BookmarkBookmarkTick

Playing Music to Baby in Utero?

Can playing music to baby in utero make him or her smarter? 
ByKelly Kasper, MD
OB-GYN
Updated
March 2, 2017
Hero Image

You’ve probably heard that playing Beethoven, Bach or Beyoncé while you’re pregnant can up baby’s intelligence level, but don’t count on it.

“There are no studies that say that playing music to babies in utero makes them smart,” says Kelly Kasper, MD, ob-gyn and associate clinical professor at the Indiana University School of Medicine. Of course, that doesn’t mean that prebirth music doesn’t make your baby smarter. There’s just no way to tell for sure. Kasper says, “You can’t study babies in utero. You can’t see how their neurons are responding to music. It’s impossible.”

What’s certain is that babies can hear music (and other sounds) when they’re in utero, and some scientific studies have reported what moms have known for years: Babies often move in response to music. Does that mean babies like music? Maybe, maybe not. “Some people might surmise from that, Oh, the baby likes it. Other people might surmise, Oh, the baby hates it; it’s moving,” Kasper says.

Hey, if you enjoy listening to music, go for it! Listen to whatever you want, as loudly as you want, throughout your pregnancy. If listening to music is at all beneficial to your baby, it’s probably because it helps moms-to-be relax. “If a mom plays music that she likes, it relaxes her and decreases the stress she’s feeling,” says Kasper. “And that can have positive effects for the baby.”

Plus, More from The Bump:

 

Related Video

Congenital Heart Defects

profile picture of Jennifer L.W. Fink
Jennifer L.W. Fink
Registered Nurse
backpack spilling open with supplies

5 Ways to Make Baby Smarter Before Birth

profile picture of Celia Shatzman
Celia Shatzman
Contributing Writer
pregnant woman looking at her sonogram

This Common Pregnancy Condition Could Up Baby’s Risk of Autism or ADHD

profile picture of Ashley Edwards Walker
Ashley Edwards Walker
Contributing Writer
Published
09/23/2019
sonogram machine at doctor's office

Mom-to-Be’s Hilarious ‘Demon’ Baby Sonogram Goes Viral

profile picture of Laurie Ulster
Laurie Ulster
Contributing Writer
Published
09/13/2019
smiling pregnant woman in urban setting

This Is How Mom’s and Baby’s Cells Communicate During Pregnancy

profile picture of Stephanie Grassullo
Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
08/22/2019
pregnant woman holding her sonogram

Study: Industrial Chemicals Pass From Mother to Fetus Throughout Pregnancy

profile picture of Stephanie Grassullo
Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
01/31/2019
pregnant woman in floral dress touching her belly

Why Your Baby Is Really Kicking in the Womb, According to New Research

profile picture of Stephanie Grassullo
Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
11/30/2018
fruits and veggies representing different weeks of pregnancy

How Big Is Baby: Fruit & Veggie Edition

profile picture of Darcy Strobel
Darcy Strobel
Senior Visuals Editor
pregnant woman holding sonogram

Research Shows Why Babies Need to Move in the Womb

profile picture of Anisa Arsenault
Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
03/12/2018

This Is How Hard Your Baby Is Kicking, According to Science

profile picture of Anisa Arsenault
Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
01/25/2018
Article removed.