Every mother know that her lullaby can calm her agitated baby. Lullabies are powerful influences to a newborn's growth. Yet, scientists are learning more and more about babies and their ability long before birth… to hear in the womb.
Today embryologists agree that the ear is the first organ to develop in an embryo, and that it functions after only sixteen weeks. Baby actively listens from 24 weeks gestation on.
Speaking, reading and singing to your baby before birth enhances it's ability to distinguish among sounds after birth. This is know as auditory tracking. Some scientists believe that babies actually understand what is being said around them.
One of our Early Childhood moms absolutely believes that is true. Her husband was station overseas during much of her pregnancy. Arriving home a few weeks before their baby's due date, this couple knew once the baby was born, their world would be different forever. Wanting to spend some time alone, each morning they patted her swilled stomach and said, "Not yet, baby. Mommy and Daddy aren't ready for you yet."
After a few weeks together, they felt that they were ready. The next morning, as they lay in bed, they lovingly patted her tummy and said, "Okay! We are ready for you. You can come out whenever you are ready!" Immediately, the baby started kicking, really hard. She felt a POP and her water broke. Labor was underway!
A coincidence? Maybe not… read on!
A few years ago, a true story circulated regarding this very amazing subject. A family in Tennessee sought ways to make their three-year old son feel included in their expected baby's birth. They encouraged him to sing to his sister during the pregnancy. His favorite song was, "You Are My Sunshine."
The pregnancy came to an early end and complications developed. The tiny baby was rushed by helicopter to the Neonatal center in nashville, where she was hooked up to wires and tubes so that she could be easily monitored. After a few long weeks, the family was called in and told they they needed to give up hope for her survival.
During all this time, brother had been begging to see his tiny sister. Finally, when told that there was no hope, the mother insisted that the little boy be taken into the NICU ward. Seeing the mother’s persistence and knowing that the baby was dying, the nurse finally agreed, but only for one moment.
Unencumbered by the huge sterile attire, big brother marched to the incubator and began to sing, "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy…"
The nurses watching this process, were amazed as the monitors showed the tiny baby’s heart rate stabilizing. The blood pressure regulated. "Keep singing…keep singing," they proclaimed.
"…when skies are gray. You’ll never know, dear, how much I love you…."
As the tiny, struggling baby listened to the familiar lullaby, her body responded with healing. She made an amazing recovery. According to this moving story, she was released from the hospital the very next day. It’s a story of the power of a lullaby…the power of love…and the power of music.
We are just beginning to scratch the surface of what is going on with our babies while still in the womb. During pregnancy and during the first few years, neuron connectors are finding their way to ‘wire’ your child’s brain. Music stimulates that connecting process like nothing else. Here is a true story about a friend of mine.
As musical parents, they were aware of music’s benefits for their developing child. So, from the time they knew she was pregnant, Bob and his wife, played nothing but classical and Christian music in her presence. When their son was born he was serenaded twenty-four hours a day with classical music in his nursery. As he toddled about, musical activities were a vital part of his environment. At age five, he skipped kindergarten and 1st grade, and was placed directly into 2nd grade. I.Q. testing rates him as a genius. A coincidence? Hardly.
Your baby is developing before and after birth. Here are some musical tips to enhance his/her development:
Come on babies; let’s make music!