An essential item for your hospital bag!

There is so much to do to get ready for the arrival of a new baby. You may be setting up the crib, stocking up on diapers, and checking and double-checking that you have enough onesies, blankets, socks and other newborn essentials. These preparations all make good sense and help parents to feel at ease, but the truth is that your newborn will not actually respond to any of these things.

Your baby has come from a place that is dark and warm, where the swishing stomach sounds, the rhythmic heart thumps, and the sweet, sweet sound of Mama’s voice are all the comfort required.

We’re not saying that the practical details aren’t important, but what if we told you that there’s something even better? There is something you can do to prepare now that will preserve your newborn’s feeling of safety and comfort when she leaves the calming refuge of your body and enters a place where she’s barraged with an overload of unfamiliar sensory stimulation.

Whether you have just started your pregnancy or are nearing the finish line, there’s an investment you can make right now that will pay incredible dividends down the line.

For decades vast amounts of research (see our Research page) have shown that babies in utero hear and respond to repeated rhythms and rhymes and are soothed and calmed when they hear the same verse at birth.

Let’s repeat that: Babies are calmed and soothed by rhythms and rhymes they heard before birth. Have you ever seen a onesie that can do that?

So we at The Reading Womb implore you to add something else to your Getting Ready for Baby list: READ!

Reading to babies in utero is easy. Just choose a book that’s short, simple and rhyming (we have the perfect suggestion). Read the book a few times each day, and when baby arrives you’ll see the magic for yourself. Read to baby now, and when your newborn leaves the comfort of your womb for the uncharted territory of the new world, you’ll have something that’s guaranteed to ease the transition.

Once your baby hears the familiar story, read in the voice she loves the most, the results will be palpable. Baby’s heartbeat and breathing will slow down, her crying will stop, and her body will relax, all because you have created a real connection to her safe and comfortable life in the womb.

If you’re approaching your due date and have started to think about what to pack in your hospital bag, don’t forget to pack the special book you’ve been sharing with your baby over these weeks or months. Although you’ll be meeting your baby face-to-face for the first time, you have already created a memory together. This shared reading experience will infuse sweetness and comfort into all the story times—and family times—to come.

 

Celebrate the senses, celebrate Mother’s Day!

 

Congratulations, mom-to-be! Pregnancy is such an amazing experience, even in times like these.

And there’s one big benefit to these days of social isolation: the less focus you’re putting on the world out there, the more you’re putting on this mysterious little creature in here. This is a wonderful time to bond with your baby-to-be!

Thanks to decades of research into fetal development, it’s become clear that babies can hear, taste, smell, and feel from inside the womb. This means that you are already communicating with your baby through the food you eat, the fragrances you smell, the touch of your hands, and especially the sound of your voice. According to Deepak Chopra, sharing the experience of your five senses with your baby “creates a nurturing environment” for yourself and baby, before birth and after.

So cherish all this extra time at home, and use it to make that multisensory connection as your unborn baby grows. Really taste your breakfast, your smoothie, your snacks and meals! Really smell the flowers, your coffee, your soap! Notice all over again the pictures on your walls, the views from your windows or in your back yard. Try out all the comfiest spots for curling up or lying back as lazy as can be.

And while you’re there, start reading aloud! This is the very best way to bond prenatally. Hearing is the sense that is most highly developed in utero, and the one that gives you (and Daddy and big brother/sister-to-be!) the most direct connection with your baby.

So many studies have shown that babies in the womb hear, recognize, learn and remember their mother’s voice (and others’!) and respond to it after birth. This means your familiar voice will calm your newborn baby, and she’ll even recognize stories she heard you read — the best way to raise a book lover and a kid who loves to learn.

Meanwhile, nurturing yourself and your baby right now will help to release endorphins, or feel-good hormones, which will communicate to you and your child, “All is well and calm and safe. Rest, relax, and grow, and soon you’ll join us in this beautiful world.”

What better way to wish yourself…

Happy Mother’s Day!

 

And the winner is…

You can do it, everyone!

Best sibling bonding ever when you read to the bump together!

 

The Belly Books Giveaway ends today! 

Click here for all the info!

Relax and get cozy

Take some Me time and read to the bump!

 

Don’t miss the Belly Books Giveaway! 

Click here for all the info!

Hey, gorgeous!

Read to the bump —
and do it with flair!

 

Don’t miss the Belly Books Giveaway! 

Click here for all the info!

Got some time on your hands?

Read to the bump —
multitasking allowed!

 

 

Don’t miss the Belly Books Giveaway! 

Click here for all the info!

Both of you can do it anywhere!

 

Bond with your baby-to-be — read to the bump!

 

 

 

Don’t miss the Belly Books Giveaway! 

Click here for all the info!

Giveaway!

Enter the You Can Do It! Giveaway on Twitter and Instagram to win a $100 Amazon gift card, two Zillion Bottles onesies, and signed copies of Can’t Wait to Show You and Hey, Little Baby! Drawing Friday, April 17.

Enter Now:

Retweet and Tag on Twitter!

(Follow for a bonus entry)

Or

Tag and Follow on Instagram!

You can do it anywhere!

Read to Your Bunny

H A P P Y  E A S T E R !