What Babies Learn in the Womb

A photo of pregnant woman smiling. She is resting on chair while touching stomach. Portrait of young female is in casuals at home.

Ever wonder what babies are learning even before they arrive? I know I did.

Back when my family called downtown Toronto home, we quickly got used to the sounds of busy city life: traffic, construction and frequent sirens were all part of the background noise of our lives.

When my first child was born, I noticed right away that she too seemed accustomed to the daily din and downtown clamour. Compared to some of my suburban friends’ babies, my infant daughter could sleep right through a fire truck racing past us, sirens blaring and horns honking.

I liked to imagine she had grown used to the noise in utero. All the pregnancy books, magazines and websites I read were full of information about the sounds babies can hear in the womb and may then recognize and distinguish after their arrival, including music, voices and even specific words and sounds.

Indeed, research on pregnancy and fetal development has lots to tell us about what kinds of things babies learn in the womb that they can later apply to their early lives, from talking to eating to moving around.

Here are some of the amazing things your baby is learning well before they are born:


In a well-cited study from 2013, Finnish scientists from the University of Helsinki reported that what babies can hear in the womb may have a remarkable effect on how they remember and learn language. In particular, it’s what they hear their mothers saying that counts.

In the study, some moms were asked to repeat certain sounds and made-up words out loud thousands of times over their pregnancy, while another group of moms did not. Once born, the neural response (the electric brain activity) of both groups of babies to the same sounds were measured by the researchers: babies born to the moms in the test group were able to recognize and respond to those same sounds and words as infants, while the babies in the control group that did not hear them did not respond.

Interestingly, the study’s authors also used the same methods for testing the babies’ response to music, singing and instruments played during their mother’s pregnancy, but those results were not significant. In short, your marathon phone chats with your best girlfriends might be more valuable for your baby’s growing brain during pregnancy than those pricey made-for-baby classical CDs.

Taste and smell

Likewise, the time your baby spends sharing all your meals in utero will lay the foundation for what she likes to eat later in life. As described in the encyclopedic The Mother of All Pregnancy Books, by Canadian author Ann Douglas, by the start of your third trimester, your baby can ‘detect and respond’ to both the smell and taste of what you eat. So if your morning sickness and heartburn aren’t obstacles to adventurous eating during your pregnancy, now is the time to start exposing your child’s palate to the full flavour of foods you hope they’ll enjoy later in life.

And if you are concerned about the impact of your late-night pregnancy ice cream cravings, worry not: Douglas also adds that research has shown we are literally born with a sweet tooth. She writes that babies in utero can be seen swallowing in response to sweet flavours introduced into amniotic fluid, but not to bitter flavours. Your kid is so obviously already a genius.


Douglas also has lots to say in her book about what your baby is learning while rolling and kicking around in your uterus. She notes that your baby is fully formed by week 16, and as weight and growth slow, movement begins. Over the remaining months of your pregnancy, while you and your family and friends enjoy the surprise and delight of feeling baby’s increasing movements, your baby is using all that activity to gain muscle coordination and control, learning to grasp and grab, blink and respond to light, practicing breathing, and even sucking – all for good use later on.

So what’s the take home message for expectant moms on helping their babies learn as much as possible before their arrival? Thankfully, it’s that you can sit back and relax, and let nature do this part of the parenting job for you: your baby will learn everything it needs to just by being a part of your healthy, daily routine. That ladies, is a rare gift every mom and mom-to-be can savour.

Carmen Kinniburgh

Carmen Kinniburgh is a freelance writer and editor exploring topics and ideas about parenting and families, Canadian science and research, health and medicine, as well as travel and lifestyle. Born and raised in Alberta, Carmen has also lived in Southern Ontario and Manitoba, where she worked in professional communications for a university and a national health charity. Currently living in Thunder Bay, Ontario, she gets all her best ideas and insights for Parentwise from her own three delightfully precocious children.

You may also like...

114 Responses

  1. I just want to say I am just all new to weblog and honestly savored you’re page. Very likely I’m going to bookmark your website . You definitely have good well written articles. Thanks a lot for sharing with us your website page.

  2. I have been browsing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It’s pretty worth enough for me. In my view, if all web owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will be much more useful than ever before.

