By Matt Gannon
When Gabriel was still in utero, Chelsea (my girlfriend) told me to talk to him. I wanted to, but it felt awkward. Obviously Chelsea had to be there in order for me to do so, and I just felt weird. But I did want to. I knew how important it was. So I started. But Chels talked to him all day every day, on top of reading and playing music as well.
We both knew that this was a great thing to do for Gabriel, as it developed his mind and language skills even as he was still in the womb. This might sound crazy to some, but it’s not.
According to the National Institutes of Health, reading, singing, and playing music to baby in utero directly affects intellectual development in a positive way.
Furthermore, the American Academy of Pediatrics has concluded that these activities reduce prenatal stress which helps to prevent any complications for the baby and mother during and after pregnancy.
Baby’s brain absorbs information even before birth. This includes voice recognition. There is a maternal bond between your child and their mother, but the paternal bond can take work. Start during pregnancy. The more baby hears your voice, the easier it is for them to recognize you as their father. You were there from the very start, so it’s important for your child to know this. This is the beginning step to building a lifetime bond with your baby.
When Gabriel was born, I cut the cord and then he was carried off to be assessed by the nurses. I followed them over and held his hand while they did their thing. He was crying and squinting in the light, but when I talked to him, he stopped and turned his head towards the sound of my voice. I believe this is directly caused by the amount that he heard my voice while still in the womb.
Reading and talking to your baby is a gift that can benefit them for the rest of their lives.