We have been getting questions from expecting mothers since we introduced Bellysonic as the first prenatal music player as to whether playing music to a fetus really helps. Since fetal development involves so many variables, many of which we are normally not even aware of, the question may never be adequately answered.
Scientists Not Sure About the Effect of Music
Scientists and doctors are usually not ready to commit that music can help, but they also are at least ready to concede that it may not hurt. Of course, the eternal other question is “What type of music?” We’re not talking here about the type that is supposed to create another Einstein. We discuss that in another post on the Mozart Effect. We’re talking now about music that may simply calm or soothe your baby when they are restless.
How Do You Know When to Play the Music?
So how do you know when to play music to your baby? When are they restless and maybe a bit stressed and when are they just stretching or practicing to be the next Karate Kid! The answer is, of course, one that the mother begins to learn how to answer herself. Who else is as close to the baby as Mom? And pregnant women have an increased sense of intuition when it comes to these matters.
Common sense probably plays the biggest role and a fairly easy rule-of-thumb is: if the music calms the mom, it will calm the baby, too. The other side of that is that if it disturbs the mother, the baby won’t be happy either. So, think about lullabies that mothers have sung to their babies for millennia, in the womb and out. What kind of music is that? Probably closer to Schuman than to Metallica.
What do Researchers Say?
An article I found on the website Early-Pregnancy-Tests website dealing with the subject. Even though they tend focus on pre-pregnancy products (they are the Internet’s largest retailer of preconception products), potential parents also have these questions.
At best, doctors surmise there may be a positive connection, but only based on a web of anecdotal evidence. Other researchers, however, do indicate that unborn babies do respond to various rhythmic qualities of music, based on fetal breathing patterns that conform to musical rhythm, suggesting music does have a “sympathetic” effect.”
At any rate, there are tons of musical kits and products out there promising to “Build Your Baby’s Brain”, calm your baby with “Healing Lullabies”, or tone the synapses with sonic “Prenatal Education Systems”.
And certainly, you do not need to buy a “kit” to surround your child with the sounds of Bach, Beethoven, or Chopin. Ambient sounds from your stereo will reach your baby, and some women elect to put headphones around their stomachs for a more direct approach.”
In either case, doctors do advise avoiding loud music that might startle or possibly hurt the baby – as well as avoiding overly long sessions that may “overstimulate”. In short, because the jury is still out on how music affects fetal development, experts suggest moderation and mild volume when it comes to sonic stimulation.
Perhaps the best suggestion is to simply relax and enjoy music the way you normally do – and chances are your baby will relax along with you.
As with so many things, we are left having to make the best decisions we can because no one else can, or will, make them for us.
Bellysonic – A Great Way to Play Music to Your Baby
Although the evidence is anecdotal and not scientific, Bellysonic has many satisfied customers. Not only from the prenatal player itself, but from the wide range of soothing music for your baby we have that seem to chill out both Mom and her “little one”!
What have been your experiences with playing music to your baby? We’d love to hear from you and so would our other readers!