While it is unclear whether music has an actual effect on the fetal development, some studies indicate that fetuses can hear and react to sound. At this point, no research supports the idea that playing music when your baby is in the womb makes it smarter.
However, if you do wish to play music to your unborn child, here’s how you should do it:
It’s best to play music in the stereo during the day. Do not use headphones on your belly as it may overstimulate your baby.
“People tend to turn up the sound because they think it needs to be loud to penetrate the abdomen,” say experts like DiPietro. “But amniotic fluid is actually a good conductor of sound.”
The volume shouldn’t be higher than 65 decibels (dB) – about as loud as background music at a store.
Since there isn’t a sufficient study on the effects of music on unborn babies, only play music if you actually like it. It can’t hurt. “When a woman relaxes, that’s good for the fetus and that’s an indirect effect of music on the fetus,” says Janet DiPietro, a developmental psychologist.