Your baby todayWith fingers held up to the cheek, eyes closed, and the ear just visible in the background, this image shows a very peaceful baby. To the left, the umbilical cord is visible on its way to the placenta, seen further to the left.
It will be some years before you'll know your child's personality, but even in the uterus she has some likes and dislikes.
As your baby continues to grow you may find yourself wondering what she is going to be like: easy going or demanding? Funny or serious? Happy playing alone or social? Boisterous or quiet? You may believe that babies are born with their personalities already developed, or that they are born with a personality that is further shaped and developed as they grow. The nature versus nurture debate rages on and, in all likelihood, it's a combination of the two: some aspects of your child's personality may already be decided before birth, some may be developed later in childhood, or even adulthood.
You may already have noticed that your baby has certain likes or dislikes, for example she may kick or move in response to loud music or to a certain genre of music, though it's difficult to tell whether the increased movements mean your baby is enjoying it or not.
Your baby is very stimulated inside the uterus. By this third trimester, she can feel vibrations, and hear not just sounds from inside your body, such as your heartbeat, but also sounds from outside, such as people talking. Your baby is aware of when you're moving or are still and you may have noticed a pattern of movements from her, not least that she "communicates" more when you're resting.
As part of her activity, she will continue practicing for life after the birth, with breathing movements and swallowing-and she may even suck her thumb.
Buying for your baby
Preparing for your baby's arrival doesn't have to break the bank.
- Milk: breast milk is free (and best for your baby). For bottle-feeding, you'll need bottles, nipples, formula, and a sterilizing system.
- Diapers: you'll need to decide between disposables, reusables, or a combination of the two (see Choosing diapers). Whichever type you choose, you'll also need to use diaper wipes.
- Somewhere to sleep: she can sleep in a crib from birth if you don't want to buy a bassinet. Even if you buy a used crib, you should always buy a new mattress.
- Lots of onesies: don't buy too many newborn size.
- Transportation: a stroller (with a lie-option until your baby can sit up), or a sling or frontpack to carry your baby.
- Car seat: this is a legal requirement for car travel. Don't buy used.
What your baby can live without:
- Changing station: a mat (or towel) on the floor is cheaper and safer.
- Bottle warmer: heat in a jug instead.
- Designer wardrobe.
- Pack-n-Play: borrow one if necessary.
Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright © 2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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