So, you have a baby on the way, congratulations! Whether this is your first child or the latest addition to your family, you are probably starting to feel a mix of excitement, nerves and anticipation. And as a dad, while you are not carrying the baby yourself there are still plenty of ways to bond with your baby while they are in the womb. Let’s have a look at how you can do this and what the benefits are.
- 1 Do babies in the womb know who their dad is?
- 2 What are the benefits of dad talking to their baby in the womb?
- 3 Is it important for a dad to bond with an unborn baby?
- 4 Does a baby know when their father touches the belly?
- 5 FAQs
Do babies in the womb know who their dad is?
Babies in the womb know their dad before they are born if they hear your voice regularly. They may not know what being a dad means necessarily, but they will recognise their parents’ voices and feel reassured by familiar voices and sounds.
After their mom’s voice, babies typically recognise their dad’s voice the most. They will feel a sense of comfort from hearing your voice after they are born when they have heard it for weeks beforehand in the womb. Babies can get to know you from a very early age so get talking!
Can they recognize their dad’s voice?
Yes, a baby in the womb certainly can recognize both of their parent’s voices when they hear them often throughout pregnancy.
When can the baby hear their dad’s voice in the womb?
From midway through the second trimester babies can hear sounds outside the womb. This means you should start talking, singing and humming to your baby from around the second sonogram. Although you can start chatting anytime – there’s no such thing as too early! This is because all five of your baby’s senses begin to engage from around 21 weeks onwards and they start absorbing everything in the world around them.
What are the benefits of dad talking to their baby in the womb?
First of all, there are benefits to the baby from hearing their dad’s voice regularly in the womb. It can be calming for babies and this is important for their healthy development. A relaxing environment is helpful for babies as they grow and this supports stress reduction. There are studies that link early bonds between parents and their babies in the womb that’s been followed as far as healthy development for toddler-aged children.
Secondly, for you as a dad-to-be it is important to start to bond with your baby as early as possible. This is often a tougher task for dads than moms because you are experiencing pregnancy very differently. Don’t let that put you off though. Talk to your baby whenever you can and if talking isn’t your thing try singing, reading or humming.
This will help your baby recognise your voice and identify you as one of their primary caregivers. It will also build a connection between you and your baby, and feel closer to your partner as they go through pregnancy. It’s a good feeling to be in it together as best as you can, for both of you.
Remember, if you are not physically close to your unborn child frequently you can make an audio recording and ask the mom to play it to the baby. Video or phone calls are another good option if you are away from home a lot or don’t live together with mom.
Is it important for a dad to bond with an unborn baby?
Yes, for both dad and baby. Early bonding will help you to form immediate connections with one another, plus it can be a fun way to support your partner during pregnancy. Many pregnant moms like to share their kicks with their partners, and this shared experience is a nice way to prepare and get excited together.
Early bonding with your baby helps them to know your voice and feel safe with you from day one.
Does a baby know when their father touches the belly?
Babies like familiar touch and respond to those who touch them more often. This inevitably means that mom, who touches her belly often while pregnant, will be much more familiar to your baby than anyone else. Dads should touch their partner’s bump (so long as they are comfortable with that) as often as possible. Your baby will get used to your touch and may be more likely to move around when you do!
Why does a baby stop moving when dad touches the belly?
Sometimes, it can seem like every time you touch the belly your baby stops moving and it’s frustrating. You want to feel your baby kick and they just can’t do it at that moment. There’s a chance it is simply bad luck. Or, it could be because your baby senses an unfamiliar touch and holds back. It’s a good idea to touch your partner’s pregnant belly often, even if there is no action from your baby when you do, so that they get used to you. You might just get to feel a few more kicks and movements after a while!
Remember too that your baby is more active at different times of the day and they might be resting when you touch mom’s belly. It is worth trying again later to see if they are more active then.
Why do some babies kick more when dad touches the belly?
Your baby could be used to your touch and voice and feels comfortable with you. You could also just be especially lucky and catch your baby at an active time of day. Either way, enjoy your baby’s movements!
How can a pregnant mom get their baby to kick for dad?
There is a bit of luck involved with this one so be warned!. Here are some tips to try:
- Mom can touch her belly at the same time as dad to comfort the baby
- Mom can try some gentle nudges of her belly to encourage movement
- Mom can have a drink
- Mom can move around or roll over
- Mom and dad can sing or talk to baby
Play them some music. Share your favourite playlist (at a gentle volume) and expose them to new sounds. Read your baby a story. They will enjoy hearing your voice and you will also be starting healthy bonding and learning habits from the get-go. Attend classes with your partner to learn about pregnancy, childbirth and caring for a newborn. Research the equipment and items you will need to care for your baby. Being involved in the preparation process connects you with your new baby and will get you excited about what’s to come.