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Updated: Jan 19, 2023

Babies hear sounds while in the womb, it is during this time that they hear their mother's heart beat and the gurgling noises of her digestive system as well as her voice and the sounds of others in the family.

By the third trimester, a fetus can hear the rhythm and melody of its mother’s voice — known as “prosody.”

Once birthed the baby hears the outside sounds loud and clear. They may even startle with a loud or unexpected noise. However, on the other hand they can be soothed by rhythmic sounds like the sound of a dishwasher or a lullaby.

Babies respond well to their caregivers voices. Notice how quickly they respond when they hear your voice approaching, whether it be singing or talking in low loving tones.

Most newborns have their hearing tested before being released from the hospital (most states require this). About 1 to 2 in every 1,000 newborn babies has significant hearing loss. Having treatment and support as early as possible is very important for their development. The hearing screening test allows babies who have hearing loss to be picked up in the first few weeks after they are born.

Newborns pay us special attention when we speak to them in "parentese" — the slow, repetitive, musical mode of talking that many parents find natural when addressing an infant. However, babies don’t have the same listening abilities as adults. They find it difficult to pick out speech because of the background noises. (Erickson and Newman 2018) So it is important for our baby's language to talk to them one on one and free from background noises. We just need to listen, spend time with our babies , sing to them and cuddle them.

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