The hearing of the child begins to form at the 5th week of intrauterine development. The future baby, surrounded by amniotic fluid, perceives sounds as vibration.
Therefore, it is believed that approximately until the 20th week of pregnancy, the baby accepts everything through a pulsation.
From the 16th to the 20th week of pregnancy, the unborn child is formed by the organ of hearing – the inner ear. It starts working from the 20th week of pregnancy.
From this point on, sound waves begin to be felt as auditory sensations. The baby begins to distinguish between the pitch (frequency) and the intensity (volume) of the sound.
Separate noises of the maternal organism (blood pulsation, mother’s heartbeat) and sounds coming from outside reach the child. The latter reach weakened, since the aquatic environment (amniotic fluid) dampens sound waves.
Of all the sounds reaching him, the baby best perceives the voice of the mother, since he does not pass through the aquatic environment, which distorts the sounds.
From the 26th to the 27th week of pregnancy, the unborn child will react to sounds. As the ear develops, the crumb learns to identify the source of the sound, gets used to a certain rhythm of speech and learns to recognize the voice of the mother, gradually he begins to distinguish his mother’s voice among other noises.
For this reason, the newborn quickly recognizes mother’s voice and highlights it.
After the 32nd week of pregnancy, the baby begins to turn its head toward the sound source. It is believed that from this moment on the baby is already able to memorize music and recognize it after birth.
American scientists conducted an interesting experiment: they offered to expectant mothers twice a day from the 34th week of pregnancy to read the same poem aloud to their future babe. Then, when these women were born, the newborn was put on headphones and given a pacifier sensor, which was connected to a special device.
The device, depending on the intensity of sucking, could switch and offer different poems, moreover, read not only by the mother. And each time the babies tried to suck in such a way as to get to the poem they had heard in the last weeks of intrauterine development and read by the mother.
Hence the conclusion: while still in the stomach, the baby recognizes the voice of the mother. And if an alarming note appears in her voice, the child feels in danger.
If the mother is calm, then by her placid voice and intonation, the child understands that he is safe.
By the beginning of the 2nd month of life, the child is already turning his head and eyes toward the source of the sound. It means that he has an auditory-motor coordination. At about the same time, a conditioned protective (blink) reflex to sound stimuli is being formed.
Later, the baby begins to distinguish high and low sounds. In addition, he very emotionally responds to the speech addressed to him, focusing primarily on intonation.
On the basis of such observations, the French otolaryngologist Alfred Tomatis was able to prove that the baby’s hearing organ does not let through low tonal sounds that can harm hearing, but pass high frequencies. And above all, because with their help it is easier to transfer information to the brain.
Tomatis also experimented a lot with the voices of moms of babies. He recorded these voices, filtering the frequencies in such a way as if the child hears the mother, being in her tummy, and used this effect in the process of teaching the child to active listening. By the reaction of the listeners, it became clear that the mother’s voice has a very strong impact: the children calm down, show more love, especially to the mother.
In foster children, contact with foster parents is then improved.
This method has proven particularly effective in solving behavioral problems and eliminating learning difficulties. Children who underwent hearing therapy showed good reading skills, improved IQ (mental retardation coefficient), the process of perceiving information and began to express their thoughts and feelings more clearly.