Fetal Development – Month by Month

Here’s a month by month guide to fetal development!

Month 1

After fertilization of the egg, a watertight sac is formed which is gradually filled with water. This is called the amniotic sac which cushions the growing embryo. The developing placenta will help transfer nutrients from the mother to the baby.

A primitive face will take shape with large circles for eyes. Other parts of the face are also developing and blood circulation will begin. By the end of the first month, your baby is a 1/4th inch long which is comparable to a grain of rice.

Month 2

Facial features continue to develop. Fingers and toes are also forming. The central nervous system is well formed. Other organs also start to develop.

The head is large when compared to the body and around the 6th week, the heartbeat can be detected. Your baby is now officially a fetus.

Month 3

Baby’s arms, hands, fingers, feet, and toes are fully formed. Fingernails and toenails are also beginning to develop. Reproductive and urinary organs are also developing.

By the end of the third month, all the organs are present but are not completely functional. S/he is 4 inches long and weighs about an ounce.

Month 4

You can hear your baby’s heartbeat through an instrument called a doppler. Eyelids, eyelashes, eyebrows, and hair are formed. Bones will become denser and your baby can even suck his or her thumb, yawn, and stretch.

By the end of the 4th month, your baby is around 6 inches long.

Month 5

You can feel your baby move and hair begins to grow over your baby’s shoulders, back, and temples which is called lanugo. This is to protect your baby and is usually shed after a week of your baby’s birth.

By the end of 5th month, your baby is about 10 inches long and weighs around half a kg.

Month 6

Your baby will start to open its eyes. The baby’s skin is reddish in color and wrinkled in texture. Your baby even responds to sound or pulse from the outside world.

Premature babies born at this period require intensive care. They are around 12 inches long and weighs about a 1 kg.

Month 7

Your baby will develop reserves of body fat and the hearing system is fully developed. The position of the baby is frequently changed and they respond to several stimuli like sound, light, and pain.

The amniotic fluid begins to diminish and the baby weighs around 1 to 2 kgs and is about 14 inches in length.

Month 8

Your baby’s brain is rapidly developing during this period and the kicking is also more. Most of the internal systems apart from the lungs are completely developed. You can expect your baby to be 18 inches long and weigh 2 and a half kgs.

Month 9

Your baby can blink, turn the head, and even grasp firmly. The responses are completely developed and your baby is super ready to come into the world. The position changes is to prepare itself for the delivery such that the head is down towards the birth canal.

The baby is 18 to 20 inches long and can weigh anywhere between 2 and a half to 3 and a half kgs. 

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