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Connect with your unborn

Benefits of talking to your unborn baby

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Talking to your unborn baby! How and why?

Motherhood is a beautiful, life-long affair that will bring light and joy into your life. In the nine months where your baby slowly matures in the comfort of your womb, you will experience and observe daily changes and growth. As your baby continues to develop, the sounds from the surroundings of the womb will create a familiar environment for the baby. About 25 weeks into the pregnancy, babies will begin to interact with these noises through increased movements or giving kicks and nudges as their brains become capable of processing and hearing sounds.

As agreed upon by many mothers, a kick from your baby in response to your voice is one of the most exciting things in the world. Your baby bump is likely to already be showing and you probably can’t wait for your child to be born. At this stage, you’re likely to have heard of parents talking to their unborn babies and may be wondering what effects that could possibly bring. Pre-birth bonding can be instrumental in forming a connection with your baby and helping you ease into motherhood. As one of the most popular methods being adopted for early bonding, interaction has been scientifically proven to bring about a plethora of benefits for your little angel.

Early Language Development

Speaking and interacting with your bump in the third trimester of pregnancy has been found to soothe your baby, with contemporary studies showing that unborn babies are able to form memories and remember what they hear inside the womb. Thus, you can create a calming effect on them by exposing them to familiar songs. Babies are able to calm down and experience a lowered heart rate after hearing your voice, which can be instrumental in the formation of primary bonds between you and your child; your voice is naturally being associated with that of a soothing presence.

Interestingly, scientists have discovered that unborn babies are able to respond positively to distinct word patterns such as nursery rhymes, with the effectiveness of their response increasing with the familiarity of the rhymes. Hence, feel free to put on tunes such as You Are My Sunshine or Happy to brighten up your lovely little one’s day. Apart from experiencing physiological changes, babies are capable of remembering what they hear, which can serve as important stepping stones for their language development.

Additionally, speaking to your unborn baby can allow them to become exposed to languages, which will become extremely beneficial for the development of speech when they are born. This is because, while babies typically begin to respond to words and phrases at an age of six months, your baby can show signs of understanding language earlier if they’re spoken to in the womb. Differences have been found between babies spoken to in the womb compared to those not having been spoken to, whereby the former group of babies are able to earlier recognize the unique characteristics and features of a language much quicker.

Enhancing your little one’s sense of hearing

The sense of hearing is developed through a few stages during the pregnancy term, where the cochlea – which are responsible for the translation of soundwaves – are fully formed by the 15th week of pregnancy and become fully developed by 20 weeks. The sound transmitters in the cochlea then eventually connect to the brain between weeks 24 and 30, which allows your baby’s brain to process sound and begin ‘hearing’. While your baby will not start hearing you until the third trimester, they will already be exploring what life has to offer inside the womb through his senses of smell and touch. Interacting with your bump will introduce them to the outside world and to your voice, which they will get accustomed to and grow to love inside the womb.

Scientifically

As your baby’s hearing is developed, the sounds that they will be hearing the most would probably be that of the inner workings of your body: your heartbeat, entry of air into your lungs, and the gurgles of your digestive system. Your voice will become the most distinct and familiar sound that they will hear in the womb. Furthermore, they will also be able to hear sounds that are emitted close to the womb, which can expose your little one to the happenings of your daily life.

They can become acquainted with sounds such as your favorite music and the individual voices of other members of the family. Among all, your voice will be the most soothing and familiar. The effect of your voice will last throughout their growing years, as they find solace in you primarily when in need of support and are. During birth, your baby will need time to adjust to their new surroundings; being in an environment of familiar voices will help them adapt even quicker.

Your angel’s first memories

Studies have shown that, through talking to your bump, you can create your baby’s very first memories. When observing fetal heart rates, the babies in their mother’s wombs were found to respond in a different manner when exposed to the same stories and songs over and over again as compared to when they hear something new. Their heart rates start to relax when hearing content that they recognize, thus helping them to calm down and reduce anxiety.

