Newborns are much more attuned to the sounds of their native language than first thought. In fact, babies can up pick on distinctive sounds of their mother tongue while in utero, a new study has concluded.
Research led by Christine Moon, a professor of psychology at Pacific Lutheran University, shows that infants, only hours old, showed marked interest for the vowels of a language that was not their mother tongue.
“We have known for over 30 years that we begin learning prenatally by listening to the sound of our mother talking,” Moon said. “This is the first study that shows we learn about the particular speech sounds of our mother’s language before we are born.”
The researchers used Swedish and American babies in the study, inferring their interest according to their rate of sucking on pacifiers. The babies sucked their pacifier faster when they heard the sounds of a foreign language.
So moms, don’t feel silly talking to your pregnant belly, baby can definitely hear you!