Inspiring Your Baby To Learn (Even Before Birth)

Written by BabyPlus mom Janine Snyder

Life is easier when you have a love for learning. You have the ability to succeed and achieve in school, at work and even athletically and socially. This is not a unique concept and that is why parents start thinking about how to inspire a love of learning in their children, sometimes even before birth. I am guilty of buying devices and spending time talking, reading and playing varying heartbeats to my first born in utero. As I am working on conceiving my second, I have thought about all of the ways that I have tried to foster this love of learning in my first and I wanted to share them as I am knee deep in heartbeats and hand me downs.

During my pregnancy

When I was a first-time mom, I wanted to be involved and give my baby every advantage. I thought I would have to wait until my little guy was born, but I was stoked to learn that I could start interacting with him in utero. One of the ways I helped to foster his love for learning was by using the BabyPlus Prenatal Education System. Your baby listens to varying heartbeats, beginning when you are 18 weeks pregnant, on a schedule. With all of the ways that BabyPlus is said to give your baby a head start, I can attest to the fact that my son was alert at birth, interactive, hits his milestones early and is a straight up genius (according to my mother).

Another thing I did for my baby in utero was to speak to him, softly and soothingly, into a microphone that was attached to a little speaker on my belly. I read to him, sang to him and played classical music. I’m not sure if any of this helped, but it made me feel involved and connected to him.

After birth

When my son was born, I continued reading, singing and listening to music with him. Sometimes we would listen to music in French and Spanish. I had heard that listening to music in another language would make it easier for him to learn languages as he got older. He was also exposed to a lot of young men and women from different countries. As an ambassador for cultural exchange through the Au Pair program, I spend time supporting Au Pairs that are caring for children in the US. A lot of them are bilingual and even trilingual and I had always encouraged them to speak to my son in another language. You could see that his eyes would get wider and he would move around a lot when they spoke to him. He enjoyed hearing these new languages and accents. I had seen Host Kids of the Au Pairs easily picking up a second language while in their care and I hoped that some of it would rub off on my little guy.

Another language that I was able to teach him myself was sign language. The benefit was that he could communicate a few words before he was even able to speak. I believe it also helped him learn to speak faster as he realized that he could make me understand his needs with a single word. He started speaking in full sentences at an early age and at two, he his constantly talking and is really very funny!

As he grows

Some ways that I have encouraged him to learn from very early in his life and continue to do so is by singing the same educational songs frequently. Right now, we sing the alphabet, the days of the week and the months in the year. I sang these songs to him at every bath and continue to do so. Most of the time, he sings them by himself now, but every so often, he lets me sing along with him. Next, we will be working on the 50 states and their capitals and the US presidents.

My son has also been exposed to older children that he plays with regularly. While he does have friends his own age, I see a lot of development when he plays with children that are a little older. The older children are able to help him work through social situations that he doesn’t know how to handle yet and they encourage him to use different words and play games. He has certainly picked up some the older kid attitude, but the benefits outweigh this humorous, sometimes frustrating, trait.

Lastly, I let him watch TV. I know that some people feel that this would have the opposite effect, it has actually encouraged him to learn about things neither of us knew he would be interested in and has taught him a lot about math, language and social skills.

As I think back on the past few years and the years to come, I wonder if any of these things will have a great impact on him when he gets into the school-aged years and into adulthood. I’m not sure there is a way to know for sure, but I do know that being involved and connecting with my kid will always be beneficial for him and for me too.

Janine Snyder is a wife, mom, stepmom and ambassador for the cultural exchange program. She supports parents and nannies from all over the world and enjoys writing about their experiences as well as her own. She lives with her family in New Jersey and enjoys moving around her furniture.

Why It Is Important To Talk To Your Baby When Pregnant

By Dorinne Davis – Audiologist

Parents can often read and react to their child’s emotional states. Parents often understand a baby’s cry or laugh as illness, fear, hunger, or more. A study reported on ABC news in 2005[1], shared that Allan Schore, a leading neuroscientist at the University of California, Los Angeles’ Center for Culture, Brain, and Development pointed out that the connection between parent and child during the first year of life affects a child’s psychological state and plays a role in physically shaping the brain. His own research concluded that the parent-child interaction plays a key role in baby brain development on the right side.

The right side of the brain is stimulated when interacting with others, especially care-givers. When a care-giver interacts with an infant, the child’s brain and prenatal health is being affected, shaping emotional responses. This interaction appears to help the child’s ability to handle stress and feel emotionally secure.



Shore also shares that the child’s brain is not only shaped by ‘genetics but also the experience of the last trimester of pregnancy through the child’s first year and a half of life’. At 7 months in utero, the ear’s neurological system is developed, supporting the stimulation both to the left hemisphere of the brain, important for speech and language development, and the right hemisphere of the brain, important for this emotional connection. The child’s brain will be shaped by prenatal brain stimulation and personal attachments.

As the parent, you do not need to wait until your child is born to talk, sing or interact with them. Start interacting while you are pregnant with prenatal sound. Singing lays the underlying tonal and rhythm patterns of the world, but talking provides the smaller, subtler sound changes that can also support your child’s emotional well-being. Prenatal sound systems like BabyPlus can also provide Have fun with your baby. Chat, talk, sing and interact with them. Enjoy the experience!

