The prenatal period is among the most important stages in the human lifecycle. This is where a person’s behavior, physical characteristics, and health conditions are profoundly defined. Expectant mothers are advised to get prenatal education to be able to meet the ideal requirement for having a mentally, emotionally, and physically healthy baby. One popular notion is using music for baby in the womb.
Many experts believe that music can effectively stimulate the baby’s brain and emotions. In the excerpt below from an article for LiveStrong.com, writer Bridget Coila explores findings from various studies to discuss the link between music and a baby’s development.
“MUSIC AND DEVELOPMENT
ACCORDING TO BABY CENTER, THE TRUE EFFECT OF MUSIC ON PRENATAL DEVELOPMENT REMAINS UNKNOWN. A LOOSELY-CONTROLLED PRELIMINARY STUDY IN THE “MUSIC EDUCATORS JOURNAL” IN 1985 FOUND THAT BABIES EXPOSED TO MUSIC BEFORE BIRTH HAD LONGER ATTENTION SPANS THAN EXPECTED FOR THEIR AGE AND IMITATED ADULT SOUNDS BETTER. ANOTHER SMALL STUDY IN 1997 IN “PRE- & PERI-NATAL PSYCHOLOGY JOURNAL” LOOKED AT BABIES ENROLLED IN A PROGRAM CALLED FIRSTSTART, WHICH EXPOSED UNBORN BABIES TO MUSICAL STIMULATION. THESE BABIES SHOWED BETTER MOTOR SKILLS, LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT AND COGNITIVE SKILLS FROM BIRTH TO SIX MONTHS THAN THE CONTROL GROUP OF BABIES. HOWEVER, BECAUSE THESE STUDIES WERE SMALL AND HAVE NOT BEEN REPEATED, THE QUESTION OF WHETHER AND HOW MUCH MUSIC AFFECTS UNBORN BABIES REMAINS UNDER INVESTIGATION.”
While the idea that music is good for babies in their prenatal stage is supported by many testimonies, this isn’t something that expectant parents must apply without care. In fact, they should not try it without recommendations from health practitioners who have experience and training in providing auditory exercises for fetuses.
What is well known, however, is that soft music produces “white noise”, which, along with everyday sounds surrounding the mother, can help soothe and relax the baby. How much the right music for babies in the womb can stimulate cognitive learning, if at all, is still subject for debate.
Meantime, various research studies have shown that a specially developed curriculum of tones for pre-natal babies, such as that provided by BabyPlus.com, are most effective in teaching the baby pattern recognition. The incremental speed and complexity of the tones in the Baby Plus Prenatal Education System “teaches” prenatal babies to recognize and distinguish sounds, which is the most basic step in cognitive and critical learning.
(Source: The Effects of Music on Prenatal Babies, LiveStrong.com)
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