If you have a bun in the oven and are wondering when you can start bonding with your unborn baby – you won’t have to wonder much longer. A foetus typically develops a sense of hearing as early as 18 weeks of pregnancy and because its ears are still immature and developing at this stage, the first sounds it picks up are usually the ones happening inside your body – like your ravenous stomach.
This is good news Mommas. With foetal hearing developing so early in the pregnancy, there is no need to wait till baby is born for bonding to start. So, if you are looking for meaningful ways to connect with baby in utero, here are 5 simple ways to do so!
- Talk and read to your baby
Your voice is the most melodious tune your baby will hear while inside your womb. When you speak, the vibration of your voice is amplified inside of your body making it more likely for baby to hear it, recognise it and move in response. So, don’t hold back. Talk to your baby as much as you can as you go about your day or make it a nightly routine to ‘read’ a baby book out loud before bedtime – daddy can get in on this too. If you are lucky, your baby might just respond with a kick!
- Play some soothing music or sing to your baby
What better way to bond with baby than over some soothing music? Studies have shown that exposing foetuses to soothing music in utero continues to have a similar calming effect even after birth, often helping them to fall asleep better. More importantly, a foetus is continuously responding to your internal state, so music that puts you in a state of relaxation is more likely to soothe your foetus as well.
- Rub your tummy in response to your baby’s kicks
You should start feeling baby’s first movements, called ‘quickening’ anywhere between 13 weeks to 25 weeks. Every time you feel something, respond by gently rubbing your tummy in the direction of the movement – sending a clear and comforting signal to your baby that you are there and you have felt him or her.
Your baby is also more likely to be active after you have had a meal. So, if you have been invited to a buffet, get ready for an increase in movement because the sudden rise in blood sugar will put your baby in full stunt mode!
- During an ultrasound
Ultrasound appointments are a complete treat! Make sure you attend them all as each appointment gives you a wonderful opportunity to ‘watch’ that precious life growing inside of you. If you are lucky, you might just be able to catch your baby’s awesome somersault! Don’t forget to save those ultrasound pictures and prop them on the fridge or somewhere prominent in your house. What a beautiful way to remind you that your baby is already home in your womb.
- Have a relaxing warm bath
A relaxed mom makes for a relaxed baby. When you are feeling calm, the relaxed beating of your heart is equally soothing for your baby. So, try and take some time out of your busy day for some relaxation exercise. Indulge in a slow walk around the park to calm your nerves. Then go home and draw yourself a warm bath or take a warm shower. Light some scented candles and let your mind and body relax. Close your eyes and picture your baby in your womb then enjoy the movements that baby makes in response to your relaxed state.