You may have heard that music can have an effect on Baby’s development in the womb. It would be nice if simply playing Mozart or other classical music for Baby would make him smarter, but sadly there is no clear evidence to support the idea. Studies have shown that playing music can stimulate a baby and cause an increase in heart rate, but it is unclear whether this stimulation has a positive or negative effect on him.
That being said, if you want to get Baby to like your favorite tunes, you might as well get him started early!
Should I avoid playing any type of music?
When playing music, the primary concern for Baby is volume. If the volume is too loud, it could startle him. It is best to keep the volume at around 50 decibels; this is about the sound level of a quiet washing machine. Headphones on your belly aren’t necessary because amniotic fluid is generally a good conductor of sound. Be sure not to blast the volume on your headphones, as Baby can hear quiet levels of sound. There isn’t clear evidence about the effect of different types of music, but soothing music will likely not startle him.
Tips for playing music
Be sure not to play music too loud, and since there is no real evidence to support effects of different types of music on baby development, play what you like. Playing what you like will have a positive effect on your body, and a healthy mother typically leads to a healthy baby. Some studies even suggest that a baby’s favorite sound is his mother’s voice, so be sure to talk Baby often!
- Hasan Kafali, Aysel Derbent, Esra Keskin, Serap Simavii & Elif Gozdemira. “Effect of maternal anxiety and music on fetal movements and fetal heart rate patterns.” The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine. Volume 24, Issue 3. Web. 2011.
- Sara Ipatenco. “How to Play Music for a Baby in the Womb.” Livestrong. Livestrong, 9/18/2014. Web.