Many textbook accounts of early development begin with the abilities of the newborn baby, perhaps because, until comparatively recently, development before birth has been so difficult to observe. However, in recent years the invention of specialised techniques has made possible a number of fascinating studies of prenatal development offering a much more detailed picture of the origins of the developmental process. We will begin this chapter with a general description of the prenatal period. Then we will introduce some recent evidence about the early formation and development of the brain to give an idea about how this may be correlated with behavioural development. Finally, we will consider the transition from prenatal to postnatal life, paying special attention to the way in which babies are born prepared to obtain information about the world.