Inside the womb, your baby's brain is on the fast track to development. In fact, her brain will be fairly well developed before she's born, and she’ll even start to learn a few things in there. Read on to discover a typical baby's growth week by week.

Here are some of the milestones you can expect in your baby's brain development.

 

Big brain, little baby

Weeks 2 and 3

Her neural tube forms, which will become her brain, spinal cord, nervous system and backbone.

Week 6

The hemispheres of her brain become distinct.

Week 7

  • Sex-differentiating hormones are released.
  • She's starting to develop the neurons, or nerve cells, she'll use her whole life.

Week 12

Her taste buds are beginning to form.

Weeks 15 to 18

  • Ridges are beginning to form on the part of her brain that handles memory, language and consciousness.
  • Her visual cortex starts to develop.

Weeks 24 and 25

  • Neurons (cells that conduct nerve impulses) are migrating to different levels of her brain, which will help her to make connections after birth.
  • Her sense of touch is progressing.
  • She is growing familiar with a variety of sounds.
  • She will start to experience an early form of learning, called habituation.

Weeks 27 to 30

  • She'll gain her sense of smell.
  • Her brain will take on the folded shape of a mature brain.
  • She may begin to form memories.
  • She is producing the billions of neurons and synapses needed to make complex connections.

Weeks 36 to 40

  • Her brain continues to make connections she'll need to learn things.
  • Her brain is now ready for life on the outside.

Of course, her brain can't make all of this incredible progress alone. She needs the nutrition that only you and your balanced diet can provide. Especially important is getting enough DHA and ARA, fatty acids that support her brain development during pregnancy.