  3. Nice read, I just passed this onto a friend who was doing a little research on that. And he actually bought me lunch because I found it for him smile So let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch!

  4. Excellent beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend your website, how could i subscribe for a blog site? The account helped me a acceptable deal. I had been a little bit acquainted of this your broadcast provided bright clear concept

  5. I just want to mention I am very new to blogs and truly savored your website. Probably I’m likely to bookmark your website . You absolutely have terrific posts. Cheers for sharing your blog site.

  6. Thank you, I have recently been searching for info about this topic for ages and yours is the greatest I’ve discovered till now. But, what about the bottom line? Are you sure about the source?

  7. I think other web-site proprietors should take this site as an model, very clean and fantastic user friendly style and design, let alone the content. You are an expert in this topic!

  8. porno says:

    Do you mind if I quote a couple of your posts as long as I provide credit and sources back to your webpage? My blog site is in the very same area of interest as yours and my users would certainly benefit from some of the information you provide here. Please let me know if this ok with you. Many thanks!

  9. I like this site so much, saved to my bookmarks. “To hold a pen is to be at war.” by Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire.

  10. Whoa. If you’re so good that will you’re so good at this time. Your help woke myself up. Thank you very much.

  11. Thanks for another magnificent article. Where else could anybody get that type of information in such an ideal way of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I’m on the look for such information.

  12. Everyone loves it when people get together and share ideas. Great site, continue the good work.

  13. Best view i have ever seen !

  14. Hello would you mind stating which blog platform you’re using? I’m going to start my own blog in the near future but I’m having a tough time choosing between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your layout seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something unique. P.S My apologies for being off-topic but I had to ask!

  15. Simply desire to say your article is as astonishing. The clearness in your post is simply cool and i could assume you are an expert on this subject. Well with your permission allow me to grab your RSS feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please continue the gratifying work.

  16. Bonuses says:

    I just want to tell you that I am just all new to blogging and site-building and actually savored your web blog. Most likely I’m planning to bookmark your website . You really come with incredible posts. Many thanks for sharing your blog.

  17. you have a excellent weblog here! do you want to earn some invite posts in this little weblog?

  18. Best view i have ever seen !

  19. Best view i have ever seen !

  20. Just wanna say that this is very helpful , Thanks for taking your time to write this.

  21. Best view i have ever seen !

  22. Hi, you used to write excellent posts, but the last several posts have been kinda boring… I miss your great posts. Past few posts are just a little bit out of track!

  23. Grant Bouza says:

    It’s great page, I was looking for something like this

  24. Hello! I could have sworn I’ve visited this blog before but after browsing through a few of the articles I realized it’s new to me. Anyways, I’m definitely pleased I came across it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back often.

  25. Thanks for your post. One other thing is when you are disposing your property all on your own, one of the problems you need to be aware about upfront is just how to deal with house inspection accounts. As a FSBO supplier, the key about successfully shifting your property in addition to saving money in real estate agent commission rates is knowledge. The more you realize, the smoother your sales effort might be. One area in which this is particularly important is inspection reports.

  26. I will right away seize your rss feed as I can not in finding your e-mail subscription link or e-newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Kindly let me recognize so that I may subscribe. Thanks.

  27. weekender says:

    Great post. I am going through a few of these issues as well..

  28. free horror says:

    It’s hard to find educated people in this particular topic, but you seem like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

  29. Having read this I thought it was really enlightening. I appreciate you finding the time and effort to put judi live casino this informative article together. I once again find myself personally spending a significant amount of time both reading and leaving comments

  30. 摩托車 says:

    very good post, i actually love this web site, carry on it

  31. naturally like your web site however you have to take a look at the spelling on several of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling problems and I in finding it very bothersome to tell the truth however I will definitely come back again.

  32. Great blog! Do you have any helpful hints for aspiring writers? I’m planning to start my own site soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you suggest starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m completely overwhelmed .. Any recommendations? Bless you!

  33. Thank you the information. I love sucking dick btw hmu

  34. I really loved this blog post. I’ll return to see another! Thank you

  35. I love it when folks get together and share thoughts. Great blog, keep it up.

  36. Hi, I do think this is a great website. I stumbledupon it 😉 I may revisit yet again since I book marked it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide others.

