The moment you find out you're pregnant, you can't wait to meet your little one. While you spend those nine months preparing for a baby, you're also preparing your baby for the world. As your belly grows, you and your husband are talking to the little angel, playing music and reading them stories.
But how much of this does your baby actually remember once they're born? Does any of that actually stay with them? Research reveals the five things babies remember from your womb:
While babies may not be able to completely understand the words they're hearing, they definitely recognize the familiar sounds.Science Magazine reported on a study which found that newborns responded positively to completely made-up words that had been repeated to them while still in the womb.
It has even been discovered that babies begin to familiarize themselves with the languages their parents speak. In another study, if parents spoke to their unborn child in English, the baby later showed signs of recognizing that language. In contrast, the baby perceived other languages (like Swedish vowel sounds) as unfamiliar.
We've heard the rumor that playing Mozart for your unborn baby supposedly makes them smarter, but we're not actually so sure how true that is. We do know, however, that babies remember songs they listened to in the womb.
The Guardian reported on a study which played "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" to pregnant women five times a week for the second half of their pregnancy. The study also included a control group of pregnant women who did not play the song. Once all the babies were born, scientists played the song for the babies. Those who had listened to it while in the womb responded with a higher electric activity than those in the control group.
It's natural to get a little stressed from time to time during your pregnancy. But your baby essentially feels everything you do, so too much stress can turn your womb into a high-stress environment.
High levels of stress hormones creep into the placenta, which could potentially make your baby more anxious and irritable. To avoid these kinds of potential problems, be sure to take care of yourself. Let yourself rest and relax, eat well and exercise to help lower your stress while pregnant.
So your baby doesn't exactly eat or drink anything while in the womb, but they do develop taste buds as early as 13 weeks gestation. They are surrounded by your amniotic fluid, which they start swallowing pretty early on into your pregnancy. The amniotic fluid carries the flavors of your diet, just like your breast milk. During the last trimester, your baby will swallow up to a liter of amniotic fluid a day to prepare for breastfeeding.
By birth, babies already can show a preference for different tastes and flavors. Some studies even suggest that the more variety a pregnant woman includes in her diet while pregnant, the less picky of an eater her baby will be.
A mother's amniotic fluid not only carries the taste of what she eats, but its smell, too.
During a baby's first hours after birth, they rely on their sense of smell better than their sense of vision, and that helps them to detect their mother. Studies have found that if a mother washes just one breast after birth and before breastfeeding, the baby will prefer to nurse at the unwashed breast.
Emily Brady is a member of the FamilyShare content team. She studied Communication with an emphasis in journalism. She loves photography and finding a good book to read in her hammock on a sunny, breezy day.