Can unborn babies hear in the womb?

Knowing your baby can hear you is pretty amazing.

You’re pregnant and creating a new life, and as your belly starts to bump and your baby grows inside you, you might wonder if they can hear the world around them, especially your voice.

The answer is yes but with a little twist. Your baby’s hearing develops gradually throughout pregnancy, and it’s not quite the same as how we hear as adults.

Early days

When does your unborn baby start hearing? [Netmums]

In the first few weeks of pregnancy, your baby is still a tiny little cluster of cells. Their ears haven’t even started to form yet. But that doesn’t mean they can’t sense anything. By around 8 to 10 weeks, your baby can start to feel vibrations. This includes your heartbeat, which is a constant, comforting rhythm for them.

Around 16 weeks, a muffled world begins

Here comes the exciting part. By around 16 to 22 weeks, your baby’s ears are starting to take shape.

Your baby starts to hear more around 16 weeks [FirsstCryParenting]

They can now detect some sounds, but it’s a muffled world compared to what we hear. Imagine listening to your favourite music with earplugs on – that’s kind of what it’s like for your baby. They can hear low-pitched sounds best, like your booming voice or your partner’s deep rumble.

Mommy’s special song

One of the most amazing things about this time is that your baby can start to recognise your voice! Your voice travels through your body and reaches your baby muffled but clear. Research suggests that babies get used to the sound of their mom’s voice even before they’re born. So all that talking, singing, and storytelling you’re doing? Your baby might be listening!

The world gets louder from 23 weeks onwards

After 23 weeks, your baby’s hearing gets better and better. They can start to hear a wider range of sounds, including higher-pitched voices and even some noises from the outside world.

Your baby hears louder around 23 weeks [BabyCenter]

Loud noises might even startle your little one, and you might feel them jump or wiggle!

Debunking myths

There’s a cute idea that talking directly to your belly button allows your baby to hear you best. While sweet, sound doesn’t travel that way! Your baby hears you best through the vibrations in your body and the sounds that travel through your amniotic fluid (the liquid that surrounds your baby). So don’t worry about where you place your hand, all your loving words will reach your little one.

Building a bond through sound

Knowing your baby can hear you is pretty amazing, right? Here are some ways to use this special connection:

Talk and sing to your baby: It doesn’t matter what you say, the sound of your voice is comforting and familiar.

Talk and sing to your baby [BBC]

Play calming music: Soothing melodies can create a peaceful environment for your baby.Read stories aloud: Even though your baby might not understand the words yet, the rhythm and tone of your voice can be calming.

As your pregnancy progresses, your baby’s hearing continues to develop. By the time they’re born, they’ll be able to hear a wide range of sounds and will be ready to explore the noisy world around them.

This content was created with the help of an AI model and verified by the writer.

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