  37. knickers says:

    Thanks for the suggestions shared on the blog. Something else I would like to say is that weight reduction is not information about going on a celebrity diet and trying to lose as much weight that you can in a few months. The most effective way to shed pounds is by consuming it slowly and gradually and obeying some basic points which can provide help to make the most from your attempt to drop some weight. You may learn and be following many of these tips, yet reinforcing knowledge never hurts.

  38. I’m truly enjoying the design and layout of your blog. It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a designer to create your theme? Exceptional work!

  39. I챠m impressed, I have to admit. Rarely do I encounter a blog that챠s equally educative and amusing, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head. The problem is something too few people are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy I found this in my search for something regarding this.

  40. There may be noticeably a bundle to learn about this. I assume you made sure nice factors in features also.

  41. This page truly has all the info I wanted concerning this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

  42. Sean Hopgood says:

    Having read this I thought it was extremely informative. I appreciate you spending some time and effort to put Judi Bola Asian Handicap this information together. I once again find myself spending a lot of time both reading and leaving comments

  43. Very efficiently written article. It will be supportive to anybody who employess it, as well as myself. Keep doing what you are doing – i will definitely read more posts.

  44. Magnificent goods from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff previous to and you are just extremely magnificent. I actually like what you have acquired here, certainly like what you are stating and the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still care for to keep it smart. I can’t wait to read far more from you. This is really a terrific site.

  45. I really enjoyed this article. I hope you keep on create more content.

  46. JBOKeo says:

    Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular article! It is the little changes that make the most important changes. Thanks for sharing!

  47. look here says:

    Some truly great content on this site, appreciate it for contribution.

  48. my sources says:

    hello!,I really like your writing very much! percentage we communicate more approximately your article on AOL? I require an expert on this space to solve my problem. May be that’s you! Taking a look forward to look you.

  49. I savour, cause I discovered just what I was having a look for. You have ended my four day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye

  50. Dwain Schild says:

    Great website you got here! Hope you keep updating and make people like me visit! It’ll be in my bookmarks so better update!

  51. Having read this I thought it was very informative. I appreciate you taking the time and effort to put this content together. I once again find myself spending way too much time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worth it!

  52. buy cialis says:

    I think this site contains some really superb info for everyone :D. “Believe those who are seeking the truth doubt those who find it.” by Andre Gide.

  53. I’d like to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in writing this site. I’m hoping to see the same high-grade blog posts from you in the future as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own site now 😉

  54. game news says:

    You’re so cool! I don’t suppose I’ve truly read through a single thing like that before. So wonderful to find another person with some genuine thoughts on this topic. Seriously.. thank you for starting this up. This site is something that’s needed on the web, someone with a little originality.

  55. I챠m impressed, I have to admit. Rarely do I come across a blog that챠s both educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head. The problem is something which not enough people are speaking intelligently about. Now i’m very happy that I stumbled across this during my hunt for something regarding this.

  56. This is a topic that is close to my heart… Best wishes! Where can I find the contact details for questions?

  57. Usually I don’t learn post on blogs, but I wish to say that this write-up very pressured me to check out and do so! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thank you, very great article.

  58. Nice read, I just passed this onto a friend who was doing some research on that. And he just bought me lunch because I found it for him smile Thus let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch!

  59. This is a topic that is near to my heart… Many thanks! Where can I find the contact details for questions?

  60. I’d need to verify with you here. Which is not one thing I usually do! I take pleasure in reading a submit that will make individuals think. Additionally, thanks for permitting me to remark!

  61. hi!,I like your writing very so much! share we keep up a correspondence more approximately your post on AOL? I require an expert in this area to resolve my problem. Maybe that’s you! Having a look ahead to look you.

  62. porno says:

    great points altogether, you just gained a new reader. What may you suggest about your submit that you simply made some days in the past? Any sure?

