Talking to your bump during pregnancy

Your baby's brain starts developing in the womb and unborn babies begin to hear sounds at around 18-20 weeks.  Research says that talking to your baby during pregnancy can help with their language development.

Your unborn baby loves to hear the sound of your voice. Your baby cannot understand the words you are saying, but they can hear and respond to sounds early on. Talking to the bump in a gentle, soothing tone through your pregnancy helps your baby’s brain development and helps you form a bond.

Try some of the simple ideas below.

Talk in a gentle, soothing tone

Tell your baby what you are doing, how you are feeling, what you need from the shops, how much you love them. Your gentle tone of voice is more important than the actual words.

Sing songs, nursery rhymes or made-up rhythms

Babies in the womb are believed to be able to detect patterns and rhythms. Speaking to your baby in a rhythmic pattern can capture their attention and stimulate their developing brain.

Read out loud

Read aloud a children’s book, magazine, the back of a shampoo bottle - anything at all. Your baby will get to know your familiar and safe voice.

Encourage your partner, friends and family to get involved

Your baby can get to know the voices of wider family and friends, and will recognise them when they arrive. Brothers and sisters will also enjoy talking to the bump, and sharing songs and stories. Let friends and wider family members all communicate with the newborn as well, to widen the baby's contact with speech and language.

Read more about helping to develop your unborn child on the Bump, Birth & Beyond website section about getting to know my baby.