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Music in the Womb


Does making your baby listen to music when in the womb have a positive effect?


When Smriti was pregnant, she would listen to the same tape of bhajans everyday, twice a day: once in the morning, and once in the evenings. When her son was born, every time he would start crying, she would turn on the tape for him, and he would calm down almost instantly. She swears making her child listen to soothing music when she was pregnant was probably the smartest things she had done. Her child was also a relatively calm and peaceful baby, and when she would see her friends struggling with their screaming babies, she thanked her stars for the brilliant advice given to her by her mother.


Is it is necessary to listen to soft, soothing music?

Research suggests that you don't have to listen to very slow music. Pop music too can help calm your baby, as your baby will find it easier to identify beats, and rhythmic sounds work well with babies. However, also remember that a baby's breathing pattern changes according to beats, and listening to pounding music with rapid beats for an extended period may stress out your baby.


What music is best?

Various experiments have shown that plants exposed to classical music all day, thrive and grow well. On the other hand, plants exposed to heavy metal music all day shrivelled up. Heavy metal music had a very definite negative impact on plants. Although this doesn't mean that it will have the same negative effect on your baby, heavy metal music is not soothing, either for the mother or for the baby, and as such, it will certainly have no positive impact on your child. In addition, beats are random rather than rhythmic, and sudden shifts in volume may startle your child. Religious music and mantras impart positive vibrations and are a good idea. Stick to a mix of classical, pop and religious music and chants.


Can music make my child smarter?

There is really no evidence to support the theory that making your child listen to music when in the womb will make him smarter, although research does suggest that encouraging children in the age group of 3-4 years to listen to certain kinds of music, especially instrumental, can increase skills like math.


How do I make my baby hear music?

Don't expect your baby to hear the music you are listening to on your ipod with headphones! You need to have music playing on your player, or you could place headphones over your belly if you don't want to listen in. The music doesn't have to be very loud for your child to be able to hear it. The placenta is a good carrier of sound and your baby should be able to hear music playing at a fairly low volume.


How much music should I make my child listen to?

It is never a good idea to overdo anything. Although you can certainly have music playing in the background for a longer time, if you are playing music directed at your abdomen, limit it to a couple of hours a day. You don't want to interfere too much with your child's sleep, or with her breathing patterns.


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