Sharing Songs, Rhymes and Stories during Pregnancy
It’s never too early to start singing and sharing stories with your baby – you can even get started before they are born. Babies can hear you from around 22 weeks of pregnancy. Hearing your voice builds their bond with you and helps them learn about communication. Your baby will get to know your voice and respond to it.
Songs, rhymes and stories during pregnancy can be a lovely way to relax and get the whole family involved. It is a great way for mums, dads, siblings and other family members to start bonding with the baby.
Research has also shown that how babies experience speech before birth has an impact on their language development. Babies learn language through hearing it, and even before birth, your baby is using speech, sound and rhythm to help them learn.
Unsure about how to start? Here are our top tips to keep in mind:
Start with a chat: Talk to your baby about your day. Get used to talking aloud to your baby first and then try singing a song or saying a short rhyme
Find a quiet space: Babies hear lots of sounds in the womb, so keeping other noise to a minimum helps them to hear your voice. Remember, your baby will be hearing their mother’s heartbeat and other sounds as well as your voice
Pick a favourite: Choose a song, rhyme or a story that you like – it’s much easier and more fun if you’re enjoying it too. You could read the newspaper or a magazine, your favourite book whether it’s fiction or non-fiction, or try singing your favourite song. Traditional children’s songs and nursery rhymes are a great choice, but you can also sing other types of song if you prefer.
Share rhymes with your baby: Rhythm and rhyme are easier for your baby to hear. Try a simple nursery rhyme such as Round and Round the Garden or read a rhyming story like Each Peach Pear Plum. Take a look at our Rhyming Books to Read to Bump booklist for more ideas.
Watch and feel: You may notice that your baby is more active when they hear your voice. Try calming stories, songs or music when your baby is quiet, or at bedtime. Have a look at our bedtime book suggestions
Make it a habit: Try to spend a few minutes every day singing, reading or talking to your baby.
Babies love repetition: Repeating songs, rhymes or stories will help your baby to become familiar with them
Keep it going: After your baby’s birth, try a familiar song, rhyme or story. Babies remember what they heard in the womb, and hearing a something familiar can be soothing
Looking for song and rhyme ideas?
Visit the Bookbug Song and Rhyme Library or download our app to learn the words, tune and actions to songs and rhymes and get new ideas to try. You can also download the new Hello Bump! album from Bookbug featuring songs, rhymes, instrumental music and a story.
Free books from Bookbug
We’re delighted that every Baby Box contains two books from Bookbug.
Watch our videos of families sharing the books and find tips for reading with your baby.
After your baby is born:
- Ask your Health Visitor or Family Nurse about your free Bookbug Baby Bag
- Come along to your free local Bookbug Sessions
- Make sharing stories, songs and rhymes part of every day with your baby. Read our tips for sharing books with babies.