*Originally published in February 2007
Baby’s vestibular system develops by about 20 weeks, and movement structures the brain, resulting in neural growth, connecting brain neurons – all vital for healthy neurodevelopment. Dance as often as possible during your pregnancy. A boogie around the lounge with the music turned up or a slow dance with dad will help stimulate optimal development. If you’re on bed rest, try to turn from side to side as often as possible.
Talk and sing to your baby
Your baby’s sense of hearing develops from about 20 weeks and she can hear quite well in the womb by six months. She can recognise sounds in the womb and will often change the nature of her movement when she hears familiar sounds. Both mom and dad should make special times for verbal communication, as your voices will be the first your baby will recognise after birth.
Touch your baby through the wall of your womb
If you stroke your belly with featherlike movements, your little one will become still. Do a fingertip drum, trot, canter and gallop with your fingers all over your stomach – keeping your little one guessing where you will touch next. If you poke a certain spot a few times, your little one will playfully aim a kick right there, as if she wants to say ‘hello’.