Talk to Your Baby
By the second trimester, your baby develops the ability to hear, and what she'll listen to most often -- besides the beating of your heart -- is your voice: In studies conducted right after birth, newborns exhibit a clear preference for their mother's voice over those of others. Marilyn Schlitz, a new mom in Sonoma County, California, says she often talked to her son, Skyler, during pregnancy. "Moments after delivery, when I got to hold him for the first time, I said, 'Hi, baby boy!' He seemed to look at me with a clear expression, as if to say, 'So you're the face that goes with the voice,' " she recalls. Dads can get in on the action, too, by leaning in close to Mom's belly to sing a favorite song or simply chat about the weather. At this stage, the words matter less than your upbeat tone.