Fetal Development: Does Music Matter?

What researchers do know is that a baby is able to hear and respond to music by about 20 weeks. A baby’s ears are usually structurally developed by 24 weeks, which means that most babies will be able to hear sounds outside of the womb during the fifth or sixth month of pregnancy.

Newer studies indicate that, if nothing else, music may play a role in helping a baby feel more relaxed and have a better sense of well-being. One study, published at the Nagasaki University School of Medicine in 2010, found that when classical music was played through headphones on the mother’s abdomen, babies had an increased response to music and that the music may have promoted “fetal well-being.” Researchers also noted better results were seen when the mother was relaxed.

Fetal development and music

What is the best music to use for fetal development?

The most widely studied music is that from Mozart. In particular, Mozart’s Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major was recently used in a study on fetal development. One study found that infants in the womb were soothed by sounds of Vivaldi and Mozart; however, they were startled by loud passages of Beethoven, Brahms and Rock.

Should parents use music during pregnancy?

There are a number of albums and music downloads that claims they can make a baby smarter; however, there are no studies that can accurately prove it. Still, having a baby listen to classical music while in the womb can help the baby feel more relaxed. Doctors only caution against playing extremely loud music that could startle or hurt the baby.

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