Is It Practical To Read Story Books To Your Baby When You Are Pregnant? 🤔 📖
Indian legends talk highly about the great warrior Abhimanyu. He, who had mastered the way of entering the Chakravyuha or Labyrinth, played a significant role in the Indian Mythological war “The Mahabharata.”
Folklore suggests that Abhimanyu had overheard the way from his father Arjuna while he was still in his mother’s womb. But, unfortunately for him, the recitation was interrupted by Lord Krishna, and he never heard about the way to exit. This unfortunate incident eventually led him to be stuck in the labyrinth and his untimely death within it.
This story was one of the many reasons why I had chosen to read aloud to my unborn child.
Motherhood is a beautiful journey that is filled with its fair share of bumps in between. So the thought of reading while you are nauseous during pregnancy seems dramatic. But darling, hear me out. Read the whole blog, and you will get a fair idea about how this habit can do wonders for both of you.
I love reading; I always have since childhood. But pregnancy made sure that I lose my nerves and shift my mood like the melting glacier at the pole. Doing something as simple as reading seemed like a task during the initial days. And by the third semester, I had started feeling breathless while reading aloud. But now, when I see my toddler responding to books better than kids his age, I feel proud of myself.
Understand Why It Is Essential To Read To Your Unborn Baby
You will find it taxing to form a bond while planning your nutritious meals and dealing with pregnancy hormones. It seems like a chore to unwind and cherish the human growing within you. Reading to the baby can do the job of bonding the two of you even before s/he arrives. But, then, it’s just the two of you, having a warm interaction.
Scientifically, the stories you read with changing modulation will evoke different reactions in them. The pace you use to read sounds rhythmic to the fetus. This trick still helps me calm my energetic toddler down and also while I put him to sleep. I believe that it helps him understand newer words and their usage better too.
Taking some time out from my hectic routine to read aloud while pregnant helped me calm my nerves down. The secret is, I did it more for my sanity than for the unborn child. It felt like a meditative trance that helped my body to settle down for a bit.
When Should You Start Reading To Your Unborn Baby?
I had never stopped reading, just out of habit. However, I read aloud to the fetus only after my first trimester. A baby can hear distinct sounds as early as 18 weeks. S/he might be able to respond to that sound at 24 weeks. By now, s/he is already familiar with the sounds within the mother’s body. Your heartbeat, digestive sounds and sounds of the womb are already known to them.
It feels rewarding when you read specific things and the child responds to them from within. For example, my child loved it while I read aloud my travelogues to him. It could also be the child responding to the happy hormones released while I was pleased cherishing the happy memories. I have heard from other mothers how their child reacts differently to lullabies they have had heard while in the womb.
So my suggestion would be to start reading as early as possible. This will help you set a routine and also help in calming you down. And soon, you will be looking forward to this daily ritual.
How To Read To Your Unborn Child?
Understand how you might sound to your child who is still protected inside your uterus. Imagine listening to someone talking with a hand and some more layers over their mouth. That is how you sound to the unborn child. The child obviously would not understand words and language in there. However, tones and rhythms are what s/he can differentiate. It’s like an activity to keep them entertained and alert in there. High pitched sounds and longer wavelengths travel better through thick layers of muscles and fat.
So, read loudly and rhythmically while you touch your stomach. It feels wonderfully calming.
How I Created A Reading Routine For My Unborn Child?
I had a definite timetable while I was pregnant. This timetable also included a specific diet. Healthy eating during pregnancy is exceptionally crucial for both of you. This habit helped me to keep things predictable and avoid last-minute frustrations. I always knew what my next hour and next meal looked like. Sure, the routine was frustrating and tedious, but highly effective and saved me from stress.
I read in the morning with my cup of tea before leaving for work. This habit helped me start my day on a sound and calm note. I made sure not to be distracted by phone calls or any other tasks while I was on it. And I read again before I went to bed. I like to believe that my unborn baby and I looked forward to this intimate routine each day.
By 32 weeks, I started panting, and my husband read to the both of us. I tricked the non-reader into reading by blackmailing him. Finally, the thought of not being recognized by his child was enough for him to start reading at the age of 33.
What Kind Of Books A Pregnant Woman Should Read?
The child doesn’t understand what you are reading because obviously, s/he doest recognize words and language. But, on the other hand, I have always had a soft corner for creepy folklores from around the world. So, this put me in a dilemma while reading to the baby.
You can find articles on the web talk about reading books from the children section. Mothers read books on habits and lessons they want to teach their children.
Unfortunately, I could not muster the patience to read them. So I decided on reading travel blogs, ancient history and books on culture. These were genres that I enjoyed and also wanted to introduce my child to. I also read a lot of Ruskin Bond because of how simple yet charming his storytelling was.
I so badly hope he remembers all those reading sessions and grows up with the same values and curiosity for the world around him. Somewhat like Abhimanyu from Mahabharat, but more fortunate in terms of fate!
An average Indian Millennial. It took her an engineering degree, an MBA, and a few corporate jobs to find her true love for writing. She is a new mother and helps businesses curate personalized content for their readers. You can find her talking to strangers and creating characters in her head while she isn’t writing or parenting.