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.

 

This Father’s Day, feel like the Dad you already are

It comes so naturally for an expectant mother to bond with the baby who’s sharing her body. For the expectant father, it might take a little encouragement. If you’re a new family in the making, right now is the perfect time to celebrate Daddy-to-be and his very real connection with the baby in the womb.

To experience this connection is deeply moving during pregnancy and amazing to witness after birth. And the effects can last for years to come!

  • This study by the American Psychological Association found that patterns of bonding established before birth affected parents’ and children’s levels of stress and anxiety into the toddler years.
  • This study found that fathers who took an active role in the early stages of their babies’ development led to their children performing better in cognitive tests by the age of two.
  • And this one demonstrated that fathers who embrace becoming a parent from their child’s infancy are less likely to have children with behavioral problems before teenhood.

Talking to the baby in utero is one of the first and best ways for the father-to-be to start loving, caring for, and teaching his baby. From the third trimester or earlier, a baby’s ears are developed enough for her to hear both of her parents’ voices. It will help, of course, if Daddy gets close and speaks, laughs, and sings directly to the bump.

And reading aloud is an especially powerful way for him to share his voice. Numerous studies have shown that babies in utero can recognize and remember stories read aloud to them, especially in the last trimester of pregnancy. Newborns then respond to those same stories, especially read in the familiar voices they heard from the womb.

To get started, Dad-to-be can:

  • Designate a special time every day (bedtime is great!) to snuggle up with Mom-to-be and take turns reading to baby.
  • Choose a story that’s rhythmic and repetitive; the research says that babies respond best to stories with an inherent beat.
  • Read the same few stories or poems every time so they—and Daddy’s unique voice—will become familiar to the baby.
  • Watch the magic begin when the baby is born! The newborn will be calmed by the voices of both parents and will listen attentively to the story she’s already come to love.

What an incredible connection you both will have created with your child, to last the rest of your lives!

Happy Father’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)

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You can do it anywhere!

Read to Your Bunny

H A P P Y  E A S T E R !