It’s hard to imagine that through all of those layers of skin, fluid and uterus walls that baby can hear the outside world. But from approximately 23 weeks, baby is able to hear to some degree. It may be muffled and distorted to begin with, but they will still be able to recognise your voice from this time.
As your unborn baby is unable to see or feel things outside the womb, then hearing is the only sense they can rely on for familiarity. You may find your newborn is more alert when they hear your voice, Daddy’s voice or a familiar piece of music.
What Can Baby Hear?
The sounds your baby will be most familiar with are the sounds your body makes, like your heartbeat, breathing noises or tummy gurgles. Your baby may find it soothing to lay on your chest close to your heart for that familiar rhythm. Also, gentle rhythmic patting of their bottom can help settle them as it mimics your heartbeat.
Your voice will be the thing that baby identifies with most. Some cultures believe that baby is given the ability to hear in the womb to begin forming the mother-baby bond before birth. Knowing your voice is the beginning of a strong bond.
Having a conversation
Some Mums get an overwhelming feeling of love for baby from the very first day they find out they are pregnant. Whereas some Mums find it a little harder to connect with their bump. Either way, talking to your bump is a fantastic way to connect.
I know it may sound a little odd, but the easiest way to start talking and communicating with your bump is to talk about what you are doing. “Come on baby, let’s go and get the plates for dinner.” Once you get more used to doing it you can talk to them about your day and your dreams for them. Make sure that the Baby-Daddy gets some bump talking time too, you want baby to recognise his voice too!
You don’t just need to use your words to communicate with baby. Often in the later stages of pregnancy, if you give your bump a rub then baby may move. Or if baby moves, you can rub your bump to let them know you are there.
Listening to Music
Your baby will actively be able to listen to music from 24 weeks old. Just as music affects our mood, it can affect baby’s mood as well. You can play gentle soothing music to calm baby. This is a really good training tool for when they are born. If you play gentle soothing music to your bump when you are wanting baby to be calm, like at sleep time, you can use this same piece of music for nap times for when they are older.
Your unborn baby will be able to sense your vibe on how you respond to music. So if you play music that you love and feel good about, then they will be able to sense that and love it too. Play all your favourites to baby, even if it is a diverse range.
Playing music regularly in the womb can affect foetal brain development, reduce stress levels in pregnancy, and improve baby’s sleep habits after birth.
Do you, or did you talk to your bump? Did you play music for your unborn baby? Let us know in the comments below or over on our Facebook page.
Gemma is a kiwi Mum of one and is the Editor for The Baby View. She also works with preschool children, loves cooking, loves sunshine, loves chocolate and loses countless hours at a time looking at cute baby pictures on Instagram!