Although your baby is still comfortably growing inside your womb, they are already developing some automatic behaviors and sensory responses that will help them interact with the world during the first four or five months after being born. These capacities are called “newborn reflexes” and while some of them will occur spontaneously as part of your baby’s daily life, others will only appear as a response to specific actions or stimuli.

According to Stanford Children’s Health there are a couple newborn reflexes that are already being rehearsed in-utero:

• Root reflex: it helps the baby find the breast or the bottle immediately after birth. When something touches the baby’s cheek, they will turn their head in the direction of the touch, searching for a food source, and begin sucking.
• Suck reflex: this is the baby’s response to anything that touches the roof of their mouth. It’s because of this reflex that babies bring their feet to their mouth and start sucking a toe.
• Grasp reflex: when you touch the palm of a baby’s hand, the baby responds by closing their hand in a grasp around your finger.
• Step reflex: when a baby is held upright with their feet touching a solid surface, they will start taking steps as if dancing.

By week 32 of your pregnancy, your baby will have developed these reflexes that will be very handy once they are born. In the ultrasound you might even catch your little baby sucking their thumb, which will bring an “adorableness-overload” reflex in you, but that’s a topic for another blog post!