Abundant guidance for newborns and infants are available out there, indicating the benefits of starting to educate them as early as possible. However, very few take us to the earliest phase that can be taken advantage of, a phase where children are literally all ears. The 9 months in the mother’s womb serve to be the most crucial phase of a child’s development. Everything that the mother does outside prepares the baby for the world it is about to enter. Children whose mothers did not intake proper nutrition even tend to have diabetes and heart problems as they grow up. Even in the drastic most situations like suicide, research suggests that their early childhood and prenatal time could have prevented them to take such a step later in their lives. Similarly, a healthy, happy, productive pregnancy is going to bring a healthy, happy, and intellectual individual in the world. We need to remember that a baby in the womb, although small, is very precious!
The far-reaching benefits of reading to the baby during pregnancy.
The fetus is learning a lot before it is even born, it resonates to their mother’s voice and takes comfort in it. Similarly, along with the voice, they even relate to the frequently heard content. Dr Seuss A cat in the Hat was read to a baby in the womb, and it was seen reacting to the story after birth. They even know the language they’ve heard for 9 months already after birth. Even the way they cry differs from language to language – research shows.
A child starts hearing between its 23rd and 27th week. Early reading can stimulate emotions in the baby and enable them to recognize voice modulations. Through reading, response can be built as early as this – before they are even born!
Reading to the fetus also creates a bond, it gets attached to the voice after they’re born and emotionally too. No moment spent dedicatedly for the child will ever go unnoticed. It indicates that the parents are available, and present for the baby.
Similarly, along with the emotional aspect, babies who are read in the womb tend to pick words and their meanings early compared to their peers. Additional research suggests that third-trimester babies not only pick up on language patterns, but after birth, they can recognize words they first heard in the womb. Though the extent to which babies in utero can learn has yet to be determined, prenatal reading is nonetheless a wonderful way to kick-start healthy brain development.
The power each word has to strengthen a baby’s brain is unbelievable. The more words a baby hears the stronger its intellect gets. When a new word is introduced, the brain shoots up a neuron and stimulates the brain and every time the words are repeated, the paths get stronger and stronger increasing the ability to learn. And similarly, if the words are not repeated, the paths shrink and die eventually decreasing the ability to learn. Such is the powerful impact of words on a baby’s brain. The amazing part is that the same words heard from a television screen are not even close in its benefits. The words only benefit when it accompanies human interaction. They understand when each of their actions receive a response and it motivates them to be more active, without this interaction the purpose gets defeated.
But perhaps the most important reason to read aloud is that it makes a connection between the things your baby loves the most — your voice and closeness to you — and books. Spending time reading to your baby shows that reading is important. And if infants and children are read to, with joy, excitement, and closeness, they begin to associate books with happiness — and new readers are created.
Participation in reading is also a great way for other family members to connect with the baby. An older child can read or talk about her favorite parts of the story. And the new baby can start to learn their sibling’s voice.
Do early reading help in speech and language disorders?
Science has shown that reading to your baby in the womb promotes brain activity and can promote early literacy skills and language development. Specially to prevent Language and Speech disorders, science suggests starting reading and talking to them as early as possible. A baby in the womb being able to hear voices and even get accustomed to it, proves that starting as early as before birth is also beneficial to prevent such disorders later in their lives.
Missed the pregnancy time? It is never too late to start!
Even if you’ve missed reading to your child during pregnancy, it is never too late to start. Starting to read at any age will always be beneficial.
Brainnovation – our brain training center offers a program that complements and assists clients undergoing Speech Therapy in Dubai through training the brain by measures like phonemic awareness, challenging their brain through various brain exercises, and educating parents on creating a similar productive environment in their homes that helps children facing speech problems and even helps to prevent them.
Every parent lives to care for their children, taking steps for their brain health as early as possible might be the best way to care for them – all through their lives.