  63. Oh my goodness! a tremendous article dude. Thanks Nevertheless I am experiencing subject with ur rss . Don’t know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there anyone getting similar rss downside? Anyone who knows kindly respond. Thnkx

  64. you are really a good webmaster. The website loading speed is incredible. It seems that you are doing any unique trick. Moreover, The contents are masterpiece. you’ve done a magnificent job on this topic!

  65. I was just searching for this info for some time. After 6 hours of continuous Googleing, at last I got it in your web site. I wonder what’s the lack of Google strategy that don’t rank this kind of informative web sites in top of the list. Usually the top websites are full of garbage.

  66. I do not even know the way I stopped up right here, but I believed this put up was once great. I do not recognise who you might be however certainly you’re going to a famous blogger if you are not already 😉 Cheers!

  67. Vanna Reeve says:

    Hi, i think that i saw you visited my weblog so i came to “return the favor”.I’m attempting to find things to improve my site!I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!!

  68. styling says:

    Great post! We are linking to this particularly great content on our website. Keep up the good writing.

  69. Having read this I believed it was rather enlightening. I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this article together. I once again find myself spending way too much time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worth it!

  70. Throughout this great scheme of things you get an A for effort. Where you actually lost us was first on the specifics. You know, as the maxim goes, details make or break the argument.. And it couldn’t be more true at this point. Having said that, allow me inform you just what exactly did deliver the results. Your article (parts of it) is certainly rather powerful and this is most likely the reason why I am making an effort in order to opine. I do not really make it a regular habit of doing that. Next, while I can notice a leaps in reason you come up with, I am definitely not convinced of how you appear to unite your ideas which in turn help to make the final result. For now I will, no doubt yield to your position however wish in the future you actually connect the dots much better.

  71. Hey, you used to write magnificent, but the last several posts have been kinda boring… I miss your great writings. Past several posts are just a little out of track! come on!

  72. I really appreciate this post. I have been looking all over for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You’ve made my day! Thanks again

  73. Aw, this was a really nice post. In idea I want to put in writing like this moreover – taking time and precise effort to make a very good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate alot and under no circumstances seem to get one thing done.

  74. Wonderful website. Plenty of useful information here. I am sending it to some pals ans also sharing in delicious. And obviously, thank you in your effort!

  75. Brenton Nole says:

    I the efforts you have put in this, thanks for all the great articles .

  76. Hello there, You’ve done an excellent job. I’ll certainly digg it and personally suggest to my friends. I’m sure they’ll be benefited from this website.

  77. As I web site possessor I believe the content matter here is rattling wonderful , appreciate it for your efforts. You should keep it up forever! Best of luck.

  78. Appreciating the persistence you put into your website and detailed information you offer. It’s great to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same unwanted rehashed material. Fantastic read! I’ve saved your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  79. I have to show some thanks to the writer for bailing me out of this particular challenge. Because of exploring through the world-wide-web and finding principles that were not beneficial, I assumed my entire life was done. Existing without the presence of strategies to the problems you’ve fixed as a result of your entire website is a crucial case, and those that would have negatively affected my entire career if I hadn’t discovered your site. Your primary training and kindness in touching all the details was helpful. I’m not sure what I would have done if I hadn’t encountered such a solution like this. I can at this time look forward to my future. Thanks very much for the impressive and results-oriented help. I will not think twice to propose the blog to any individual who needs and wants support on this situation.

  80. What i do not understood is actually how you’re not actually much more well-liked than you might be right now. You’re very intelligent. You realize thus significantly relating to this subject, produced me personally consider it from a lot of varied angles. Its like women and men aren’t fascinated unless it is one thing to do with Lady gaga! Your own stuffs outstanding. Always maintain it up!

  81. Jospeh Faux says:

    Thanks! I think you will maybe not worry much if I browse around your site a tad bit more. “The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty and the destiny of the republican model of government are justly considered … deeply … finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.” by George Washington..

  82. I am often to running a blog and i actually respect your content. The article has really peaks my interest. I am going to bookmark your website and maintain checking for brand spanking new information.

