Here's When Your Baby Grows Hands

by Cat Bowen

If you're looking for a sassy quote about Trump's hands from me, you're not going to get it. I swear. But, really, when does a baby grow hands? Is it before their feet? What comes first, the fist or the liver? Does the ability to process a beer or hold a beer happen first? Inquiring pregnant women who just had a really weird dream about their baby's hands want to know.

Fetal development is a darned cool thing. Think about it, a few measly cells came together, met, hung out, and with some hormones and some cell division and replication, boom. You're making an entirely new person. From like, coffee and peanut butter sandwiches. Those cells go from a pinhead sized zygote, to embryo with all of its developing shenanigans, to fetus, to this miniature little old man who somehow makes your heart explode with joy.

The distal regions of the body are obviously the last to develop in an embryo. Babies, like plants, grow from the nucleus — the central nervous system — outwards, finally terminating at baby's tiny webbed fingers, according to the Mayo Clinic.

The baby forms the head, heart, and torso, all in the first eight weeks. Sometime near the end of that eighth week, little fingers begin to form on the paddle-shaped hands, Mayo Clinic noted.

The baby is only about a half of an inch long at this point, but she's already learning how to flip you off. The very next week, she will have toes to match. (Well, hopefully they don't match, because feet hands or hands feet would be inconvenient. Especially when buying shoes.)

According to University of California, Santa Barbara, a baby is ready to be fingerprinted at six months gestation. In the event that there's a biometric scan to get out of your vagina, he's got the equipment prepared at that point. Babies' hands are such amazing things, after all. In fact, the BBC noted a study that suggested that the thumb baby prefers to suck in the womb might actually signal their handedness as an adult, be they right-handed or left-handed.

You may have been dreaming that your baby has hands that are actually fishing nets, but if you're not yet eight weeks pregnant, your baby doesn't even have hands yet, let alone whatever your hormone-fueled nightmare dreamed up. You'll see them soon when you get your first comprehensive ultrasound, and you'll marvel at the strength in them a few months later when they grab a fistful of your hair. Ah. Baby hands are the best.