|“Behavior doesn’t begin at birth, it begins before and develops in predictable ways.”
Janet DiPietro, Department of Maternal and Child Health, Johns Hopkins University
Did you know that your baby’s brain develops faster during your 40 weeks of pregnancy than at any other moment of her life? That’s just how perfect your womb is at fostering development!
In fact, by the third trimester of your pregnancy, scientists have found that your baby girl experiences the rapid eye movement (REM) sleep that is characteristic of dreaming states, and they speculate that babies dream of what they know: the sensations they feel in the womb, the vibrations of your heart and voice. Although it’s true that your baby spends 90 or 95% of the time sleeping, there’s a lot going on during this beauty slumber!
Babies not only recognize and remember their mother’s voice, they learn patterns too! Newborns have been found to prefer stories that were repeated to them when in the womb, compared to stories introduced to them after birth. They also prefer the sound of their mom’s voice when she speaks her native language than when she pronounces foreign words. So yes, your unborn baby knows you so well that she knows when you are doing something different like singing that Shakira song in Spanish! Psychologists assert that this doesn’t mean that your baby is going to be born ready to learn Chinese, but that she is just responding to the rhythm cues of the sounds that surround her.
So, while you wait excitedly through this last trimester, you can already marvel at all the amazing feats your baby is achieving, like listening, learning, remembering, and finding reassurance in your presence.