Talking To Your Belly Can Help Shape Your Baby’s Brain So Get To Yammering
This is some cool research right here! Scientists in Helsinki in the Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Scientists have proven that pregnant women who coo and read and yammer to their bellies are going to give birth to babies who actually can recognize sounds and words. So mamas, you need to look down and start saying “Go clean up your room” over and over again in preparation of your child being born. Researchers in Finland studied 33-moms-to-be and according to Today.com:
While pregnant, 17 mothers listened at a loud volume to a CD with two, four minute sequences of made-up words (“tatata” or “tatota”, said several different ways and with different pitches) from week 29 until birth.
The moms and babies heard the nonsense words about 50 to 71 times. Following birth, the researchers tested the all 33 babies for normal hearing and then performed an EEG (electroencephalograph) brain scan to see if the newborns responded differently to the made-up words and different pitches.
Babies who listened to the CD in utero recognized the made-up words and noticed the pitch changes, which the infants who did not hear the CD did not, the researchers found.
So science is totally vindicating those of us who felt sort of dumb while talking out loud to these humans growing inside of us. It makes sense, because everyone knows that babies recognize the sounds of their mom’s voice after they are born, but to discover they can recognize actual words is super interesting. According to the article, this suggests that in utero babies can learn and remember just as well as a newborn.
I’m trying to think of what could be a cool repetitive word or phrase to repeat to a baby. I guess if you picked out their name before they were born you could start repeating it to them, or maybe “I love you” or if you wanna get started on the toddler years early just repeating “No” over and over again. Or if they will have an older sibling who could start cooing to them now then maybe they would argue less when the baby is older and starts breaking their toys. But at the very least, reading aloud or cooing to your belly is preparing your baby to be familiar with words when they are born.