Should I read aloud to my baby before he's born?

While fetuses hear much the way that we hear a next-door stereo (lots of bass, not a lot of high frequencies), they are able to hear voices filtered through tissues, bones, and fluid. And by week 24, they recognize -- and are calmed by -- their mothers' voices. Of course, they can't distinguish one word from another; rather, the rhythm and melody of voices they hear serve as their foundation for language. That's why so many moms read aloud to their children, even before that first night in the crib. We strongly endorse that practice, too -- not just for brain development but also to allow your baby to hear your voice and establish an auditory bond at an early age.

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