With 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 left still.
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 sociable? 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 practising for life after the birth, with breathing movements and swallowing – and she may even suck her thumb.
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, teats, formula, and a sterilizing system.
Nappies: you’ll need to decide between disposables, reusables, or a combination of the two. Whichever type you choose, you’ll also need to use nappy wipes.
Somewhere to sleep: she can sleep in a cot from birth if you don’t want to buy a crib or a Moses basket. Even if you buy a second-hand cot, always buy a new mattress.
Lots of babygros: don’t buy too many newborn size.
Transport: a buggy (with a lie-option until your baby can sit up), or a sling or backpack in which to carry your baby.
Car seat: this is a legal requirement for car travel. Don’t buy second hand.
Changing station: a mat (or towel) on the floor is cheaper and safer.
Bottle warmer: heat in a jug instead.
Designer wardrobe .
Travel cot: borrow one if necessary.
Save money by shopping online. Scour second-hand shops and car-boot sales. Swap clothes and toys with friends, family members, and other parents.
Babies soon outgrow babygros and get little wear out of them so you may be offered some from friends. You can cut the feet off the babygros if they’re too tight.
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