There are many parents who make their babies listen to music from pregnancy, either through the belly or through intravaginal devices, but can the baby listen to music inside the uterus, from when, how does he perceive it?
From 16 weeks of gestation babies can begin to hear sounds inside the womb. They begin as sound waves like whispers that the baby receives through the amniotic fluid that surrounds him in the uterus, and as the weeks of pregnancy pass and the sense of hearing develops, the baby’s sensitivity to sound improves.
Musical stimuli for the baby
As the weeks go by, the baby internalizes these sounds coming from outside and from week 29 onwards, it begins to distinguish the highest sounds, such as the crying of a child or the alarm of a car.
But in addition, the baby responds in some way to the sound stimuli that reach his ears in formation. Babies who listen to music in the womb through an intravaginal device have been shown to react by gesturing.
70 percent of fetuses move their mouth when they receive the sound of a human voice, and 87 percent also move their tongue if what they hear is music, according to a study by the Institut Marqués de Barcelona published in the journal ” Ultrasound ” of the British Medical Ultrasound Society (BMUS).
Experts point out that this activates areas of the brain related to communication and language acquisition. However, they point out that the baby cannot hear outside sounds that come through the tummy. It is estimated that they reach it, more or less, about 20 decibels less than what happens outside.
But the studies are contradictory and do not quite clarify what and how the baby hears in the womb. Since, on the other hand, a research carried out by the University of Helsinki indicates that the baby can recognize months after birth a lullaby that he has heard in the womb, which could contribute to the subsequent development of speech.
They also noticed that babies who listened to a song repeatedly while in the womb seemed to calm down when the same song was played after birth.
Whether you can hear music outside or not, any activity in which mother and baby relax and enjoy has a positive effect on both of them. Also, if the mother sings while listening to music, her baby will hear her voice and become familiar with its sound and melodies.
What kind of music to put on it?
When it comes to putting music to the baby, what kind of melodies are the most stimulating?
The Institut Marqués study analyzed fetal facial expression in response to the intravaginal emission of different types of music, in which it compared the reactions of fetuses when they heard music such as rancheras, tribal music, classical or rock and pop songs.
He revealed that the melodies that most stimulate babies are classical music and traditional baby songs.
If you want to start from today, here is a list of Spotify with 101 songs to put your baby to sleep: classical music, instrumental versions of modern songs and much more.
In Babies and more | Talking to the tummy during pregnancy is good (even if the baby can’t hear you)