mouths along with them—unreal, right?! So don’t be shy: Talk, read and sing to your baby to your heart’s content. It won’t be long now until you’ll be doing it for real.
A version of this story was published June 24, 2021. It has been updated.