Reading to the baby in pregnancy: when and what to choose

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Philippe Gloaguen
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Read to the child when it is still inside the belly is it useful? The answer is yes, it is useful both for the little one who grows up, both for the parent who begins to create an unbreakable bond. So here are some tips on the readings to face to start interacting with the child to come.



In this article

  • Why read to the baby in pregnancy: why?
  • Since when can you start reading to the baby in the belly?
  • What to read to the baby during pregnancy?
Read also: Talking to the baby in the belly: a cuddle that is good for you

Why read to the baby in pregnancy: why?

There are many studies that demonstrate the usefulness of reading to children for their psychophysical development, however recent research has shown that even prenatal reading - when the baby is still in the mother's womb - can have some benefits on the unborn child.



It is now known how the fetus begins perceive the external environment long before the end of gestation, therefore reading to the pregnant baby will allow the baby to become familiar with the voice of the mother (or father), getting used to the relaxing and reassuring tones of the parents and reinforcing a bond which at the time of birth will already be well structured.

Not only that, it has been shown how this "early" reading stimulates different stimuli congitive aspects of the child, enhancing their language skills (ex: ease of literacy and recognition of words) as well as those mnemonic.

Read also: What the fetus learns in the belly

Since when can you start reading to the baby in the belly?

The beginning of this good practice - which, let us remember, also helps the mother to take moments of great intimacy with her baby - naturally must follow the timing of fetal development. In fact, the baby's auditory system begins to form more or less from the sixteenth week of pregnancy, but it is between the 23th and the 27th week that the baby in the belly begins to distinguish sounds coming from outside.



Therefore it is between the 28esima and thirtieth week which is the most suitable time to begin reading to the baby, also because at this point in the pregnancy the fetus's brain can already begin to store memories (albeit very "vague") and information.

Read also: What does the fetus feel in the belly

What to read to the baby during pregnancy?

Of course, a fetus does not have the cognitive ability to process concepts or information starting from an auditory stimulus, however prenatal reading stimulates the baby to recognize and distinguish the sounds of sentences read by mom and dad. Therefore, even before the content, it is the sonority and rhythm of reading to play a role of primary importance.



Nursery rhymes, ninnanne, Songs and short tales they are therefore the best choices to read to the baby in the belly, as the constant and chanting rhythm allows the "green bean" to identify the different sounds.

Nursery rhymes to read during pregnancy

There are books, such as the very popular MammaLingua by B. Tognolini, which collect nursery rhymes and rhyming stories ideal for prenatal reading. Here are some examples.

  • Mummytongue. Twenty-one nursery rhymes for babies and for mothers' voices by B. Tognolini (Il Castoro): sixteen illustrated cards dedicated to different moments of a baby's day (sleeping, feeding, etc.) which are told through songs to be read aloud. One could almost say that one begins to entertain the little one by anticipating what awaits him for the first months of his life!
  • The first time I was born by Vincent Cuvellier Charles Dutertre (Sinnons): an illustrated book that tells all the first times that every new life has to face, from the first smile of the mother to the first word spoken.
  • Songs of waiting by Sabrina Giarratana (The Green Lion): a collection of poetic songs that mark the beauty of the birth of a child.
  • Moms in G by Francesca Borgarello and Roberta Angaramo (Franco Cosimo Panini): a book accompanied by an audio CD with rhythmic dances and songs to entertain the little one from inside his mother's belly. In the illustrated cards there are then some tips for both the mother and the baby.

Fables to read during pregnancy

Classic fables such as those of Aesop or the most famous fairy tales (Little Red Riding Hood, Tom Thumb, etc.) are already perfect for prenatal readings. The important thing is that the mother (or father) keeps a while reading calm tone, relaxed and pronouncing the sentences by articulating the words well, while maintaining a constant rhythm.

Then there are those who, like Cristina Fiore, Anep trainer responsible for the Psycho-pedagical disciplines area of ​​the "Bene con Sé Bene Insieme" study center, have collected on their website a large archive of stories perfect for this purpose.

FONTI: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS); Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology; Baby Center; WebMD

Read also: Lullabies and music to lull the baby in the belly

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  • baby bump
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