You can feel your little one kick joyfully in your womb every time you play a particular song. You’ve also noticed the increased movements when his father greets him as though to say he’s trying to respond.
Is it true then that babies can hear noise in their mother’s womb?
We often come across women who sing and talk to their bellies during pregnancy. They believe that their unborn babies can hear and sense them even in the womb. Many relatives and friends of the mother-to-be label such behaviors as silliness. But, as a matter of fact, unborn babies can hear various internal and external sounds. However, this ability to hear only develops at a later stage of pregnancy.
This article explains the exact time when a fetus’ sense of hearing is fully developed. It also describes the varied sounds a baby hears in its mother’s womb.
Development of the baby’s ears
Like we’ve already mentioned above, baby’s start hearing clearly by the 23rd or 24th week of gestation. The reason for this is the time taken for the formation of the baby’s ears.
The development of ears starts around 8 weeks of gestation. They grow gradually and are fully formed at 24 weeks. Various studies on the topics have established that the fetus can actually hear sounds at 20 weeks. However, these sounds are dull and unclear because their auditory system is still in the development stages. By the third trimester hearing is perfect; as good as any adult.
What are the sounds your baby hears?
According to you, your baby hears only external sounds- your voice, a song on the radio, its daddy’s voice. But, in reality your baby is exposed to several other sounds- internal and external, many of which you cannot hear yourself.
The internal body sounds that your child hears include the pounding of your heart, the rumbles of your stomach and digestive system and the whooshing sound the blood and water makes as it circulates through your body. Additionally it hears external sounds such as its mother’s voice, its father’s voice, a sibling’s voice, a peculiar sound or a specific type or kind of music. The internal sounds the fetus hears are much louder than the external sounds. The fetus may also be able to pick up specific intonations and speech patterns.
How does the baby respond to familiar sounds?
The sound of familiar voices may result in increased movement in the womb. During sonograms, baby’s respond to sounds by turning their heads. Your baby may also kick at the sound of his now favorite song. It has also been studied that exposure to sounds can cause your baby’s heart rate to slow down. If your baby becomes highly active on hearing a loud noise, it’s probably a signal that he does not like it so move to a quieter place.
Thus a baby can hear sounds in the womb. It gets accustomed to these sounds and recognizes them even after its birth. If you still do not believe that babies can hear, we’ll let you test run it.
Observe a new born baby. Taken away from his mother he starts crying, but given back it stops. Why? Does he recognize her by her smell? No. It is the sound of her heart beat that soothes and comforts him and makes him feel secure.