Baby Bonds

Did you know that communication with your baby begins long before he is born? You don’t have to wait till he is in your arms; as young as 16 weeks, babies can start to hear your voice, as well as other sounds in the environment while still in the womb. In fact, a mother’s womb is the most stimulating and interactive environment for a baby to develop!

Is He Listening?

Babies live in an environment that is constantly filled with sounds, vibrations and motions. Although the womb is not the quiet place as previously once thought, your unborn can still hear voices and sounds from the outside world. At just 16 weeks, babies can start to hear, long before their ears are completely formed, which occurs only at 24 weeks old. A mother’s voice is the most powerful and easiest sound for baby to detect as it is transmitted directly to the womb through her own body.

Constantly talk to your baby, about anything and everything! Talk soothingly, tell him stories or nursery rhymes, read to him, play soothing music or just talk about your day as you go about it. It is only natural that babies form better connections with their mothers, as hers is the voice they hear everyday and for longer periods. Fathers can help establish their bond with baby by talking to him whenever possible. When he’s born, he’ll be able to recognise and be more responsive to his father’s voice as well.

Touch Your Baby!

As early as 15 weeks, you can already feel your baby move, although you may not actually feel kicks until about 20 weeks. At this stage, babies are responsive to your touch from outside the womb. By gently massaging or caressing your belly, you can help stimulate your baby to give you a response. When you feel your baby kick, you can press gently at the same spot to see if he responds with another kick. Some parents have reported that when they do press the belly, their baby responds by kicking the same spot again.

Give Your Baby the Best

During pregnancy, it is important that you eat a wide variety of foods to provide your baby with all the nutrients that he needs to develop healthily. Do eat plenty of fruits and vegetables as well as carbohydrates such as rice, bread and pasta – these should be of the wholegrain types. Take enough protein such as fish and dairy products like milk, cheese and yoghurt. And more importantly, increase food consumption that are rich in iron and zinc.

Enjoy Every Moment with Your Child!

Some experts worry that all these stimuli interfere with the natural development of your baby’s brain. There is still much to learn about the developing brain and the optimal conditions it needs to develop well. No parent would actually blast music next to his newborn’s ear when he is asleep, and the same goes for an unborn baby!

However, talking to your baby and playing “poke” games with him is not likely to bring on any negative side effects, and in many ways, it helps build a reassuring bond between parents and baby as a first step to communication. All in all, being pregnant is a wonderful experience and it should be enjoyed every step of the way!

Baby Facts!

  • Babies are sensitive to light after 26 weeks, responding to light shining on the abdomen with an increase in heartbeats.
  • Very loud sounds can startle your baby, causing changes in heart rate and movement.
  • Movements help stimulate emotional changes in your baby. Babies tend to be still when you are active and more active when you are still.
  • Chemical compounds from your diet pass the placenta into the amniotic fluid, providing your baby with a variety of smell and tastes as he starts to swallow the fluid at 12 weeks.

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