Feature | Pregnancy Checklist Per Trimester | Don't Miss A Single Developmental Milestone!

Pregnancy Checklist Per Trimester | Don’t Miss A Single Developmental Milestone!

Last updated on November 17th, 2022 at 07:52 pm

A pregnancy checklist can help you keep track of your baby’s development throughout the three stages of pregnancy. As each trimester is marked with significant fetal developmental milestones, it’s important to take note of each one to ensure that your baby is healthy and safe. Here’s a pregnancy milestones timeline and fetal development checklist that will help you track your journey and your baby’s journey throughout your pregnancy:

Ultimate Pregnancy Checklist Per Trimester: Developmental Milestones You Don’t Wanna Miss

1. First Trimester (0 to 13 Weeks)

The first stage of pregnancy brings major changes to your body because of hormonal changes. You may experience nausea, fatigue, morning sickness, mood swings, and frequent urination. Some may also experience constipation, so make sure to incorporate lots of fiber into your diet.

For the baby, the first trimester is the most crucial to her development. It is when her basic organ systems start to develop and her hair, nails, and muscles start to grow. Here are some important developmental milestones during the first trimester:

At 4 to 5 Weeks:

  • The baby’s brain, spinal cord, and heart begin to form
  • Arms and legs appear

At 8 Weeks: 

  • Major organs, fingers and toes, eyelids, and sex organs begin to form
  • Heart beats with a regular rhythm
  • Facial features become noticeable

At 10 to 12 Weeks: 

  • The embryo becomes a fetus
  • Tooth buds form
  • Genitalia begins to develop externally

2. Second Trimester (14 to 26 Weeks)

Second Trimester (14 to 26 Weeks) | Pregnancy Checklist Per Trimester | Don't Miss A Single Developmental Milestone! | pregnancy milestones timeline

The second trimester is often called the “golden period” because it is when some of the unpleasant pregnancy symptoms fade away. At this stage, morning sickness disappears and moms-to-be experience better sleep patterns and increased energy. It is also when the pregnancy glow starts to show.

For the baby, the second trimester is an exciting period as well. Her hair continues to grow and her senses start to develop. At this stage, major organ systems have developed and the circulatory system will begin pumping blood. The external genitalia also starts to show and the sex of the baby becomes apparent. Bones will harden, and between weeks 16 and 20, you may experience the baby’s first movements. Here are other developmental milestones during the second trimester:

At 16 Weeks:

  • Muscles and bones continue to develop
  • Pancreas and liver form
  • Skin begins to form

At 20 Weeks:

  • Eyebrows, eyelashes, and nails have formed
  • Baby can scratch, hear, and swallow

At 23 to 24 Weeks: 

  • Taste buds form and hair begins to grow
  • Baby sleeps and wakes regularly
  • Baby stores fat and gains a bit of weight
  • Sense of hearing continues to improve

3. Third Trimester (27 to 40 Weeks)

The final stretch of pregnancy is when the body prepares itself for childbirth. Some women may experience tightening of their uterus called Braxton-Hicks contractions. This helps the uterus practice for labor. At this stage, your healthcare provider might also require more frequent checkups to avoid end of pregnancy complications.

In the third trimester, the baby’s brain continues to develop. Her bones are fully formed and her movements are more forceful. The baby also quickly gains weight at this stage and she gets bigger and bigger as her body fat increases. Other developmental milestones at the last stretch of pregnancy include:

At 32 Weeks: 

  • Eyes can open, close, and sense light

At 34 to 36 Weeks: 

  • Lungs and central nervous system continue to develop
  • Skin becomes smooth and soft
  • Baby stretches and wiggles

At 39 Weeks: 

  • Organs are ready to function on their own
  • As due date nears, the baby may shift into a head-down position


Learn more about pregnancy milestones in this video by WebMD:

YouTube video

This pregnancy checklist outlines some of the important fetal development milestones in each trimester of pregnancy. These milestones can help you keep track of your baby’s development so that you can be at ease that she’s safe and healthy from the first week of pregnancy until the day she’s born.

What is the best piece of advice you have received during your pregnancy? Share them with us in the comments section below!

Up Next: Week by Week Pregnancy: Learn How Your Baby Develops Each Week

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