Reading to Baby in Womb: Benefits and Stories to Read

Reading Stories to a Baby in the Womb – Reasons & Benefits

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Sabiha Anjum (Gynecologist/Obstetrician)
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Between week 23 and 27 of pregnancy, a baby starts hearing different sounds. The most significant sound that a baby can hear clearly is his mother’s heartbeat. But, as the weeks pass, he starts responding to muffled sounds outside the womb too. That’s when you can start communicating with him. You can talk to him, share all your feelings and thoughts, sing for him or even read a book. Yes, reading a good book to your baby while he is still in the womb can be beneficial for him. It stimulates emotions in the baby and helps him react to different stimuli. It is also believed to prepares the baby for life after his birth.

Video : Benefits of Reading Stories to a Baby in the Womb


Why Is It Essential to Read to Your Unborn Baby?

The stories you read to your baby evoke certain emotions in him. The rhyming lines and the lullabies develop a sense of voice modulation too from an early stage. He also becomes alert and responds to it. If you read to your baby daily, he will recognise your voice once he’s out in the real world, and this will help develop a strong bond between you and your baby. In certain cases, babies also pick up newer words and understand their meanings pretty early in their lives.

When Can You Start Reading to Your Unborn Baby?

Reading doesn’t need a perfect time to start with. However, if you are specifically picking books to read to your child, it is necessary to know the right time. The initial months for the baby are all about getting used to the womb and figuring out the surroundings. Over time, as the baby develops, he begins to pick up sounds from outside. This makes it easier for him to listen to the songs you hum and the words you speak.

Therefore, as you inch closer to completing 23 weeks of your pregnancy, which basically is the end of the second trimester, your little will react to your voice and any other actions frequently. This means your baby’s cognitive development is also progressing rapidly, and you can enhance it by listening to the right music and reading stories that benefit him.

Benefits of Reading to Your Unborn Baby

While figuring out the things to read to a baby in the womb, it is important to know how your activities are going to benefit the little one. Everything that you do, right from eating to speaking to exercising, affects the baby in one way or the other. The aural perception is so strong that most babies are able to develop an affinity for the native language over any other, even without understanding it fully.

  • Pregnancy is not just a stressful time for the mother but also for the baby. The baby undergoes an array of emotions and can feel overwhelmed at times. Indulging in some nice reading activity can help you calm down, and your soothing voice can also control the heart rate of your anxious baby and help him relax in your womb.
  • A baby’s bond with his mother develops right from the time he is in the womb. Skin-to-skin contact has its own benefits and makes the bond stronger once the child is born. However, the bond is truly formed when the mother indulges in various activities when the little one is still inside her. Being constantly aware of the mother’s voice helps the baby develop trust, which is why most babies stop crying after they hear the mother’s voice. If a piece of particular music is played regularly, the baby can recognise it pretty well, too. Playing it again once the baby is out can also strengthen the bond yet again. And, this isn’t simply restricted to the mother. If the partner reads a story to the child, the baby will begin to recognise that voice too.
  • As your baby grows in your womb, his brain development is still in progress, and the neural connections form rapidly. Listening to the mother’s voice or stories help strengthen those connections. And, they can help him recall when he hears them again after birth. Repetition is a proven form of memorisation, and when the seeds are sown early in life right from the womb, it develops memory and improves concentration in babies.

A baby in the womb

What Stories to Read to a Baby in the Womb

If you are an avid reader, you will enjoy reading everything under the Sun. From romantic novels to murder mysteries to sci-fiction. But, you can’t read these books to your little baby, whether he is in the womb or outside. If you are struggling to figure out what kind of stories would suit your baby the best, take a simple stroll in the children’s section of any bookstore and purchase books you want your baby to hear. You can form your baby’s library by collecting books early on and reading to him. When your baby grows up and can read, he can refer to these books. In short, the future expense will be taken care of to some extent. But, if you do not wish to purchase books early on and want to reserve that for when your baby can read, you can get a library subscription and borrow all the books you’d like to read to your little one.

Remember the movie Baby’s Day Out? Books similar to those where a baby goes around the world and visits different places can help instil a feeling of excitement and joy within the little one indirectly. Books that are filled with small poems, focusing on the rhyme scheme, can develop his tendency to recognise sounds and word formations. Opt for reading fantasy stories that can enrich his imagination. Doctor Seuss, as well as Roald Dahl’s books, are meant for children, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait for your child to grow up. Go ahead and read these books to your little one in the womb. The way you read out a story to your child also matters. So, opt for rhyming stories and try to modulate your voice wherever needed.

Once you know what to read for your baby in the womb, don’t stop there. Combine the reading activity with listening to music or humming some songs of your own. Everything that a baby hears is going to work to his benefit and make him a lovely individual in every way possible.


Also Read: Ways to talking with Your Baby in the Womb

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