As early as the 18th week, your surrogacy baby will start to hear things happening around him or her. By the 25th or 26th week, the little one will respond to noises. For example, he or she may startle when a dog barks or turn in the direction of a familiar sound. It’s quite common for surrogates and intended parents to want to take advantage of this, either for something as simple as getting a response to their voice or with the hopes of giving the little one an academic edge over peers from an early age. Of course, that means finding the right sounds for baby to hear. What does science say is best? Read on to find out.
Babies Respond to Music Played While in Utero
Many studies have looked at the music played for babies in the womb and have discovered that the little ones retain some of it. One study in particular had women listen to “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” regularly while pregnant. After the babies were born, researchers played the same song, but with a few incorrect notes. Babies up to four months old reacted to those incorrect notes. In other words, their memories were already so well developed in utero that they not only recognized a familiar tune after birth, but could identify the exact points at which songs went amiss. Obstetrician and baby book author Rene Van de Carr has also reported some unique findings as well. Carr says that he once had “Beethoven’s Fifth” playing in the background during the ultrasound of a 33-week-old baby when he realized the baby was breathing in tune with the beat. In disbelief, he tested his theory to see if the baby really was responding to the music; he shut off the stereo and watched. The baby’s breathing pattern changed. When he flipped the music back on, the baby skipped a breath, then returned to breathing in time with the music.
Classical Music is Associated with Intelligence… But There’s More to it Than That
Perhaps you’ve heard about the “Mozart Effect.” The concept theorizes that people who listen to classical music are more intelligent. This was spurred by a handful of tests run on students who performed better on tests after being primed with classical music and has gained fire in parenting circles in part due to research doctors like Rene Van de Car have carried out. The catch—it’s not really about it being Mozart or any composer at all. The increase in test results climbs when the child is played music he or she prefers, whether that’s classical, pop, or anything else.
Babies and Tots Prefer Music They Heard in the Womb
Researchers at Leicester University took their studies a bit further and discovered that the music babies heard while within the womb was a major predictor in their preferences for more than a year after birth. They spoke with mothers who listened to classical, pop, and even reggae, then checked to see how babies responded when the same music was played later. “The babies recognise UB40 just as much as they do Mozart but the pace of the music seems to be influential,” says Dr. Alexandra Lamont. “The babies with faster music like Five’s If Ya Gettin’ Down or the start of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons show stronger preferences than the babies with slower music like Mozart’s Adagio for Wind.” Another woman interviewed by BBC concurs, “I used to have a daily bath and listen to Ella Fitzgerald at 6pm. It was my peace time.” The result: “When she was born she was very fractious with colic. We used to play Ella Fitzgerald at 3am to try to settle her, and it really worked.” She’s not alone. Researchers found that babies who are played familiar music also fall asleep easier and stay asleep longer.
Can You Influence Your Baby’s Preferences if Working with a Surrogate?
Parents growing their families via surrogacy may not be able to control the music their babies listen to while in the womb, simply due to the circumstances. However, some parents do form very close bonds with their surrogates or share similar cultural influences, which carries over into music. In these cases, it’s perfectly ok to float the surrogate a “mix tape” of sorts or send some digital music her way. It’s also a great idea to offer her recordings of your voice, so the little one becomes familiar with it and sees it as a source of comfort. Some surrogacy teams delight in this concept and create their own podcasts or radio shows, giving the baby a little exposure to what life outside the womb will be like beforehand. Those who are curious about the impact of music, but don’t feel comfortable offering up audio suggestions can also talk to their surrogates about the types of music she likes and listens to. This alone may open up a discussion about it and can give parents some ideas of music styles to experiment with when the little one comes home.
Begin Your Surrogacy Journey
One of the best parts about working with EDSI is that we personally vet all our surrogate candidates. We not only make sure that the women are wholly prepared medically and emotionally for the road ahead but take the time to pair intended parents up with surrogates who share their interests and values. While we can’t guarantee you’ll share the same tastes in music, you will likely have enough in common that you feel a tong kinship and form a bond as the journey progresses. If these things are important to you, call us at 213-423-7997 to learn more about how EDSI can help.
Title: Sounds of Surrogacy: What Music Babies Should Listen To
Description: Have you heard that classical music will make your baby smarter? In this surrogacy blog, we explore the science behind music your baby should be listening to.
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