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.
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.