Love talking to your baby belly? Keep it up–it turns out your baby’s language development in utero is even more complex than you may think. U.S. and Swedish researchers recently found that just hours after birth, babies were able to tell the difference between sounds they’d heard in their native language in utero and sounds in a foreign language they were first exposed to after birth.
The findings show that babies are actually distinguishing different sounds in the womb, says lead study author Christine Moon, Ph. D. “We now know that fetuses can learn about the small sounds embedded in the ongoing stream of talking voices–it’s a remarkable accomplishment by the very young,” she says.