We have invited the wonderful Midwife Pip to host our blog this month. Pip is an experienced, practicing Midwifery Sister, MSc graduate, founder of Midwife Pip Podcast, Hypnobirth and Antenatal Educator, co- author of published research and importantly a mum.
We have also teamed up with Miffy Official to give you the opportunity to WIN our Maya Toy Storage and a bundle of Miffy goodies including a collection of books, plush toy, play mat, art prints and more!
‘Why you should read to your bump and baby’
Your baby’s cognitive development starts in the womb, reading to your bump doesn’t only promote bonding and relaxation but it stimulates brain activity too.
Research suggests that from 23 weeks of pregnancy your baby can hear your voice and other sounds, reading to your bump therefore is not as odd as it may seem. Your voice will be a huge source of comfort to your little one when they arrive if they are able to recognise it, so take some time each day to talk or sing to your bump. It has been shown that when babies are exposed to music or songs in the outside world that were commonly played to them in the womb they are soothed and calmed by these sounds. This is not only a helpful parenting tool for you but is a nice gentle way to help transition your little one to the wonders of life outside the womb. Hearing you read to them will also help with their cognitive development as their precious and easily influenced brains begin to connect neurons and develop. New babies’ brains are literally like sponges, absorbing any stimulus around them so making their environment conducive to learning, developing and establishing a secure attachment is important.
When your little one is born, even whilst they are not able to speak reading to them will still help to promote language development and cognitive ability. It will help them to develop concentration and focus skills as well as being a calming and relaxing way for you to bond with your baby. As your little one grows, they will also start to respond to the familiarity of a book, and it may form a part of their bedtime routine.
Whilst there is no right or wrong story or book to read to your baby, it is nice to find one that you enjoy too. Stories with a rhythm or rhyme to them have been shown in studies to be most beneficial in supporting language development and are often most fun to read too. As your little one grows and enjoy exploring their senses, books with different sounds and textures are often appealing to little hands and eyes. When your baby is first born their sight is more limited and they will find focusing more possible with high contrast colours and black and white imagery.
Over the weeks, months and years the stories and rhymes that you and your baby enjoy together will form precious memories. I bet you can remember a childhood story and why not enjoy the same story with your baby, books can be passed through generations and help bring up happy, relaxing memories for us all.
Don’t forget to enter our competition and enjoy some stories with your family…
About the author:
Pip is on a mission to ensure all expectant and new mums feel like superwoman during pregnancy and when they give birth. Pip believes passionately that with the right support, honest and evidence-based information all birth should be positive regardless of any twists and turns that may crop up. For this reason, Pip begun her Instagram page @midwife_pip followed by her online courses where she is on hand to support and guide women through all aspects of pregnancy, birth, and the early postpartum every step of the way.