When you’re pregnant, you can’t help but wonder what kinds of things your baby is experiencing.
One of the most common questions parents-to-be ask is: When can my baby hear my voice?
The answer might be earlier than you think and it’s never too early to start talking to them. In fact, there are many benefits to talking to your baby while they’re still in utero.
So, if you’re curious about what baby your baby can hear inside the womb, you’ve come to the right place! We’ll tell you everything you need to know about their tiny ears and how they develop.
Plus, do they like music? Are they affected by loud arguments?
We answer these questions and more, but let’s first find out how your baby’s ears and hearing develop inside the womb.
How Your Baby’s Ears And Hearing Develops
According to BabyCenter…
5 weeks: Baby’s inner ear starts to develop
12 weeks: Baby’s middle ear is beginning to form. The cochlea, which is in this area, is also forming. The cochlea is responsible for processing sound and converting it into electrical signals that travel to the brain.
16-22 weeks: Your baby’s ears are starting to connect to their brain, so they can begin listening to the sounds going on inside your body. They can now hear your heart beating, your tummy rumbling, and even the sound of your voice!
23 weeks: This is a big milestone for your baby, who is now able to hear sounds from the outside world; such as a dog barking or a car engine starting up.
26 weeks: Now it gets even more exciting for you and your baby because they are now able to hear a much broader range of sounds AND will also begin responding to sounds outside the womb. This would be a great time to start playing music or singing for them regularly. When a loud noise occurs, your baby might even startle and you may feel them move in response.
32-35 weeks: At this point, your baby’s ears are fully formed, but their brain hasn’t yet developed the ability to interpret sound signals into words. Instead, they use these sounds as an opportunity to practice listening and responding—in other words, they’re getting ready for life outside the womb!
So When Can Baby Hear You?
It’s so exciting to think that from as early as 16 weeks, your baby can hear the sound of your voice and get to know you.
And, it’s no surprise that the clearest voice a baby can hear is yours. In fact, studies show that a foetus’s heart rate increases after hearing its mother’s voice; this means they become more alert and curious (aww).
Research even shows that babies begin learning language from their mothers while in the womb. They are listening to their mothers talk during the last 10 weeks of pregnancy and at birth can demonstrate what they’ve heard.
Even more magical, researchers found that these unborn babies are actually able to distinguish between different languages.
In other words: It’s time to start talking to your bump! It will help them prepare for life outside of the womb by getting familiar with sounds like yours and those around them.
The Benefits Of Talking To Your Baby Bump
The choice to talk to your bump is a matter of personal preference, not a requirement. But, it could bring benefits to both you and the baby.
Most importantly, it’s a great way of communicating with the tiny person growing inside you and it can help you feel connected to them, even before they pop out of there. Plus the more they get used to hearing your voice the sooner they’ll recognise it as a source of comfort and security. This could help make their transition into the real world a bit less scary for both of you!
It can also help you stay more in touch with your new pregnant body. If you constantly communicate with your baby, you’ll get to know the sounds and movements they normally respond to and how often. Then you’ll be able to notice sooner when something isn’t right. Always seek advice straight away if you suspect a change in your baby’s movements. It can be a sign something serious is going on.
Lastly, if you find yourself with a lot on your mind, talking to your belly can help to reduce stress and improve mental health. And when mummy feels good, baby feels good! So anything that helps reduce stress is beneficial for both parties.
If talking to your belly makes you feel more positive, relaxed, or even excited about being pregnant – then keep doing it! If not – don’t worry about it! It’s all about what works best for YOU!
How Loud Is Too Loud?
So talking to your baby and getting them used to noises is good, but how loud is too loud?
Can loud noises really hurt your baby?
The answer is… unlikely.
You see, your baby is protected by the amniotic fluid that surrounds it. And while this isn’t guaranteed protection against damage, it does help to lessen the impact of loud noise on your little one.
That said, you should still take precautions when possible. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and HealthTrusted Source, researchers are unsure of what noise levels are safe for a developing foetus.
They recommend that pregnant women avoid very loud situations — anything louder than 115 decibels, which is about as loud as a chainsaw — as much as possible.
If you are planning to go somewhere where you think the noise level might be too high, ask your midwife or a health professional for advice first.
While excessively loud sounds could potentially cause harm to your baby, softer sounds might actually provide some benefit.
Listening to music at a volume of 70 decibels or lower can help both mother and baby feel relaxed. These lower decibel levels are not high enough to cause damage, but they are still loud enough to stimulate your new-born’s auditory system.
The Top 3 Benefits Of Playing Music To Baby In Womb
Music has a magical effect on the human brain. It can change your mood, make you feel happy or calm, and even make you more productive. But did you know that music can also make an impact on your baby’s brain?
Here are 3 benefits of playing music to a baby in the womb:
- Its ability to improve brain development. The American Academy of Paediatrics recommends that parents expose their children to music at an early age. Research shows that playing music causes certain areas of the baby’s brain to grow and develop, such as those involved in language acquisition and memory skills.
- More Sleep: Another benefit to playing music for your baby during pregnancy is its calming effect. It has been shown that babies who listen to soft music or classical music in utero sleep better than those who do not listen to any type of sound at all before birth
- It Builds Bonds: Listening to music together is one of the earliest shared experiences you can have with your baby! So don’t be afraid to play yourself and bump some tunes while you’re expecting!
If you like to sing or play an instrument, that’s great! And a meaningful way to expose your child to music. But if not, simply listen to a song or playlist together from Spotify or YouTube and get in the groove.
You could also use baby-safe clip-on headphones and give them their own private concert. Just be sure not to use normal headphones these may not be safe for your bump.
Research shows that babies actually prefer classical music to pop, and, that babies exposed to Mozart while still in the womb have higher IQs later on in life than babies who weren’t exposed to any music at all!
So keep it calm!
It’s no secret that babies can hear a lot of what goes on around them from around 20 weeks, and this means they can hear arguments too!
But, it’s not the sound of an argument that is harmful to babies—it’s the stress and anger that comes with it. Stress hormones are released when you’re under pressure, and those hormones are transmitted through your bloodstream and placenta to your baby.
This can be hard to hear, overwhelming even, when your hormones are running wild in your body and making you feel less like yourself. Reassuringly, unless arguing and stress are frequent occurrences, it’s unlikely to affect the baby, however, If you find yourself arguing excessively with your partner or other loved ones during this time it might be worth speaking with a healthcare provider.
Some negative effects of arguing while pregnant include having an increased risk of:
-Infection due to lowered immunity
-Postpartum depression in mothers
-Less foetal movement
If you’re worried about how often you argue with your partner or spouse, consider taking some time off from the fights and getting some counselling to help you resolve your differences. You may find that it improves both your relationship and your baby’s well-being!
So, when can baby hear you?
The answer is “early on,” and then they are always listening in!
Now that you know the benefits of talking and playing music to your baby, it’s time to put it all into practice. We highly recommend These Specially designed Babybuds which can be positioned directly on to your Baby Bump, and allow you to play Music, Sounds and Voices to your developing Baby! This is particularly great if you want to familiarise them with a voice of a Long-distance Family member.
Thanks for reading & good luck on the rest of your pregnancy journey!