Sounds of the womb

I recently became a father, after which my view of the world widened and made my values change for the better. Our little girl is amazing, just 8 weeks old now. As I write this, sits across from me making cute cooing noises as she gyrates and looks about the room. Getting her to sleep requires care, patience and as described below, womb sounds.

Now she is finally moving into a diurnal routine. She sleeps at night (barring feedings every 3-4 hours) and is awake during the day (unless in a car or being walked or asleep). The first weeks were not the case.

The Fourth Trimester

There is a theory of the ‘Fourth Trimester’, which argues that once we started walking on two legs, the human woman’s hips narrowed. All babies thereafter were born a bit earlier while they could fit through. Thus months 9-12 after conception would have preferably been in the womb, had the exit door been large enough. This means that for the first 12 weeks (of a full term baby), creating conditions like the womb are most comforting and relaxing for a new human.

We worked to create these conditions, including lots of skin to skin contact, so little Sierra could feel our warmth and hear/feel our heartbeats. We also kept the lights dim a lot of the time, and swaddled her so that she didn’t feel her limbs were flailing about in free space.

Recording a Mix

Finally, I created a mix that was a guess at womb sounds Sierra had heard while gestating. Its often cited that a crying infant will calm to the sound of the vacuum cleaner or jet engine like sounds. And I’ve read that the sounds in the womb are very loud. Mom’s breathing, heartbeat, digestive tract, and some sounds from the outside world all add up. I also found an interesting article that has some .MP3’s recorded of gestational sounds taken from the surface of the belly of a pregnant woman. I suppose I could’ve added some stomach gas noises, but had to remember that this would be playing on repeat for the next weeks!

I had taken some recordings of Sierra’s heartbeat from several ultrasound visits. To this I combined few more tracks, one of myself talking, one of Steph talking, and one of white noise. All of them were low-pass filtered to around 500 Hz to what I think the body would attenuate to. Below are the results of my efforts.