Reading to Your Baby in the Womb; Just Another Fad?

I always said to myself that I will read to my children before they’re even born; Dickens, Bronte, J.K.Rowling. I think what a baby hears before they’re born has such a huge impact on their development. A lot of people are very sceptical about this kind of thing, but what’s the harm in trying it?! Even if it doesn’t work, I’ve just found another excuse for me to reread the Harry Potter series, or Wuthering Heights, for the tenth time.

While I was doing my A Levels – only three years ago – I took up an extra qualification, the EPQ. It counts as an AS-level equivalent and it’s basically a mini dissertation of 5,000 words on a topic of your choice followed by a presentation of fifteen minutes. I chose to entitle mine: “Does Music Affect the Growth and Development of Children and Unborn Babies?”. I focused on the myth (yes, I discovered it is a myth) that playing your child Beethoven and Mozart makes them smarter. It does NOT make your child smarter, but it does improve the rate at which they develop, almost like singing to a plant (but we won’t go there). Babies associate what they heard in the womb with what they are hearing once born. If you play Mozart to your unborn child, it might help to calm and soothe them when they are toddlers.

IMG_6488Now I understand music and reading are totally different concepts; reading has a language barrier whereas Mozart or Beethoven does not, but does it mean we shouldn’t do it? Absolutely not. I would love for my children to be as in love with books as I am; I think I’ve inherited that from my Grandad. As a child, story time was always my favourite time of the day. Occasionally I’d read the story to my mum, or even read to my little brother. I taught myself to read at the age of three, wanting zero help from my mum, often yelling at her if she tried to help. I even read to the kids in nursery! I think I’m obsessed.

My boyfriend, who I’ve been with for three years, absolutely hates reading. I’ve told him the more he reads, the better he’ll become at it, and therefore will enjoy it more. But reading isย not something he’ll do when he’s bored (we’re so opp2403268osite). I hope our kids take after me in that respect!

For me, reading is such a big part of my life, especially now I’m doing an English Literature degree. I want my children to enjoy it just as much as I do, and I’ll encourage them to read as often as they can.

What are everyone’s thoughts on this?


Picture taken from “Study for Common Things” website here.

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8 thoughts on “Reading to Your Baby in the Womb; Just Another Fad?

  1. I can’t say I’m an expert in having babies ๐Ÿ˜› but I think both music and books will be good during pregnancy because as far as doctors say – whatever mother feels the child will feel too. If a book calms you or makes you happy, or stirs up any good emotions it just have to be good for babies right? I don’t know about scary reads though, but if you like these, then why not?

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  2. Well I have always been a big reader, during pregnancy I never read out loud to my bump but I am a chatterbox so baby heard my voice plenty. When my baby was born I read to her when she was lay down, I just read the book I was reading at the time. As she got older I introduced books suited to her age, now at 10 months old she sits and listens intently to stories – still only age appropriate ones – and actively turns the pages in the book. She communicates with us excellently too, knowing a few words. She grabs her bath book which has no words and says ‘dads’ whilst turning the pages… I like to think this is her copying us read her favourite book ‘I love my Daddy’. I really do believe reading to her has help her grow socially, emotionally and intellectually. And it’s not a bad hobby to have ๐Ÿ™‚
    Great post by the way.

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  3. Myth or not, I believe. I read, sang and played music to my Hannah while she was in utero and I notice that she has a special appreciation for those specific books, song and sounds I exposed her to pre-birth. To this day, she responds strongly to those specific routines we had long before she was here. We’ve stuck with those routines and I certainly see a different developmentally.

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  4. My boyfriend is the exact same as yours; I’m obsessed with reading but I literally have to lock him in his room with a book I want him to read in order for it to happen. That being said, when we have children I plan to do the same as you; I will talk to them in the womb, play them music, read to them. Especially once they’re actually born, I want to read to them in their crib–Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia…all of my favourites.

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