©Davis 2014

A prenatal sound system like BabyPlus can also provide desirable prenatal cognitive development. If you want to be kept in the know on BabyPlus developments, let us know!


Top Baby Shower Gift Ideas

Coming up with ideas for your own baby shower registry or looking for a sweet, but practical, gift for a new parent-to-be in your life? Look no further than the list below! We’ve compiled ideas for gifts that will be appreciated and welcomed before and after that little one arrives.




Adorable baby clothes and tiny baby shoes will warm your heart and are wonderful gifts. However, those sweet baby clothes are often outgrown quicker than anyone believes. Books are the perfect, evergreen gift. Sharing a favorite book from childhood, a prenatal education book, or perhaps something you treasured reading to your little one, are priceless. A good book will be long-enjoyed by parents and baby – even when ‘baby’ is all grown up.

Gifts for Mom

We focus so much on gifts for the little one, we sometimes forget about mom! Prenatal massages, pedicures, tickets to sporting events or shows for a pre-baby date night are all great gifts that mom can enjoy. Or, if you want to add something extra, arrange for a deep house cleaning while mom is out being pampered. Whatever the gift, make sure it’s something that fits her personality – giving her that little bit of extra love can go a long way.

Gift cards

At first, gift cards may seem impersonal, but they can actually be a wonderfully useful gift for new families. A large gift card to a local baby store or a larger retailer can be a huge help as the baby grows and the family’s needs change –prenatal vitamins, diapers and other baby necessities are expensive! More general, non-store specific cards can be used for necessities like gas or extras that a growing family will need.


This may seem obvious, but most moms agree that you need far more diapers than you think you’ll need. And even moms who decide to cloth diaper could use an extra few on hand.

Your Favorites

If you’re a parent yourself, consider buying things you loved having during pregnancy and just after. If you and your baby benefited from it, your friend likely will as well. A BabyPlus Prenatal Education System is a wonderful gift as it allows mom-to-be to help grow and develop baby’s mind and cognitive health while strengthening baby’s body. Considering the long-term benefits, BabyPlus will be a gift to both mom and baby long after the birth.

Read and learn more about the science behind BabyPlus – or read testimonials from BabyPlus moms.
Please feel free to connect with us if you have any questions or want to stay updated!

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How Much Should We Sleep?

In my household, with the start of the school year we begin adjusting to new schedules all over again. This year is particularly difficult because my daughters no longer attend the same school and the start times of their two buildings differ by 1 hour and 5 minutes.  We have the obvious issues of having to get to bed earlier for school and waking to an alarm in the morning, and our district is investigating is a bigger issue of the push to move school to a later start time for older students. It seemed like a good time to investigate the sleep needs of children in general.

The Sleep Aid Resource site posts the following table on the sleep needs of children and adults. Keep in mind that each child is different. I like this chart in particular because it outlines the sleep needs if you are pregnant as well. You are growing a little person after all. It is okay to feel that you might need a little more rest than before.

One of my daughters is a night owl who has no trouble waking in the morning. My other daughter has always and continues to need and want more sleep. As an infant she adapted to a sleep schedule with no difficulty (thanks BabyPlus!) and as a toddler and beyond she would sense her bedtime was passing and would ask or put herself to bed. She is still always the first asleep at a slumber party.




Age Total Sleep Needed Additional Notes
1-4 Weeks 15-16 Hours Newborns are developing their internal biological clocks
1-4 Months 14-15 Hours Regular sleeping patterns begin and longer night sleeping
4-12 Months 14-15 Hours Important to establish regular sleeping patterns at this time
1-3 Years 12-14 Hours Naps remain important to sleep health
3-6 Years 10-12 Hours Naps will become shorter
7-12 Years 10-11 Hours Bedtime gets later
12-18 Years 8-10 Hours Teens may need more sleep
Adults 7-8 Hours Times will greatly vary
Pregnant 8+ More sleep and naps may be needed


Young children (infant and toddlers)likely spend a large portion of their day asleep. If you have ever skipped naptime, you may believe that this plentiful sleep is greatly needed. You might find that with decreased sleep you have increased irritability in your little one. Once over tired it may take a little more work to get them calmed down to a point where they can fall asleep. I remember so many times thinking that something was wrong with my daughter as her behavior deteriorated, only to look minutes later and find her fast asleep.

Older children on the other hand have different issues to factor in. By this age they have more obligations to juggle such as school, extra-curricular activities, jobs and homework to name a few. The American Association of Pediatrics explains that the shift in the circadian rhythms of teenagers make it extremely difficult for them to fall asleep before 11 pm. This paired with early school start times makes it nearly impossible for a teen to achieve 8-10 hours of sleep per night. This is the basis for why on August 25, 2014 the AAP issued a policy statement encouraging middle and high schools to delay the start of classes until 8:30am or later.  If your local schools are currently considering changing their start times this just might have something to do with it.

Before you shrug off the issue of getting enough sleep, please note that according to the AAP chronic sleep deprivation can contribute to added risks of: becoming overweight, suffering depression, increased automobile accidents, lower grades, lower standardized test scores and lower quality of life.

If you would like to read more from the sources I sited, the links are below.


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