Talking to the Womb: Signs that your Baby is Listening

Talking to your baby in the womb can help build bonds and affection between you and the child. This is especially true for fathers, as they do not have the natural bond that mothers have when the baby is first born. This truth is found in nearly every book on pregnancy. What may not be clear is why it is important, or how you can tell if your baby is really listening.

In the first several weeks of pregnancy, your baby has not developed enough to hear. Talking to the womb in this stage only helps you and your spouse feel closer to the baby. However, between weeks 12 and 16 your baby will have nearly fully developed ears. Everything going on around you can be heard by your baby.

Even though your baby can hear, the amniotic fluid muffles sound. Anything that seems slightly loud to you will be heard by your baby in much softer tones. So you don’t need to worry about loud noises affecting the baby. But if you yell too loudly, a child throws a temper tantrum, or the music is too loud, your baby will let you know through the womb. He or she will likely kick repeatedly and move around a lot because the noise is uncomfortable and unfamiliar.

Playing music to your stomach is sometimes thought to develop the brain, much as is believed about infants through toddlers. However, there is no evidence that this is true for fetuses. The baby may even become overly active when you play music to your stomach, letting you know that they do or don’t like it. Of course, knowing which is the case is impossible, but after a while that kicking will get on your nerves.

The most important thing to do once your baby can hear is to speak to your baby. You will be able to develop bonds closer than the already internal bond mother and child have. Your spouse will also be able to develop a bond with the baby in this manner. To even further the family experience, you can even have other children get involved with talking to the baby.

It is fairly easy to tell when your baby can hear you talking. Your baby may not show any signs of your voice throughout the day. But if you sit in a quiet room with no other sounds and talk to your baby, you will likely feel at least slight movement, if not a kick, in response to your voice. This is also true for the father, who can talk directly to your stomach with one hand resting on it, and feel the baby kick in response to his voice.

There is other evidence that the baby is listening within the womb that is evident after the baby is born. The infant will immediately recognize that he or she belongs with mom, dad, and siblings, because the voices will be familiar to them. If you played loud music during your pregnancy or had older siblings throwing fits during the pregnancy, this noise will likely do little to effect the baby’s sleeping because he or she is already used to that environment.

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