Memories of babies were found to be exceptional, as they were found to remember words spoken from the outside world even after weeks have passed between readings. The findings became more peculiar, as similar reactions were observed even when a different person read the same stories to them. After being born, the babies could still retain memories of these familiar stories and reacted positively to them, as they did in the womb. Thus, by constantly reading or singing to your bump, their very first memories will be formed.

How you can start talking to your baby effectively

As you settle into the third trimester of your pregnancy, you can create a collection of you and your partner’s preferred stories; set aside some time to talk to your baby bump at least once a day to help with their development. A great way to do this is to create a comfortable space where you can thoroughly relax and enjoy time with your little one. It’s also extremely important to reduce stress as much as possible, as stress can have a negative impact on your baby’s immunity. Hence, reading time can be a stress-reliever for you as well.

During the interaction with your baby, you can try to take note of any different behaviors exhibited by your baby. A typical response of babies reacting to your voice is a notable decrease in movement in the womb, as they become calmer and less restless than before. Get your family to join in to talk to your baby as well, where you may just see the baby responding differently to each and every unique voice heard.  One of the best tips provided by other parents is to decide on a name for the baby or use a placeholder name for the bump. This will allow you to speak more naturally, which creates a much more fulfilling and smooth interaction with your bump.

Other ways of interacting with your bump

Some mothers may find it awkward and unusual to talk to their bumps, as there’s no visual response unlike typical conversations. There are also other ways of ‘talking’ to your bump and interacting with your baby. For instance, instead of perceiving it as talking to your baby, you can regard the act as reading aloud. When you’re reading articles, poems, forums posts, or social media texts, you can read the words out loud. This can be done at any time of the day and is a very convenient method of introducing your baby to your voice; they will be able to hear you and become acquainted with the language and vocabulary you use. This aids in their future development.

An all-time favourite: singing

You can also play music and allow your baby to listen along with you. Experts recommend that the music should be played sufficiently loud, such that the baby can hear the music but are not startled by the loudness of the song at the same time. Mothers who expose their children to music have commented that their babies respond differently in terms of the way they move in the womb to different genres of music. The consensus of researchers is that babies typically prefer classical music, with pieces by Mozart being found to be the most effective in eliciting a positive response. Traditional world music came in second in terms of causing the greatest reaction and can be used for your baby as well.

For a more personal touch from you and your partner, you can sing a song to your bump together. The most popular songs sung to babies are nursery rhymes and lullabies. You can even sing them your personal favorites so they will know what mommy’s favorite songs are! This also provides an additional opportunity for the baby to hear your unique voice again and recognize what you sound like.

Read the article Sing for your unborn baby

Creating a connection with your baby

Apart from developmental benefits, talking to your little one can aid in creating a bond between you and your baby. This is very important for the baby’s development after being born, as the baby will feel safe in an environment of familiar faces and voices where they know that they’ll be protected. When babies knows that they’re being well taken care of, they will be able to lower their guard and fully devote themselves towards exploring and learning about the new world around them. Being able to engage with the outside world without fear of danger or uncertainty will help babies to develop faster and fuller, allowing them to grow up more healthily.

It’s also common for mothers to be uncertain about their bonds with their baby. Some mothers may feel detached or some may feel awkward about creating an attachment with their baby. Pregnancy can create anxiety and an agglomeration of feelings that will leave you confused sometimes. You may not have an instant connection with your baby, but the daily interactions with your bump will help greatly in building up a strong bond which will only be intensified once they’re born.

If you worry

Some new mothers may also worry about not feeling like they have the parental instinct that’s widely referred to or brought up in popular culture. Unfortunately, you cannot learn how to be a parent from anyone else. You will develop parenting skills and instincts through the upbringing of your child; you can get a head start on the building up of these skills by talking to your bump. It will help for both parents to also get a deeper look into themselves and allow them to ponder whether they have been taking actions in the best interests of the baby. For example, you can take the time to see if you’ve been eating well or sleeping well and consider making a change to your lifestyle for the benefit of your baby. Ultimately, the actions you take will define the types of parents that you will be and will steer you towards becoming loving parents.

