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When Should You Start Teaching Your Baby?

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This question may come to mind for many first time parents; other parents may never consider the question at all and just leave things to evolve and develop naturally.

In a way it is an unnecessary question as, whether you like it or not and whether you mean to or not, you begin teaching your baby while it is still in the womb and then continue through its early years, teenage years and into adulthood. So, perhaps it is better to rephrase the question slightly to “when should I consciously start teaching my baby?”

baby learning

Even then the answer is the same – while the baby is in the womb. While the baby is in the womb it starts to learn about its environment after about six months of pregnancy, when it is capable of hearing external sounds. Of course, it is aware of its internal environment earlier than that, but there is little you can do to enhance that. When it comes to the external environment you are in a position to have some influence even from that early stage of development.

With the baby in the womb there is clearly a very limited scope for teaching as such, however you can provide additional stimulation that will form an important part of their learning at that stage. You can provide many hints as to what the outside environment is like, in a way that sets a good foundation for their feeling of love and security.

The main external awareness of a baby in the womb is sound. If you can make the external sounds comforting and welcoming then that will help the baby more than you may think. Music is a proven stimulant to babies, especially classical music; a daily dose of Mozart will stimulate the baby’s brain and senses – provide a period in your day when you can relax too.

You do not have to restrict the baby to classical music – use whatever music you like, just turn the volume up a bit more than usual to ensure the baby hears it. The sound will be muffled, but by the time baby is born she will be used to your musical tastes. Your aim should be to make the outside environment familiar to the baby. Most of that will happen naturally and she will become used to the daily sounds, such as the vacuum cleaner, liquidizer, lawnmower and other domestic noises that are penetrating.

Another important external sound for the baby in the womb is the voices of the parents. Getting to know the voice of mum and dad will come naturally, but dad especially can get up close and talk to the baby in the womb. It will not talk back of course but you can rest assured, if she is awake, she will be intrigued by your up close and personal voice.

Another external stimulation is light.
This can be even more useful for keeping baby awake in the evening.
If you take a powerful flashlight, switch it on, and hold it close to your tummy, the baby in the womb will respond to it.
It is a tool to “keep baby awake in the evening” to stop mum being kicked so much during the night.

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