No doubt music is a mood enhancer. Hearing your favorite music whenever you feel down will surely lift your mind up a lot. But what about womb babies? Unborn babies have long been believed to be able to hear things like the fluid sounds in the womb and the pulsation of the heart of their mother. It is widely believed that the baby can also hear external sounds like the voice of the mother, music, and other loud noises during the second trimester.
Does listening to music affect the development of the fetus?
Research has continued to determine whether playing baby pregnancy music has an effect on the development of the fetus. Some studies say the fetus reacts to hearing sounds, but the difficulty of observing an unborn baby has made it difficult to find conclusive evidence. A study published in the Public Science Library (PLoS) does indicate that while in the womb, babies become familiar with external sounds. It claims that babies who heard a certain song in their womb seemed to relax after hearing the same song after they were born.
When can music be heard by an unborn baby?
Unborn babies are believed to be able to hear music in the second trimester, but only in the third trimester, they begin to respond to noises and sounds. Baby’s ear formation starts as early as nine weeks of pregnancy. By eighteen weeks, babies begin hearing, and from this point on their sensitivity to sound begins to improve every day. If you are pregnant for about 25 to 26 weeks, your baby will probably begin to respond to external sounds and noises. Your baby will be so familiar with your voice by the third trimester that he or she immediately recognizes it.
How to Play Music for Unborn Child?
For your unborn baby, the best way to play music is to connect your audio device to some speakers while you are doing your chores. Using headphones on your belly could cause the baby to be over-stimulated as the music is too close and loud. Amniotic fluid, unlike popular belief, does not muffle the sound. So, if you have to use headphones, make sure you do it every day for only a short time.
Advantages of listening to music during pregnancy
Nothing can doubt that music is enhancing and encourages you at any time despite the lack of concrete evidence to support the benefits of playing music during pregnancy. The resulting positive vibes will also be passed on to your baby. Here are a few other potential benefits of listening to music during pregnancy:
- Hones auditory senses: Music appears to be your baby’s rhythmic sound waves. The baby focuses on these and, while improving reflexes, this stimulates cognitive abilities and auditory senses.
- Eases stress: when stressed or anxious, music relaxes you and calms you down. This, in turn, also calms and soothes your baby. Therefore, it is an effective way to manage stress during pregnancy.
- Promotes personality development: The type of music you listen to during pregnancy is believed to be able to help formulate your child’s personality as he or she grows up. So, soothing music could encourage a calm and quiet attitude, while loud music could bring aggressive features to the fore.
- After birth lullaby: Researchers believe that their acquaintance with a certain tuning or music remains with the baby after birth and may be helpful in trying to calm your child.
How Much Music Should You Make Your Unborn Baby Listen?
Like everything else, too much is not good for pregnant women when it comes to music. Make sure you don’t use them for more than one or two hours each day when using headphones to enjoy your favorite music. And if you like placing your headphones on your belly, then be sure to do it for just five to ten minutes at a time and not over an hour or so throughout the day. If you play music on a speaker, you can do it at a normal volume and not at a high throughout the day. It is important to remember that at regular intervals your baby needs to sleep and rest. So, you could cause an interruption in the sleep patterns of your unborn child by playing too much music.
If the music is too loud, how do you know?
Anything over 80 decibels, like the sound of a ringing phone or a toilet flush, is likely to be too loud. It is best to keep the volume around 60 decibels if you play music for a long time. Loud noises can startle unborn babies, and when this happens, you will feel your baby jerk inside the womb. An occasional loud noise or a rock concert won’t harm your baby. But consistent music exposure in excess of 70 decibels can adversely affect the baby and you. It can cause you to develop hypertension while slowing down the motor skills and learning abilities of your baby.
Mozart Effect Music
There is a theory that listening to Amadeus Mozart’s music can have a positive effect on intelligence even before birth as it increases brain neuronal pathways. Frances Rauscher and some other contemporary scientists pioneered this theory in the 1990s. It postulates that those who listen to Classical Era and Baroque music in the womb are more inclined towards music as they are.
Tips For Musical Nourishment of Your Baby
Whether music helps to increase the IQ levels of your baby or not, you can always create a musical environment for your unborn baby.
- Choose soothing music: It’s good for both you and the baby to relax with some soothing music. Keep the volume low and avoid loud music that can be harmful rather than good.
- Get the family to join: Ask your partner and other family members to speak and sing regularly to the baby as well. Their voices after birth will sound familiar to your baby.
- Mixing music styles: Expose your child to various music styles to make it an eclectic mix – from reggae to salsa to classical.
- Singing or hum: Make it a point for your baby to sing or hum frequently. To do that, you don’t have to be a great singer. Just listening to your voice will relax and make your baby calm.
Remember that you only bind your baby to the time of pregnancy. After birth, your baby will be known to the whole family and relatives or friends. Spending some truly quiet musical time with your baby will also be difficult for you. So, while it lasts, make the best use of the opportunity.
The key is moderation, and you can ensure you’re well – being as well as that of your child by listening to music that you love for short periods of time throughout the day.