Does Music really make a difference?

From the moment I found out I was pregnant I started reading articles on fetal development through music. I had read a few different articles on how a fetus in the second and third trimester can hear music and sound. I also read that classical music can help develop brain cells and stimulate your unborn baby as well. I thought what’s the harm in it? Can a baby really have a higher IQ and enhance their development by listening to music? Well when I got in to my second trimester I purchased a few baby classical CD’s and also a few nursery rhyme CD’s, a pair of large earphones and a small CD player. I sat in bed the first night and thought for a few minutes, asking myself if this was silly and even worth trying? I remember the first few nights I didn’t really notice anything different with my son, as far as movement was concerned. Then after the first week I remember feeling a little more movement, soft kicks and pokes! I thought to myself, “Is he really hearing this and is it bothering him or is he enjoying this?” How can you really know if they are kicking you because they want it to stop or they are kicking out of enjoyment, well I just went with the enjoyment because he never really kicked me that hard and in a way it calmed him, he would actually fall asleep. So I continued to play my classical music for him, as well as the nursery rhymes during the day and I still got my little kicks and light punches. Then I thought why I don’t try some other kinds of music, nothing loud and obnoxious but something else I find soothing. I played one of my favorite artists ever, Frank Sinatra. I would play it at home and I would also play it in the car on the way to work. I’ve heard they can hear quite well even without the earphones. So I played music, read to my son and talked to him every day in hopes that this was actually “stimulating” him and enhancing his development. I read that In-utero fetal acoustic stimulation has been shown to improve pregnancy outcomes as well as benefit the growing fetus. Dr. Thomas Verny M.D., Author of The Second Life of the Unborn Child (Dell 1994) says “When your baby hears the soothing sounds of music, it does two things. First, it stimulates her ear, brain, and body to begin preparation for sound and language comprehension. Secondly, it lulls her into a calm, meditative state.”

When my son was born I continued to play his classical music while in his crib and I noticed certain songs would help soothe him, almost as if he remembered them. One thing I was completely amazed at was one night when I was trying to put him to sleep my husband and I decided to play him some Frank Sinatra in hopes it would help, my son stopped crying and peacefully fell asleep and slept half the night. I was in shock just thinking to myself that he remembered the music and that he was comforted by it. My son is now 10 months old and still to this day I play music for him, every night and every day. It soothes him at night and cheers him up during the day. So when people ask me, “Do you think music really makes a difference?” I have to say YES! It does.

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