Many believe that classical music can help unborn babies develop. But how do the little ones really react to melodies and sounds? A new study shows that fetuses are already real music critics.
You put headphones on your round baby bump to play a bit of your favorite music for the little one. Unfortunately, not enough sound penetrates through the abdominal wall. But people are still sure: music has to trigger something in even the very youngest! And the Marquès Institute investigated this question. The Spanish Clinic for Obstetrics, Gynecology and Fertility Medicine provided music to 300 fetuses between the 18th and 38th weeks. But not with headphones on your stomach, but with intravaginal speakers.
The reaction of the little ones was linked to the movement of the mouth and tongue. The research team assumed that the fetuses would only move their mouths and tongues with music that actually stimulates the language center of the brain. And it turned out that 91 percent of the fetuses reacted to classical music such as Mozart, Bach or Strauss. Rock music also evoked a similar "enthusiasm". The little ones seemed to particularly like "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen. 90 percent moved their mouths and 40 percent stuck their tongue out. Only by pop songs did the fetuses appear rather unimpressed. Shakira in particular was only able to stimulate 50 percent of the little ones with "Waka Waka".
It is also interesting that babies in the womb react more positively to particularly high-pitched voices. For example, they were played the voice of Mickey Mouse and 76 percent moved their mouths. It's no wonder that a high-pitched, very child-like voice triggers something in the little ones. Because other research has shown that during the so-called baby talk, i.e. the individual way in which mothers talk to their babies, the pitch and frequency change completely. This change is so significant that even a computer program could distinguish normal from baby language after a short learning phase.
But of course the changed way of speaking fulfills its function, because the baby recognizes its own mother by Baby Talk. In spite of such research, it is not really clear what the long-term effect of exposure to music has on the development of a fetus. Because although the mouth and tongue movements in the third trimester are very unusual and can therefore be directly assessed as a reaction to the music, you still don't know whether the little ones like the music. In addition, very few mothers have an intravaginal loudspeaker. So if you want to raise a little rocker, you should just start after the birth and then tick it off together!