As a father, bonding with your unborn baby can be challenging, especially since you can’t see or feel them. In fact, it might seem a little silly to be chatting to someone else’s belly!
There are several benefits to a dad talking to their unborn baby. Studies have shown that this type of bonding has a crucial impact on their mental well-being. Hearing their dad’s voice can calm the baby and create an early bond. Babies recognize dad as a caregiver if they’re used to their voice.
- Can a baby actually hear a dad's voice in the womb?
- What are some benefits of a dad talking to a baby in the womb?
- Can unborn babies recognize their dad's voice?
- When should dad start talking to the baby?
- Can dad hear the baby in the womb?
- Other ways (beyond talking) for a dad to bond with your baby during pregnancy
Can a baby actually hear a dad’s voice in the womb?
The baby’s eyes and ears start developing towards the second month of pregnancy. That means the cells inside the embryo start developing into what will eventually become different organs.
Between 9 and 18 weeks, as the little ear indentions develop, your little one will start hearing their first sounds. By talking to your partner and your baby often, the little one will easily recognize your voice.
What are some benefits of a dad talking to a baby in the womb?
1. Stimulate the baby’s brain
Ongoing research shows that prenatal communication stimulates your little one’s brain development. By constantly talking to your baby in the womb, you’ll be helping them develop more efficient synaptic connections. They’ll also develop better cognitive abilities.
2. Creates a stress-free baby
Hearing familiar sounds will become an easy way to calm your little one. For instance, reading them a familiar story or playing the same music after they’re born will calm them down when they’re restless or fussing. If it’s the same sounds and noises they heard in the womb, they’ll instantly start feeling calmer.
3. Identifies you as a primary caregiver
When your unborn baby hears your voice often, they’ll start identifying you as a primary caregiver. That will make it easier when you’re trying to feed them or care for them as newborns. You won’t always have to call the mom every time the baby starts fussing, as your little one recognizes your voice.
Can unborn babies recognize their dad’s voice?
Unborn babies can easily recognize both their parents’ voices if they hear them often enough throughout pregnancy. Even normal conversations between you and your partner will create familiarity for the baby.
As you’re preparing for your role in your little one’s life, did you know there are huge differences between a father and a dad?
When should dad start talking to the baby?
Since unborn babies are essentially developing fetuses, for the most part, many new parents are sure when their little ones will actually hear or recognize them. Studies show that babies start hearing sounds at around 18 weeks.
At 24 weeks, babies become more sensitive to sound. Around week 25 or 26, your baby will start responding to noise or even voices. Often when a baby hears a familiar voice, they’ll kick or move around. For your baby to get familiar with your voice, start talking to them around 18 weeks. This will ensure that your voice is one of the first sounds they hear.
Can dad hear the baby in the womb?
As you prefer to talk to your baby in the womb, you might wonder if you can hear the baby in the womb. While babies can hear sounds, it’s not really possible to hear your baby in the womb.
Sometimes it may be possible for a dad to hear the baby’s heartbeat by putting his ear against the mom’s tummy. However, this depends on how quiet the room is and also on what position the baby is lying in. If you don’t hear a heartbeat with your naked ear, don’t panic!
You can use a stethoscope to listen to your little one’s heartbeat. Be sure to rub the belly area where the baby often kicks so that they know you’re there!
Other ways (beyond talking) for a dad to bond with your baby during pregnancy
Another fun aspect of fatherhood is that there are many ways for a dad to bond with his new baby during pregnancy. Let’s have a look at a few of them.
- Gently rub your partner’s belly: Do this often so that your baby gets used to your presence. Be sure to talk, sing or laugh. Your little one should get used to different sounds.
- Read your little one a story: This is a great way to develop healthy learning habits, and it prevents you from feeling uncomfortable talking to a “belly”. Buy a few children’s storybooks and you’ll have them ready for when the baby gets bigger.
- React to baby kicks: Ask the mom to identify the spot where the baby kicks the most. Tap your finger there a few times until you get a response. Talk to your little one as you do this. With a bit of luck, you’ll get a kick as a reply!
- Play music: Expose your baby to new sounds by sharing your favorite playlist at a gentle volume. Don’t be afraid to sing along! Your baby won’t judge your karaoke ability! If you think your playlist is a little too harsh for your baby’s ears, there’s extensive research highlighting the benefits of playing classical music for babies in the womb.
- Make a recording of your voice: If you work away from home a lot or don’t live with the mom, you can opt to make recordings of your voice reading, singing, or chatting to the little one. Phone and video calls are also common solutions in these instances.
- Be involved in the whole process: It’s also important for you as a dad-to-be involved in preparing for the baby’s arrival. This will give you an additional opportunity to talk to your baby. Your supporting the mom will most likely calm her, too. The little one will sense this calmness when you’re around. Activities you should be involved in include the baby shower, doctor’s visits, and gear and gadget shopping.
Here’s a short clip showing you how a dad is getting a reaction from his unborn baby by making silly sounds!
Speaking to your unborn baby is just the first step in creating a bond that will hopefully last a lifetime. If you’re a dad, speak to your baby as often as possible for the little one to develop a strong emotional bond with you. So yes, speaking to your little one in the womb is most definitely worth the effort!
If you’re a first-time dad, you might want to read about whether dads should really cut the cord during birth. Additionally, I wrote about fatherhood which will answer many questions you have about the wonderful journey of fatherhood!