It may feel silly … but there are great benefits of talking to your unborn child.

At about 25–26 weeks of gestation your unborn baby’s hearing is developed and he starts to react to sounds. Initially you may not be conscious of many of these sounds he hears, such as your beating heart, your breathing, and even your rumbling stomach.  
Over the next month however, your baby will start to hear sounds from outside the womb – such as your voice. This early familiarity with your voice will aid bonding with your child, sooth and settle your new born and incredibly, aid language development long into childhood.

 

Talking to your baby in utero helps bonding.

Often parents worry about bonding, or forming an attachment with their baby. While your unborn baby will not be able to hear you prior to 30 weeks gestation, starting to talk, read or sing to him/her early will promote feelings of attachment and bonding for you.
After 30 weeks you baby will hear and learn to recognise and remember your voice. This will help him/her build a bond with you.  
A secure bond helps a baby feel safe and he or she can focus energy on exploration and development. Without a secure bond, a baby will focus energy and brain function on survival and safety.

Talking, singing and reading helps sooth your baby both before and after birth.

The sound of your voice has the most calming effect on your unborn child. One study found that babies respond to their mothers’ voices by slowing their movements, while another revealed that foetal and newborn heart rates decreased when their mothers spoke, suggesting the baby is relaxing. After your child is born, familiar voices which calmed and settled him or her in utero, will calm and settle.

This will help you both with sleep. A great reason why fathers should make the effort required to talk to and create a bond to their baby in utero.

It is a little harder for fathers to talk to the unborn child! An effort made to talk, sing or read to their child in utero will help fathers feel an attachment to their unborn child. It can also help to settle and calm a new born baby, and provide attachments for exploration and development.

Talking, singing and reading helps language development.

Studies have shown new born babies respond to speech in their native tongue, with increased brain activity.  When speech is played backwards, the pitch or vowel sounds are changed, or on hearing another language not heard frequently in utero, brain activity lessens.

Your unborn baby hears and remembers the patterns of your language, and even words used. Talking, singing and reading to your unborn child will support language development during infancy and childhood.

Try singing, reading favourite nursery rhymes, and children’s stories. If you feel very silly or uncomfortable with this– read a newspaper, work document or your current fiction! The exposure to the sound of reading and the patterns of your language will be extremely beneficial to language development regardless.

Start talking, singing and reading to your unborn baby! It will support bonding, aid soothing and settling of your infant and create a language base to build on.

 

 



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