… or what do reading books and listening to music have in common with your baby’s development.
Many pregnant women speak to their bellies from the beginning of pregnancy. This way, they establish the first contact with the baby developing in their womb. These and other mothers-to-be, as well as fathers-to-be, read fairy tales or play music for the belly. But can the baby hear those sounds?
BABY’S EAR DEVELOPMENT
The auditory vesicles in the foetus form as early as in the 4th week after conception and the baby’s ears become visible in approx. the 7th week of pregnancy. The shape of the outer ear (or pinna) is inherited from a father and a mother, and is unique for each person. Slightly later, around the 14th week of pregnancy, the baby’s hearing system develops, and the first sounds are perceived by the baby around the 4th-5th month of pregnancy. Until that point, music and reading are pleasant activities for the mum, which translate into harmonious functioning of her body and peace of mind. The mother’s comfort has a positive effect on the baby’s wellbeing and its proper development. When the baby can hear us very well, there are numerous benefits offered by adequate sound stimulation.
MUSIC FOR THE BELLY
Babies in their mother’s belly react to sounds which either sooth or enliven them. Usually, they prefer low sounds so the favourite musical instruments amongst the little music enthusiasts include the bassoon and the cello. From the perspective of proper functioning of the foetus’s brain waves and heart, a stimulating effect is exerted by classical music.
READING, TELLING TALES …
An interesting experiment was carried out by A. de Casper. In the last trimester of pregnancy, 16 women were reading the same fairy-tale out loud to their babies twice a day. It turned out that 13 babies recognised the fairy tale they had heard in the belly, which they manifested through changed intensity of dummy sucking.
“MOZART’S EFFECT” – children develop better while listening
Scientific reports prove that stimulation through sounds and music has an effect on the development of the baby’s nervous system in the mother’s womb. The baby’s brain learns to receive and process the sounds it hears. Music sounds stimulate hearing, so the baby is born with more nerve cells. The more sounds the baby hears, the better its hearing develops and the easier it learns to speak. Additionally, such children are more successful at school – by being more creative and emotionally mature.
SMART TRICKS WILL BEAR FRUIT IN THE FUTURE
During pregnancy, you can influence your baby’s behaviour in the future. By playing the same music theme to your baby, you teach it how to recognise it. It is also worth trying to sing one favourite lullaby to the belly or read out loud the same fairy tale over and over again. These simple and, at the same time, pleasant activities will make it possible for you to use the familiar sounds in the future to calm your baby down.
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