When does the Fetus start Hearing in the Womb?

The fetal hearing in the womb is associated with overall development. Pregnant women speak to their babies as they grow in the wombs; they sing lullabies or read stories as well. Some play classical music to boost the brain development of their growing child, and some encourage their partners to communicate with the baby so that their voice can be recognized too. 

However, all these efforts are only fruitful once your baby develops its ears. The early formings of what will become your baby’s body parts, like eyes, ear,s nose, brain, and face, begins in the second month of your pregnancy. This is the stage when cells inside the developing embryo begin arranging themselves into organs. 


At the start of 9 weeks roughly, there began slight indentations in the side of your baby’s neck as the ears continue to develop on the inside and outside. These indentations eventually start to move upwards before they form into the ears. With continuous formation, around the 18 weeks of your pregnancy, your baby will hear its first sound. By 24 weeks, your baby’s sensitivity to sound will enhance even more as those little ears are rapidly developing. 

The fetal hearing in the womb around this point in your pregnancy are noises you may not even notice. These may include the sound of your body, such as the beating of your heart, your growling stomach, air moving in and out of your lungs, and the sound of the blood moving in the umbilical cord.

What does it Sound Like in the Womb?

Many people are often curious to know what it sounds like in the womb once the baby develops its ears and listening capabilities. To describe it the correct way, sounds travel easily through open space. It is the reason you can easily hear someone yelling in an open field than when your head is underwater in a swimming pool. Your baby is not being developed in an open space when it is still inside you. There is the amniotic fluid surrounding it, layers of your body, and the amniotic sac between it and the outside world. Therefore, even when the baby’s ears are fully developed, it hears muffled sounds in the uterus. 

For instance, if you try to have a conversation by putting a hand over your mouth, you will hear muffled sounds too. Though you would be able to make out the tones and pitches in the sentence, you will find it challenging to make out the right words. Likewise, if you sing a song with your mouth covered, you will hear the tunes clearly, but not the lyrics. 

However, your baby can easily hear louder sounds like a barking dog, a wailing siren, and a honking horn. These sounds are not bad for your baby as it will be listening to them in a hummed tone and will not get startled. 

Is it Better to Avoid Loud Sounds during Pregnancy?

There is no reason to avoid a loud environment in most pregnancies, such as a concert, wedding party, dining out, or baby shower. It is because the physical barrier of the amniotic fluid muffles all the sounds, and it makes it non-harmful for the babies. Even amid extremely loud noises, the sound would not be too loud for your little one. 

It is often advised that you should avoid loud spaces in pregnancy as it could potentially cause some development damage or hearing loss in a growing fetus. Normally speaking, it means that you should avoid eight hours of exposure to continuous noises louder than 85 to 90 decibels or 100 decibels of noises for more than 2 hours a day. These sounds are standing near a chainsaw or a lawnmower. It would help if you avoided prolonged loud noises, but the momentarily loud sound is not harmful. Thus, if you work in a noisy factory for an entire shift, then it would be best that you talk to your boss and get yourself transferred where it is much peaceful and quiet. 

Is Playing Music Good for the Baby?

It is said that playing classical music for your baby will improve its IQ. However, there is no scientific evidence for such claims. There is no harm in playing music for your baby, and you can play the usual sounds as your pregnancy progresses. Women play calming music more in their pregnancies as they believe it soothes their baby.

You must be vigilant of the fact that prolonged noise exposure can be harmful to your little one, so the music should be played for short intervals only.

If you want more information regarding the fetal hearing in the womb, you can book your appointment with the best ENT specialist through Marham.  

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