High Notes

Article & Photo courtesy of Well Rounded NY

Bellybuds founder Curtis Williams explains why baby benefits from music while still in the womb, and gets us started with the perfect playlist.

Music is ever present in our day-to-day lives, and with today’s technology, we can listen to it anywhere. Many of our babies start taking music classes at just a few months old, so it makes perfect sense that we would want to start playing music to our little ones as early as possible. Especially considering the benefits.
As most moms can attest, there’s a pretty short list of things you can do to interact with the baby before birth. But playing music to baby in the womb is a great way to facilitate bonding. Listening to music is something that you can do together, and it’s really fun to feel baby respond to a song that she likes (especially if it’s a favorite of yours). This is also a terrific way for dad to bond with baby and to feel involved with the pregnancy, especially if he’s the one creating the playlist.

Now I’ve never been pregnant, but my wife has twice, and I know it’s definitely not the most relaxing experience. There’s so much to do to get ready for the baby, on top of your regular life, plus you’re probably tired, nauseous and more. Playing music to baby in utero gives mom a chance to relax and reduces stress. Just plug in, put on some easy listening or classical tunes, take a few deep breaths and have a couple minutes of “me” time.

There’s reason to believe your baby is benefitting too. A 2008 study suggests that the fetus responds with increasing speeds of habituation, leading them to believe that the baby is learning in utero. Why not help stimulate early development by playing baby some music?

While many parents-to-be are interested in how baby responds to music while in the womb, a 2013 study suggests that babies can learn a melody they hear while still in the womb, and recognize it after they are born. This means that if you start a routine early, playing certain songs to baby on a regular basis, you can play those same songs to baby once born to soothe and calm him. I think most parents will agree that anything that has the ability to stop a baby from crying is worth trying!

Finally, playing music to a breech baby might even help her to turn. Being told that your baby is breeched can be pretty overwhelming, especially if you have a specific birth plan. Playing music to baby in an attempt to get him to turn is something that you can proactively do. This very process worked for my wife, and we got the whole thing on video at the OB-GYN.

Now hit play.

“Rainbow Connection” by Willie Nelson
“You and I” by Dolly Parton
“All You Need is Love” by The Beatles
“Count on Me” by Bruno Mars
“Dream Baby Dream” by Bruce Springstein
Serenade in G major, K. 525, “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik”: II. Romanze: Andante, from Bellybuds’ “Mozart Mother and Child”
“Isn’t She Lovely” by Stevie Wonder
“Long Time Sun” by Snatam Kaur
“So What” by Miles Davis

This article is by Curtis Williams, founder of Bellybuds, courtesy of Well Rounded NY.  Conceived with love by former magazine editors Jessica Pallay and Kaity Velez, Well Rounded NY aims to be the singular pregnancy resource for city-savvy moms-to-be. Through reviews, profiles, expert Q&As, local guides and more, Well Rounded curates the New York City pregnancy and helps its readers come to terms – and term! – with pregnancy in the city.