If you're like most moms-to-be, then you've spent a fair amount of time with your head hunched over, talking to your baby in the womb as if he or she were already here. And chances are you've felt a little bit crazy or even embarrassed for doing it when someone catches you, right?
As it turns out, you're way ahead of the curve as far as getting a jump start on your newborn's learning, because a new study shows that babies hear and learn from their mother's voice in utero.
During the last 10 weeks of pregnancy, babies start absorbing language, and that's why they are able to tell the difference between their mother's spoken language and other foreign languages just hours after they are born.
The mother's voice gets amplified by her body, which is how the baby is able to hear her. Pretty cool, huh?
Although, there is some disappointing news. The author of the study, Patricia K. Kuhl, PhD, says that the baby cannot hear other voices, like dad's. (Aww.) She also adds, "Mothers shouldn't try putting earphones on their bellies and playing music because it's already noisy in there. Learning the mother's voice and her vowels happens naturally as the mothers speak."
When I was pregnant with my son, I never went so far as to put earphones around my belly, but I did play music occasionally, and I talked to him all the time. And when I say all the time, I mean ALL the time. I told him all about whatever I was doing during my day, how I couldn't wait to meet him, and I told him about various family members and friends I couldn't wait to introduce him to.
And as weird as it sounds, right after he was born and the doctor placed him in my arms, he looked at me with his eyes open wide almost as if to say, "Hey, lady. I know you."
I mean, I can't really say for sure whether or not he recognized me by the sound of my voice, but it's sure nice to think that we shared an early connection right from the start.
That being said -- talk to your babies, moms-to-be! And don't be the least bit fazed by people giving you strange looks or wondering who in the heck you are talking to. Your little one can hear you, and he/she is listening, and that's all that matters.
Have you been talking to your baby throughout your pregnancy?
Image via abbybatchelder/Flickr