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Babies Remember Words From the Womb

Pregnant woman and music
Photograph by Getty Images/Hemera

At first, it might seem like you're talking to yourself. But after a while, talking to your baby bump comes naturally, and it could pay off big time when baby comes, according to a new study.

Researchers at the University of Helsinki in Finland found that babies may be learning words long before they're born. And while the advice is nothing new (that you should talk to your baby and even play music for her), now it's backed up with evidence.

A group of pregnant women participated in the study; researchers had half of them play a recording of a made-up Finnish word over and over, continuing from the 29th week of pregnancy until birth. The other half of the group didn't play it at all. Ultimately, the babies who heard the word in the womb showed a heightened reaction to it after they were born.

So what does this mean? Well, your baby is learning words and sounds very early on—researchers argue that comprehension and hearing can develop as early as halfway into pregnancy. While your baby won't come out of the womb talking like a college graduate, it does show that if you talk to him early on, he'll have a good head start!

What else does this mean? One of our bloggers answers the question here.

Tell us, did you (or do you plan on it) talk to your kids while they were in the womb? How are their language skills now?

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