Did you know that baby’s ears are one of the first organs to develop in utero? By 24 weeks of pregnancy your baby can hear what is going on around her.
Exposing your baby to music in the womb is a wonderful thing to do and has many benefits!
How can playing music for my baby make a difference?
Research suggests that calm, soothing music played regularly during pregnancy is remembered by baby when he/she is born. This same music can have a calming effect and help baby settle more quickly once they are in the world – so that’s a win!
What kind of music should I play?
Gentle, melodic Classical music is thought to be the very best. This is because it is more complex than other genres. There are many instruments playing at once, there is also variety in pitch and rhythm. Researchers think that this complexity is what primes the brain to solve spatial problems more quickly.
However if you are not into this kind of music but would prefer to listen to Adele, Elton John or the Beatles – that’s cool too. Playing and listening to all kinds of music can encourage early brain development and help the brain make neural connections.
Anything that is gentle, soothing and calming will be helpful and even more so if you sing along! The very best sound is your voice. If you sing while you are listening, your baby hears your voice and becomes familiar with what you sound like and the melodies you enjoy.
How should I expose my baby to music?
Just playing the music on your sound system at a volume that suits you is all that you need to do. There is no need to crank it up, or put earphones over your belly. According to expert Dr. Janet Pietro from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore USA:
“People tend to turn up the sound because they think it needs to be loud to penetrate the abdomen…But amniotic fluid is actually a good conductor of sound.”
Whether you enjoy Brahm’s Lullaby or something more contemporary, it’s important to keep the volume at a comfortable level and not too loud. Gentle, soothing and calming is the way to go!
Any healthy activity that you enjoy or find relaxing while you are pregnant will have a positive effect on your baby:
“When a woman relaxes, that’s good for the foetus and that’s an indirect effect of music on the foetus”. Dr Janet Pietro
Links to articles about playing music to your baby in utero: