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Mozart – Pregnancy Music – 23 Weeks :
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Classical Music for Baby?
All parents want the best for their child — even before that child is born. That’s not crazy — it’s human (or human parent) nature. But in trying to supply your baby-to-be with the best, it’s important to keep some perspective — and keep your motives in mind before switching on the Mozart.
As you know, the fetus’s ability to hear is well developed by the end of the second trimester. But, whether an in utero concerto gives the baby a head start in education (or on a musical career) hasn’t been proven. Some experts even worry that it can be harmful if it signals the beginning of a very premature pushy-parent, which places too much emphasis on achievement at a too-early age. Babyhood (including fetushood) and childhood should be a time of simple pleasures, they say. There’s also the theoretical risk that parents may unwittingly disrupt the natural sleep patterns of their fetus as they attempt to turn the womb into a classroom — actually hampering development instead of nurturing it (much as waking up a newborn for a game of name this letter might).
That said, there’s probably nothing wrong with providing a uterine environment that’s rich in music and language, and it’s an easy way for parents to bond with their baby-to-be. Speaking or reading to your baby while he or she’s in the womb (no amplification necessary) won’t guarantee a scholarship to Harvard, but it will guarantee that your baby will know your voice at birth. (Of course, such recognition is probable even if you just spend a lot of time talking in general.)
Playing classical music may increase the likelihood that your newborn will appreciate, and even be soothed by, these sounds — though it’s been shown that exposure to music and literature has a much more significant effect once your baby is actually born than it does prenatally (so keep the Mozart handy once baby’s arrived). And don’t underestimate the power of touch. Since this sense also begins to develop in utero, stroking your abdomen may also help strengthen the bond between you and your baby.
So turn on the Mozart, bring on the Bach — pull out those dusty Shakespeare sonnets and read away to your belly if you like. Just make sure you’re doing it all to get closer to your baby — not to get your baby closer to an Ivy League degree.
Hoping you and your baby make beautiful music together!