Conclusion

To conclude, your baby – which is almost ready to be introduced into the outside world -already has a fully developed sense of hearing that can allow them to respond to sounds from outside the womb. Any form of sound interaction between the baby and the people on the outside of the womb will provide huge benefits in terms of early development and the formation of bonds. As such, interact with your baby as much as possible and, before you know it, your baby will be born into a world of love and care. Then, you will embark on a whole new journey of motherhood that will be truly rewarding and filled with happiness.

Categories
Connect with your unborn

Sing to your unborn baby

Table of Contents

What experiences are there from parents who sing for their unborn babies, premature babies, and infants right after birth?

That’s what this article is about.

Babies and lullabies

Parents have been singing lullabies for their babies since the beginning of time. Has there ever been a culture without a set of lullabies that have been passed down over several generations?

They aim to soothe the babies, make them feel safe, comfort them when they are unhappy, make them fall asleep. These songs can make a bigger difference in both parents and children’s lives, than many people think.

But singing lullabies for babies…. before they are born?

We have long known that the fetus can hear clearly several months before birth, can distinguish between sounds, and even develop preferences for certain sounds and voices. For example, a newborn prefers her parents’ voices over a stranger’s.

How do we know? Well, a newborn will provenly be calmed by a familiar voice and orientate towards it.

Even complicated communication, such as music or a story, that is repeated to the fetus, will be recognized and adored by the child after birth.

Penny Simkin explains her experience: “There was one couple whom I served as a birth doula, who took my suggestion (to sing to the fetus) to another level, and showed me much more about the value of singing to the unborn baby. They were having their second child, hoping for a VBAC. When they discovered that they were having a boy, they decided to give their baby the song, “Here Comes the Sun” and sang it to him often during pregnancy. The VBAC was not possible, and as the cesarean was underway, and the baby boy, crying lustily, was raised for the parents to see, the father began belting out the baby’s song. Although the mother did not have a strong voice under the circumstances, she also sang. The baby turned his head, turned his face right towards his father and calmed down while his father sang. Time stopped. As I looked around the operating room, I saw tears appear on the surgical masks.”

This experience shows us that singing before birth is not only beneficial, but singing the same song repeatedly actually does something for the fetus.

It makes sense, seen from the baby’s perspective.

Imagine being ripped out of your warm, humid home, where the sound of your mother’s heartbeat has been a faithful companion all your life. Out to an overly bright, too cold room, with hands grabbing you, betting you, pulling you, and lifting you up. The sensory impressions are overwhelming.

But then you suddenly hear a familiar sound amidst all the confusion. A tune, and words you’ve heard many times before. This feeling is reassuring, and you are automatically comforted by and drawn to it.

Indeed, singing to your unborn child is thus a simple and practical measure that can later soothe the child, comfort and put it to sleep, but also create a unique and lifelong bond between you.

How to sing lullabies to your unborn

  1. Choose a song that you like and that is easy to sing. It may be a lullaby or children’s song, but not necessarily. It can also simply be your own favorite song. The most important thing is that it makes you happy and radiate positive emotions, because your baby will sense them.
  2. Sing the song every day. Both parents can sing together, but it is beneficial that you also sing separately so that the fetus can notice your individual voices. You can also use an instrument, but most often the song must be the voice alone.
  3. Once your baby is born you can sing for her. She may lie in your arms, or in someone else’s, or in the incubator if she is born prematurely.
  4. If she cries you can sing close to her, or loud enough for her to hear you.
  5. Keep singing the song every day, especially when your baby is crying.
  6. Sing it when you change or bathe her, when you comfort her, or say goodnight to her.
  7. Sing it when your baby is angry and you can’t pick her up, for example if you are driving and can’t stop. Or if a doctor must do something unpleasant to her.

Conclusion

If you have one or more songs you sing repeatedly to your child both before and after birth, you will have the opportunity to create a bond that will last the rest of your life, an opportunity that will never present itself the same way again.

The soothing effect of your voice will always lie so deep in the child that your relationship will be unbreakable.

If you have any experience with this, good ideas or comments, feel free to write us below.

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