Many studies show that reading (particularly from the mother’s relaxing voice) causes a baby’s fetal heart rate to drop. Also, the bond that is experienced between parent and child, later on, can start to occur while Mama or Papa read to the baby prenatally. Participation in reading is also a great way for other family members to connect with the baby.

Reading is one of the most vital talents a child needs in order to be successful in life. Books are one’s best friend and the early we inculcate this habit, it is excellent for the child.  Reading while pregnancy not only increases the knowledge but also helps in making the bond between the mother and the baby stronger. It also triggers better concentration, a good attention span, distressing the mother of her tensions, resulting in a smarter baby.

How Does Reading During Pregnancy Increase Baby’s Intelligence?

A baby’s nerve pathways in the ears and neural system in the brain start developing as early as the twenty-sixth week, which is when the baby will begin responding to sounds and voices regularly. Introducing music and words while your baby is still growing inside of you may increase your baby’s intelligence; many expectant parents can start talking to their babies in the womb, reading to them and playing soothing music to generate a response from their developing brains. Reading provides auditory stimulation for babies’ growing brains and can acclimate children to the sounds of their parents’ voices.

Why is it important to read to your baby?

As stated earlier reading comes with its own pack of benefits for a baby when stories, rhymes, and lullabies are read to her. However, a few points can be taken to notice which help in illustrating the importance of reading to a baby. Given below are few of them:

  • Reading to a baby helps in grasping the rare words thus increasing vocabulary.
  • Reading helps foster good attention span and also in memorizing.
  • Babies can easily understand the meanings of the word.
  • With reading, the closeness between the mother and the baby increases.
  • Babies already get used to reading and this love helps them with their learnings in the future.
  • Reading at an early age helps in brain development and speech improvement.
  • When rhymes and stories are read to a baby in a repetitive manner, it makes the process interactive and full of fun, making it easy for the baby to remember.

When should I start reading to my baby in the womb?

About six months along, a baby is already quite familiar with the sounds of the womb, from the mother’s heartbeat to digestive sounds. From outside the womb, sounds are extremely clear, although about 10 decibels lower. From week 25 forward, a baby’s primary connection and information to the outside world come in the form of sound. By this point, the soothing, rhythmic sounds of a simple story should be quite audible, although the tones and cadences of the voice are more important than enunciation of the actual words.  

Benefits of Reading to a Baby in the Womb?

As per researches, reading to your unborn is loaded with benefits for the mother-child duo. Some of the benefits are discussed as under:

  • Reduction of Maternal Stress and Anxiety- Reading to the baby helps in reducing prenatal stress and worries. A study shows that when a mother reads to a baby in the womb, the heart rate of the baby seems to drop and she calms down and shows less movement stating she is enjoying the read.
  • Improves Bonding Behaviour –The bond between mother and the baby becomes stronger by reading to the unborn baby as the baby starts getting familiar with the mother’s voice and can identify soft and loud tones of music. She feels more relaxed when soft music is played as it helps in resting due to its comforting quality just like a lullaby, whereas if the baby is sleepy and loud music is played, it in turns kicks as it dislikes it. Even the father by just participating in a reading activity, singing or talking to the baby will help in making the bond stronger.
  • Enhanced Concentration and Attention Span- Once the mother starts reading to the baby, they pick up the melody of the song, even though the words do not mean anything to them but they start identifying the voice of the mother. The child also tends to listen to it for a longer time resulting in increased attention span and concentration levels. Repetitive words also get stored in the memory of the unborn and this helps them further when they start their schooling.

Best Types of Books to Read During Pregnancy

Even though your baby can’t understand the real meaning behind the words he hears, he can pick up the rhythm and tone of the sentences and will respond to how the mother responds to whatever she reads. Reading thrillers or horror stories can raise stress levels in the pregnant mother, which can trigger an anxiety response in the baby. Selecting soothing, lighthearted and fun reading material is the best way to entertain your baby during pregnancy, and children’s books are a good resource for short stories that may benefit both the mother and the infant. Since babies typically have short attention spans, dividing reading sessions into small segments hold their attention long enough to derive the full benefit from this experience.

Thus, it can be seen that with an early start of reading to the baby far-reaching results are achieved. So it is best to kick start early for making the mother-baby bond stronger and helping the mother destress from maternal worries and stress. Finally to let the mother enjoy gradually along with the baby, relax, be calm and enjoy the enjoyable moments of parenting leading to strong and firm relationships and a happy, secure and comfortable future that beckons.

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