Archive | October, 2012

It’s Never Too Early To Start Reading…

23 Oct


Reading to a baby in the womb may have a positive effect on fetal development.  According to the National Institutes of Health, prenatal enrichment includes stimulating the baby in utero through singing, reading and talking.  Although parents may be interested in this kind of stimulation in order to enhance a baby’s intellectual development, the best benefit may be the mother’s sense of calm while reading. Other benefits include bonding between the baby and mother, as well as the baby’s ability to recognize the mother’s voice prenatally.  One great blog, The Reading Womb,, is all about the benefits of prenatal literacy. 

You might be wondering…

When can a baby start to hear in the womb?  Most research says that babies hear inside the womb at about 17-18 weeks and are hearing things outside the womb around 24 or 25 weeks, as their ears and hearing become structurally complete.  

Does playing music (or reading Shakespeare) make you baby smarter? Most doctors would say this theory is highly exaggerated, and that there is no solid evidence.  Some experts are concerned that using speakers on or close to your belly could disrupt natural sleep and growth patterns.

What should I read to my baby? Anything! It’s less about the context of the book, and more about the voice, tone and rhythm. Try reading different kinds of material aloud and see what suits you.  Poetry, novels, even the phone book (do they still exist?) will give you time to relax and allow the baby to hear your voice.  When an expectant mother’s heartbeat and breathing slow down it has positive effect on the baby’s growth and development.