Is it true that there are benefits to having your baby listen to soothing music while in the womb?
Great question! In fact, there has been quite a bit of research showing benefits of playing music for babies while they are in the womb. Some studies have shown that there's a potential for babies to be born with a greater sense of confidence and relaxation after birth if they've had prenatal stimulation.
Put simply, prenatal stimulation includes a variety of methods that use stimuli to communicate with a developing baby in the womb. Common techniques include using sounds -- such as a mother's voice or music -- movement, pressure, vibrations and light. Active participation in prenatal stimulation will help your baby to recognize and respond to different stimuli, which, in turn, helps his physical, mental and sensory development. These exercises may help your baby to develop a relationship with you more quickly, through movement in the womb and by developing her memory to recognize your voice.
After about six months, your baby is starting to learn her internal environment. By this time, her hearing is fully developed and she can begin hearing the sounds of the external environment. At this early stage of development, you can influence your baby's first sounds through speaking and singing to your baby as well as playing music.
So what is the right music you should play for your baby? What type do you choose and are there types of music to avoid? The truth is, most anything goes. Some babies respond to the rhythms and harmonies of classical and jazz music, while others respond to the beats and bass of contemporary pop or rock and roll. This means you can vary the music you play. Most pediatricians will agree that a diverse range of music is fine for a baby and some would even go further, to say that music while in the womb can be useful for your baby's future language, reading and writing skills. On the other hand, there are those who say that there is no direct correlation or firm evidence linking such benefits to your baby's development or that he will score at a higher intelligence level. But one thing's for sure: Even if it turns out that it doesn't help, it certainly won't hurt!
One thing to keep in mind is that it's best to avoid over-stimulating your baby by constantly playing music. Consider playing music when you're resting or taking a nap; this way, you can both benefit and truly enjoy a special bonding moment.