How Long Does The Fourth Trimester Last? Here's What You Need To Know

After nine months of adjusting to carrying around a tiny human inside of your body, you might think that your days of counting your pregnancy in trimesters is over. But, as many new moms find out, it's not quite the case. There's this tricky little period of time that some mothers call the fourth trimester, and if you're still pregnant, you're probably wondering, how long does the fourth trimester last?

First of all, what is the fourth trimester? According to Parenting, the fourth trimester is the idea that "a baby is not entirely ready to enter the world upon delivery, and her first three months of life outside the womb serve essentially as a 'fourth trimester' as far as brain development, and basic needs, are concerned." In answering what the fourth trimester is, you can see that the fourth trimester is just as long as it sounds, according to Parenting. Like your first three months, it's just three months long.

In The Happiest Baby On The Block, pediatrician Dr. Harvey Karp referred to the fourth trimester as one of the main reasons babies cry. According to Karp, babies are born three months too soon, which is why they need to be coddled and cuddled quite a bit during their first three months of life on earth. Though Karp's tips and tricks to keep your baby appeased during their first few months of life are especially helpful for parents with colicky babies, they're also applicable to parents of healthy babies who don't suffer from colic.

Because babies are born ill-prepared for this crazy world we live in, you're expected as a parent to provide for them, and do your best to keep them comfortable and happy during their formative years. But it can be tricky, especially when your baby's in the fourth trimester, and you're not quite sure what they need. In order to help your baby adjust to this bright new world, the Huffington Post recommends treating newborns as if they were still in utero for their first three months of life in order to ease their transition in the fourth trimester. After all, going from a nice, warm, dark uterus, to a bright, chilly world is kind of a rude awakening, don't you think? According to Parent Map, recreating a womblike experience for your baby is the best way to ease their transition into the world. With a combination of swaddling, swinging, suckling, and skin-to-skin contact, your baby will have a much easier transition from womb to world.