Anyone who knows me well, will know I love my gadgets, so when I found there are products you can get for your baby before they are born, I knew just had to give them a try. I had heard babies are soothed by their mothers voices and music so I wanted to give this a try although I wasn’t sure how. So, when I found BellyBuds, I know it was the product for me.
WHY PLAY YOUR BABY MUSIC?
They say a baby’s hearing is fully developed at about 20 weeks and that memories start at 30. Studies into this are inconclusive so far – some studies believe that if you play music to your baby it can make them smarter, some that believe they may recognise the songs and feel relaxed by the same music on the outside of the womb. One study even says that babies are calmed, soothed and even breath in time to music they enjoy. As there is no way to actually prove this, my post is based on my experience and opinion alone. My logic is that it can’t hurt if the music is played safely, it’s relaxing and if it helps bonding time with baby, it’s worth a go.
HOW DO BELLYBUDS WORK?
Bellybuds are a specialised speaker system that gently adheres to your bump, allowing you to safely play sound directly to the womb. The little green speakers fit nicely around your tummy, you can either use the sticky pads included, or like me – I just tuck the speakers into the band of my PJ’s (as I always use my Bellybuds at night when I get into bed) – you then connect the speakers to your phone, just as you would with headphones and play music. There is a two-way adapter included so you can plug in your headphones too and listen in on what your baby is listening to as well.
Also included with Bellybuds is the WavHello app, where you and your partner, family or friends can record messages, upload music, create playlists and or even sing (although I’ve not had any volunteers for this yet!) – they can also send favourite songs, lullabies and nursery rhymes that you can share with your baby by playing your collection through your BellyBuds.
ARE BELLYBUDS SAFE TO USE?
When I first received my Bellybuds, I was initially worried about the safety of the product, would the baby actually like me pumping music into her quiet cosy space or would she just be aggravated, deafened or overstimulated? Before using the product I scoured the packaging to ensure I was using it within the safety guidelines. I was pleased to see there is a switch actually on the speakers that lets you chose either ‘pre-natal’ or ‘post-natal’ – by selecting pre-natal, you can ensure the headphones are limited to a volume safe for your baby.
To avoid overstimulation, I also only use my Bellybuds for 30 minutes at a time, usually in bed whilst I’m reading before sleep.
I’ve been using Bellybuds for around 5 weeks now. I started at 18 weeks (the earliest they recommend you use them) and didn’t get too much of a reaction, but as the weeks have gone on and baby has got bigger I now know how she’ll react to the music. I absolutely love using this time to bond, as she always goes mad kicking away and wiggling around. I mainly play her soothing songs (there are loads of pregnancy music playlists on Youtube!) plus I’ve been playing her Mozart too (you never know, we could have a case of the Mozart effect, it’s worth a try!) We have thrown a bit of Madonna in there for good measure – of course! I definitely think she can hear the pace of the music, when something is calmer, I get slower movements and big kicks that are really spaced out. If the music is faster, her movements will be faster too.
Bellybuds have really helped Vee to bond as well, with my anterior placenta it took me a while to feel kicks, let alone Vee feeling them on the outside. I would spend ages getting her to put her hands around my tummy but whenever we would do that, the baby would go quiet – typical! Now, when we use the Bellybuds, we know we’ll get some movement and Vee always feels it too. It’s nice to know that using this makes me get a reaction, if we are ever worried about reduced movements, this can be an option as a first port of call (although if this happens to you obviously please do see a Dr/midwife too). I have even heard Bellybuds have been used to turn breech babies too.
So, I can’t say that Bellybuds work 100% scientifically, but for me each piece of music gets a different reaction, so I know our baby is hearing the music and reacting in some way. It’s really helped us to relax and bond with her, plus hopefully the songs she’s heard will comfort her ‘on the outside’ too, but I’ll have to report back about that!
You can buy Bellybuds online, priced at £49.99.
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Post written in collaboration with Bellybuds – all opinions are my own