How Music Affects Your Baby’s Brain
November 18, 2020Music can have an amazing effect on babies, even before they’re born. In fact, some studies have shown that playing music for babies while they are still in the womb can help stimulate their brain development, and exposing them to music throughout their infancy and babyhood can help regulate their moods and improve cognitive skills.1-3
How Music Impacts Development
At around 16 weeks of pregnancy, babies begin to hear their first sounds. By 24 weeks, their ears are becoming even more developed, and by the third trimester, they may even turn their heads toward certain sounds.1 Since we know that babies can hear while they are in the womb, and there is ample evidence to suggest that music is good for the brain, it’s no surprise that more and more prenatal researchers are interested in the effects of music on babies in utero. In doing this research, some surprising discoveries have been made.
First, it has been documented that high levels of stress in a mother can be harmful to her baby’s development in the womb. If the mother listens to calming music that helps her relax, this will indirectly benefit her baby.4 As for direct benefits to the baby’s development, hearing music (particularly classical music) has been shown to increase neural connections in the brain and aid in building brain structures. Some studies even indicate that babies can remember certain music for up to four months after being born.4
What type of music is best for baby?
Researchers believe the complexity of classical music helps aid in the development of cognitive skills and helps babies solve spatial problems more quickly.3 That being said, experts believe that just about any type of music can be beneficial, as long as it gives the mother positive feelings and is not too loud or jarring. Even heavy metal music is fine from time to time; however, the rapid rhythm and constantly shifting beats can cause stress for babies if they hear it too frequently.5
Playlist Picks for Your Baby
Thinking of curating a pregnancy soundtrack for you and your baby to enjoy? Here are a few suggestions for songs, playlists, and YouTube channels to help soothe, stimulate, and encourage development in your little one:
- Classical Music for Babies playlist on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/4H6lPuASKXVpLsVF1apakq
- “Haven’t Met You Yet” by Michael Bublé: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AJmKkU5POA
- Guided Meditation for Pregnancy from The Honest Guys on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p39afBUYk7c
- Pregnancy Music to Make Baby Move from Nova Relaxing Music on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uks3mGAOfsc
- “Lullaby” by the Chicks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjAYkFpyqp8
- “To Zion” by Lauryn Hill: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWz-RU3OtmA
Don’t forget to include some of your own personal favorite songs and playlists – and don’t be shy about singing along! Babies are comforted by hearing their mother’s voice, even while they are still in the womb.
Prenate® Vitamin Family
This post is sponsored by the Prenate® Vitamin Family, a line of prescription prenatal supplements designed to enhance preconception, prenatal, and postpartum nutrition in women. Talk with your doctor about how taking a daily prescription prenatal or postnatal vitamin could help support a healthy pregnancy and postpartum wellness.