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Yes, researchers have long known that newborns recognize – and prefer – their mom's voice. And any new mother can tell you that the sound of her voice delights her new baby. Some babies also seem soothed by noises like whirring fans and washing machines because these probably sound similar to what they heard in the womb.
Amazingly, babies may be able to recognize their mother's voice even before birth. A study done at the Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington found that babies in the womb actively listen to their mother's voice during the last ten weeks of pregnancy. Then at birth they can distinguish between the sound of their native language and a foreign language, suggesting that moms are their babies' first language teachers.