Womb music is a term used to refer to two different types of sound. In some cases, this type of music is played to a fetus within the womb to promote growth or provide a connection to the mother. The term can also be used to talk about sounds that might be heard within the womb, which are used to calm babies who have already been born. Both uses are common, and it is usually easy to figure out which type of womb music is being talked about based on context.
Many people believe that playing music for babies in the womb provides stimulation for the unborn child. Some people even believe that playing particular types of music, such as classical, can increase the chances of having a smart child. Although these claims are not necessarily true, it is certainly verified that a fetus can hear after the fifth month of development. There are few, if any, reports of womb music of this type having a detrimental effect on an infant, and this activity can be a positive experience for mothers who feel they are connecting with an unborn child.
Any type of music can be played for an unborn child, but classical is the most popular choice in many areas. Even so, the mother's enjoyment of the sound can be important for the experience to be positive. Many mothers find that they feel instinctively that a fetus enjoys certain types of music more than others, often relating these choices to movements within the womb. Whether or not these choices are related to conscious feelings on the part of the fetus, the connection the mother often feels while assigning agency to her child makes choices like these a pleasant part of pregnancy.
The other common use of the term womb music involves the sounds a baby might hear in the womb without any other external stimuli. These sounds might include a mother's heartbeat, stomach noises, and breathing. They might also involve the sounds of the womb environment, such as fluid noises. Recording this type of sound is sometimes done from within the womb of a pregnant mother, so there is no question that many tapes are quite accurate. Whether this type of music can comfort infants differs from case to case.
Many parents find that the sounds of the womb can calm a crying baby, but others find that they have no effect. Sometimes, different tapes and recordings may be more effective than others. If womb music played to a newborn proves ineffective, changes in volume or creating positive associations with the music by playing it when the mother is around can be helpful.