Child Development from Day 1
Day 1 (Conception)
Fireworks of light can be seen microscopically the moment gametes carrying precious genetic code from mother (ovum) and father (spermatozoon) knit together to form a new and unique living cell. Physical features including eye and hair color, and gender are written in DNA code. No other human with this same DNA has ever lived before and will never live again. Scientifically, this is the beginning of a new living human. If found on another planet, we would say that we discovered life! This living child will continue to grow if allowed to live, needing only time, nourishment, and protection.
Day 5 (Implantation)
Pregnancy is defined as the moment the child's hundreds of organizing cell systems attach within the mother’s womb (uterus). At this moment, the tiny offspring communicates with his or her mom by sending chemical messages to announce arrival. Once pregnant, pregnancy is then calculated from the first day of the woman’s last menstrual period (LMP), approximately two weeks prior to actual conception. The child is living, human, and a separate body from his or her mother, yet vulnerable and dependent on a mother's care and protection prior to birth, as much as following birth and the years to come prior to maturing into an adult able to provide, protect, and live independently.
Day 21 (Heartbeat)
In this stage of development, the child is growing more quickly and reproducing more cells than in any other time in life to follow! On day 21, cells in the child's newly developing heart can be seen suddenly beginning to beat all at once! And in unison! The child's heart will never stop beating for the duration of their lifetime. The heartbeat continues to be a way we determine if he or she is still living. This is typically when their mom will take a positive pregnancy test.
Hear a child's heartbeat at this stage of development:
About the time most women suspect they may be pregnant, a child's head and heart are the largest parts of a child's body.
6 - 8 weeks
By six weeks, a child's brain waves can be detected. The child's face is visible. A preborn has his/her own blood type. One hundred thousand new brain cells are forming every minute. Baby's heart is beating 140-150 beats per minute. He or she is about one inch in height and weighs 1/4 oz.
By seven weeks (9 weeks LMP), a preborn child will move away from touch and is able to feel pain.
At eight weeks (10 weeks LMP), the preborn child in embryonic development now swims and moves gracefully inside protective amniotic fluid. Every organ is present. Baby’s stomach produces digestive juices and the liver makes blood cells. Kidneys are beginning to function and taste buds are forming. The child is about 1.5 inches tall.
9 weeks (fetal development)
A child moves from embryonic to fetal development when all their organs are fully formed and look the same as a newborn infant. Sometimes referred to as a “fetus” during pregnancy - if translated from Latin, meaning “little one” or “young one” or "offspring" - babies during fetal development play, jump, and suck their thumbs! At 9 weeks (11 weeks LMP), a child develops unique fingerprints and male or female organs become visible. (The baby shown in this 3D ultrasound is a boy.) Baby is about 2 inches.
At 10 weeks (12 weeks LMP), a child squints, swallows, frowns, and smiles. Children at this age begin practicing breathing and can make movements to cry, but without air, cannot be heard. Bone cells are forming and the preborn is approximately 2.5 inches in height. Baby's mom is completing her first trimester of pregnancy and typically feeling better from the earlier weeks of hormonal adjustment. A child is only one-third of the way through pregnancy.
20 weeks (22 weeks LMP)
A child is large enough for his or her mom to feel their movement. Mom may feel her child turn, hiccup, and may be able to identify a bulge as an elbow or the child’s head. Each side of baby’s brain has a billion nerve cells and appears the same as a newborn’s brain. Mom’s heart has increased capacity to provide the extra oxygen her baby needs. Babies born this early may be able to survive with proper medical care, even at only halfway through pregnancy. A full-term pregnancy is considered 37 - 40 weeks.
25 - 27 weeks
At 25 weeks (27 weeks LMP), a preborn child is able to hear and may startle to loud noises. He or she will sleep and wake, and may nestle in a favorite position, and stretch upon waking up.
By 27 weeks (29 weeks LMP), a child recognizes and remembers their mom's voice and voices closest to her. Babies develop preferences for certain kinds of music and food as memory forms.
37 - 40 weeks (39 - 42 weeks LMP)
The child's lungs have been practicing breathing amniotic fluid for most of pregnancy while the child has lived off the oxygen from the placenta. The placenta is much like the chord that connects an astronaut outside a space ship. The placenta filters between the mother's blood and the baby's blood to bring oxygen and nutrients to the baby.
Every cell in the child's body carries either a male or female chromosome. Girl babies at birth already have all the eggs (ova) she will produce in her lifetime. Boy babies have had testosterone wash over the hemispheres of his brain prior to birth.
When baby is full term, mom's body is preparing for birth. The final stage of mom's development is occurring to prepare to give baby nourishment and immunity through breast milk, which will also give mom an extra protection against breast cancer later in life. Breast feeding transfers mom's stored fat to baby and continues to keep baby up-to-date with antibodies that mom produces in response to exposure to any viruses. Babies who are breastfed tend to have fewer allergies and less tummy upset and discomfort than bottle fed babies, and helps babies sleep better. While formula can keep a baby alive, breast milk is produced uniquely for the child's needs, delivering nutrition without artificial chemicals to the child at the child's unique body temperature. Breastfed babies tend to weigh less than bottle-fed babies. Breast milk carries the flavors from mom's eating that the child has become accustomed to while in the womb.
The baby triggers when he or she is ready to be born. And the mother's body prepares weeks and days ahead of birth getting ready. At birth, the newborn's lungs open to take in air. Air rushes over the child's vocal chords, so the child's cry can be heard. The child continues to be dependent on adults for nutrition, time, and protection as from the moment of conception.