Baby's Alertness in the Womb

Learn how your baby moves and experiences life in the womb.

Asleep and Awake

From early on in your pregnancy, your baby is more like a newborn than you might think. He sleeps, moves around, listens to sounds, and has thoughts and memories. Here's how:

Just like newborns, fetuses spend most of their time sleeping. At 32 weeks, your baby sleeps 90 to 95 percent of the day. Some of these hours are spent in deep sleep, some in REM sleep, and some in an indeterminate state -- a result of his immature brain. During REM sleep, his eyes move back and forth just like an adult's eyes. Some scientists even believe that fetuses dream while they're sleeping! Just like babies after birth, they probably dream about what they know -- the sensations they feel in the womb.

Closer to birth, your baby sleeps 85 to 90 percent of the time, the same as a newborn.

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