  83. I have been examinating out a few of your articles and it’s clever stuff. I will definitely bookmark your site.

  84. Terrific work! This is the type of info that should be shared around the internet. Shame on Google for not positioning this post higher! Come on over and visit my web site . Thanks =)

  85. I would like to show my appreciation to this writer for rescuing me from this particular challenge. Because of browsing through the the web and obtaining tips that were not powerful, I believed my entire life was done. Existing minus the approaches to the difficulties you have sorted out by means of your main post is a serious case, and the kind which may have in a wrong way affected my entire career if I had not encountered the blog. The know-how and kindness in handling every aspect was useful. I’m not sure what I would’ve done if I had not come across such a step like this. It’s possible to at this moment relish my future. Thanks a lot so much for your skilled and sensible help. I won’t hesitate to recommend your blog to any individual who needs and wants direction on this issue.

  86. This really answered my problem, thank you!

  87. Spot on with this write-up, I truly assume this web site needs far more consideration. I’ll in all probability be once more to learn way more, thanks for that info.

  88. This is really attention-grabbing, You’re a very professional blogger. I’ve joined your rss feed and sit up for seeking extra of your fantastic post. Additionally, I’ve shared your website in my social networks!

  89. Great website. A lot of helpful info here. I’m sending it to some buddies ans additionally sharing in delicious. And naturally, thank you in your sweat!

  90. I cherished up to you will obtain performed proper here. The sketch is attractive, your authored material stylish. however, you command get got an edginess over that you want be delivering the following. sick for sure come more in the past once more since exactly the same nearly a lot steadily inside case you defend this increase.

  91. I was suggested this website by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my trouble. You’re amazing! Thanks!

  92. There is perceptibly a lot to identify about this. I feel you made various good points in features also.

  93. Find out why News and why it means a lot.

  94. I’ll immediately snatch your rss feed as I can’t in finding your e-mail subscription link or e-newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Kindly allow me realize so that I may just subscribe. Thanks.

  95. Hey very cool website!! Man .. Beautiful .. Amazing .. I will bookmark your site and take the feeds also…I am happy to find so many useful information here in the post, we need work out more techniques in this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .

  96. We stumbled over here by a different web address and thought I might check things out. I like what I see so now i’m following you. Look forward to looking at your web page yet again.

  97. Hey this is somewhat of off topic but I was wanting to know if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding expertise so I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience. Any help would be enormously appreciated!

  98. I like what you guys are up too. Such intelligent work and reporting! Keep up the excellent works guys I have incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it will improve the value of my site 🙂

  99. More Help says:

    I cling on to listening to the news bulletin lecture about getting free online grant applications so I have been looking around for the most excellent site to get one. Could you tell me please, where could i find some?

  100. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with a few pics to drive the message home a bit, but other than that, this is great blog. A great read. I’ll certainly be back.

  101. I’ve been surfing online more than three hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me. In my view, if all web owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will be much more useful than ever before.

  102. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great. I don’t know who you are but certainly you’re going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already 😉 Cheers!

  103. I’m so happy to read this. This is the type of manual that needs to be given and not the accidental misinformation that is at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this greatest doc.

  104. Awesome stuff! I’ll return to see some more of your stuff. Great job!

  105. wonderful publish, very informative. I’m wondering why the other experts of this sector do not notice this. You should proceed your writing. I am sure, you’ve a great readers’ base already!

  106. Howdy just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The text in your post seem to be running off the screen in Ie. I’m not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with internet browser compatibility but I thought I’d post to let you know. The style and design look great though! Hope you get the problem resolved soon. Thanks

  107. Hello! Someone in my Facebook group shared this site with us so I came to give it a look. I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Wonderful blog and wonderful style and design.

  108. Spot on with this write-up, I really think this website needs way more consideration. I’ll probably be again to learn rather more, thanks for that info.

  109. Keep functioning ,fantastic job!

  110. Somebody essentially assist to make seriously posts I might state. That is the first time I frequented your website page and to this point? I amazed with the research you made to create this particular submit extraordinary. Magnificent job!

  111. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good. I don’t know who you are but certainly you’re going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already 😉 Cheers!

  112. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point. You definitely know what youre talking about, why waste your intelligence on just posting videos to your site when you could be giving us something enlightening to read?

  113. I used to be suggested this website by way of my cousin. I am now not certain whether or not this submit is written by means of him as nobody else recognize such specific about my difficulty. You’re incredible! Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *