Regina and her friend, Rochelle, were both pregnant with their first babies. Regina had read about an experiment done with pregnant ladies and told Rochelle about it. They decided to try the experiment themselves.
During the last six weeks of their pregnancy Regina read The Cat in the Hat to her baby every evening. Rochelle read The King, the Mice, and the Cheese each day. Their babies were born within three weeks of one another.
Regina and Rochelle met for coffee to try out their "experiment."
Regina started by reading The King, the Mice, and the Cheese to her baby. The baby boy raised his eyebrows a bit when she started reading, but nothing more. Then she began to read The Cat in the Hat and her son got excited. His eyes got bright, his arms started to pump, and he looked around as though he were looking for "his" book.
Rochelle's baby was sucking her pacifier contentedly and seemed ready for her "experiment" to began. When Rochelle read The Cat in the Hat her daughter seemed to relax as if ready to drift right off to sleep. However, when her Mom began reading The King, the Mice, and the Cheese the baby girl alerted and increased the pace and intensity of her sucking. Her eyes widened with a wise "I-know-what's-going-on-around-here" look on his face. "That's MY book!" she seemed to say.
Babies hear both in utero and out. Other studies have shown how they will suck harder on a pacifier to hear a recording of their mom's voice vs. another woman's voice. They prefer to hear their family's language rather than a foreign language. They love that high-pitched, sing-songy voice grown-ups instinctvely seem to use with babies.
So the next time you are hanging out with a newborn--or with one on its way--just remember, "I'm all ears!"