What are Belly Bells and can they help soothe your baby

By Kylie wilkinson, Belly Bells Australia

What are Belly Bells and do they really work? Firstly to understand if the use of a Belly Bell or a Harmony Bola is effective we need to take a quick look at the research on what your baby can really hear inside the Womb.

What does your baby REALLY hear inside the womb?

Your baby’s ears begin to form around eight weeks and become structurally complete at about 24 weeks. Thanks to the magic of ultrasound and other high-tech tools, researchers have discovered that your baby is living in an auditory playground, constantly responding to voices and other sounds they hear outside of the womb.

Rather than being born as a ‘blank slate’, a newborn has a surprisingly extensive experience from the surrounding world. In particular, newborns seem to react to sounds during the fetal period and respond distinctly to them after birth.

According to The National Centre for Biotechnology Information and the National Library of Medicine, newborns seem to recognise familiar environmental sounds and melodies from the prenatal environment, discriminate between the native language of the mother and other languages and recognise a mother's voice from voices of other females.

We have all heard the stories of the “ MOZART-effect”, a term developed by French researcher Dr. Alfred Tomatis in the early 1990s, that claims listening to classical music will enhance brain growth and neural connections. There hasn't been any solid evidence that acoustic stimulation does anything to influence a foetus creativity, smarts or development. However,listening to classical music or the use of a Belly Bell emitting its soft melody through the day may help soothe and calm a baby both inside and outside the womb.

As the mother moves about her daily tasks, the chiming pendant emits a soft melody, essentially it is a tiny xylophone. This sound becomes one of the melodies in the feotus’ everyday environment.

The effects of this melody is however more apparent once the baby is born. It is when baby finally enters the large and ever changing world we live in that there becomes an array of unfamiliarity. This is where the chiming sound really takes effect. I

The safety and comfort of the womb is no longer surrounding your baby and their most important task in the first 6 months will be to feed. If worn on the breastbone whilst feeding your baby, the familiar melody will have a very calming and soothing effect. This can, in turn, make feeding a much more enjoyable experience to both mother and baby.

As baby grows, they will be able to start to play with the pendant as they feed and make the familiar melody themselves. If baby is calm, then mother is calm and the whole feeding experience can be something to treasure. Of course this is not always the case, but it is definitely something that can be of tangible benefit.

Mothers of newborn babies and beyond have constantly strived for centuries to find a way to sooth their little ones. The current world of life with a baby involves many rattles, pacifiers, musical toys, singing, talking the list goes on. It is the familiarity that the baby has a connection with through the use of the mother wearing it during her pregnancy that makes the Belly Bells a really effective tool for soothing and calming.

This is not a new idea, known for centuries in the Mayan culture as a Harmony Bola, and worn by many pregnant mothers these beautiful little xylophone balls with the soft chiming melody are an age old tradition. Belly Bells Australia is a new take on this tradition bringing an Aussie charm to this age old tradition.

Note: The views and advice expressed on this blog post are those of the author and are not representative of the Pregnancy Babies & Children's Expo.

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