If you did a search for “The Reading Womb” you may have stumbled upon this MAD TV video.

This animated caricature of infants in the womb being taught to “talk before they come out” is a hilarious exaggeration of a current trend to “educate” babies in the womb. A product called the Baby Plus Prenatal Education System, for instance, claims to produce children who “consistently demonstrate very strong fine and gross motor skills, early milestones, and long attention spans.”

The product literature also suggests that babies given the Baby Plus “curriculum” will be born smarter, will start speaking earlier, and will be intellectually superior to their baby peers. The system involves piping progressively more complicated beats into the womb through small speakers, all with the goal of educating the baby in utero. The wacky MAD TV video doesn’t seem too off base now, does it?

The genuine and pure experience of regularly reading to your baby before she’s born is completely unlike the undertaking of a “prenatal education system.” It’s not about achievement; it is about bonding and establishing a cozy lifetime routine for you and your little one. Your baby will hear the rhythm of your voice as you read a story, and this will become the foundation of a sacred family ritual once she’s born. It’s so perfectly simple: you and your baby sharing time together, communicating in a loving, gentle, and natural way.

The added benefits to the child’s cognitive growth and language development are a bonus to the wonderful feeling you will have as you share these cherished moments with your child, both before and after birth. And hey, if your baby does come out talking, she’s bound to say, “Thank you!”