Do belly headphones work?

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Belly headphones are a popular registry item (“headphones” designed for mom’s belly so baby can listen to music). Before you go buying buds for your bump, consider this:

  • No research shows that playing music to a baby in the womb makes them smarter
  • No research shows newborns can recognize music their parents played for them in the womb
  • Many of these belly headphones can’t even recreate the frequencies best heard by a baby (low frequencies reach the womb easier than high frequencies).
  • These devices could have a negative affect by overstimulating the baby or disrupting the baby’s sleep cycle.

Babies without headphones:

  • Can still hear music. If mom can hear it, baby can probably hear something, too.
  • Benefit from listening to people talk. Babies can recognize words or rhythms they heard while in the womb
  • Benefit from being read to. When you read to an unborn baby, his/her heart rate will lower.
  • Babies show a preference to mom’s voice in the womb and after birth

While belly earphones are a fun fad, save your money. Or, spend it on some music you like that your baby might enjoy, too. It might become their favorite after birth, too.

Here’s why you might want to play your unborn baby rap or heavy metal (or any music of your choice).

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