Manhattan Man Encourages Dads To Read To Babies In The Womb

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – It’s been said that “reading is fundamental” and one Manhattan man is fulfilling his life-long dream of spreading that message to expectant fathers.

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond speaks with Freytes about his mission

Elvin Freytes knows he missed out on a lot as a kid. “We had two books. We had the Bible and we had a telephone book,” says Freytes.

The 35-year-old college administrator believes reading to the unborn may improve a child’s intellect.

On his blog, Freytes wrote that in 2002 he had a vision of a child turning to him and saying “MaJenDome.” After eight years, Freytes says he figured out what it meant: to increase family bonds by having fathers-to-be read to children in utero. His program is directed at expectant parents in Washington Heights but hopes the message will be spread across the world.

“I’m trying to find a way to kind of have the fathers stay with them and be a part of the pregnancy,” says Freytes. “Imagine the impact, if an expectant father reads to the womb every single night.”

He believes the simple act of reading can put children on the path to a better life and a better world through literacy.

“Get the fathers involved early on because the earlier the better,” Freytes said.

Freytes has cited studies showing a father’s positive influence can increase a child’s moral, ethical and altruistic development.

He said that growing up, his own father was rarely around, and that as he encountered intellectual people throughout his life he noticed a trend: their parents read to them.

Freytes has written about MaJenDome many platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and his own blog. He has established World MaJenDome Day — which is held every third Wednesday of December — and is writing a book for fathers to read to their unborn children entitled “Hello My Little One, It’s Me Your Father.” He is hoping to have the book ready by Father’s Day.

Do you think reading to a baby in the womb increases their intellect? Creates a stronger family bond? Did you read to your child while they were in utero? Let us know below

More from Marla Diamond
  • nathan

    When my daughter was one yr old, I used to take her out in the stroller and talk to her, in conversation, as if she were 7. ” This is a tree, see the squirrels etc” SHe just good and gahed back. The nannies laughed at me. Then she skipped K and is now a Jr at Bronx Science with an A avg. Ha Ha huh.

    • AmericanCabbie

      Nathan, the nannies laughed at you because you’re a dolt.

      This is a tree – as a monkey, you should climb up it. Learn grammar before you embarrass yourself further.

    • Dan Te

      She must have missed alot of social interactions with other children her age.

  • Babs A, Drinkin

    Yeah, read it the labels off of scotch bottles.

  • ericm

    One more thing that has no scientific or reseach-based truth to it. I love the way people make things like this up, and everyone agrees that it will be beneficial. You want to have an intelligent child? BE GOOD PARENTS AND RAISE HIM/HER PROPERLY!!! Take the time and effort to give your child attention and love AFTER he/she is born. You can read to your child in the womb if it makes you feel good about yourself…but odds are that is all it will do.

    • nancy

      Dear ericm

      it is not about the reading per se, is simply about creating a new opportunity for bonding between father, mother and child.

  • Dan Te

    There are no confirmed studies that Reading To Babies In The Womb Increases Intellect….unborn babies might as well listen to the radio or TV….

  • taraanndonohue

    IIts not about reading– its the sound waves and the effect on the brain development. Unborn babaies are affected by sounds all day long…not just a parents voice.
    It could also be subjective that because the parents are paying attention to the unborn child in a more focused manner, they have a stronger bond with the infant at birth and that could also affect brain development, also.
    There are a lot of factors invovlved with “making” smarter babies…the real challenge is how to be a good parent all his life…………….not just when they are small and cute.


    this is quite true.I wish I were home to read to my baby in utero tonight.But during the weekend, I will do this and hope the baby will be as bright, even more than I am.

    • ericm

      MATTHEWS: How do you KNOW ‘this is quite true’? No research anywhere backs you up…

    • Noxzema Daughtry

      Judging from your grammar, should be a no-brainer.

  • Pharoah

    That’s nothing. If you read to cats, it has a definite impact on them.

  • Michael

    This may seem like a dumb question, but what’s the difference between reading and simply talking without reading? Does the infant know the difference? Why would actual reading be any different? For that matter, what would be the aggregate difference between reading/talking versus the simple act of conversation between the mother and father?

    I must just be missing something here. This fellow seems to have an opinion rather than researched fact. Probably not a bad idea… but so far it’s just that, an idea.

    • Michael H.

      You’re absolutely right, it is the voice that is important, not what is being said. This is about parents bonding with their unborn children. Reading a book just makes it easier for some people.

  • Charlie Sheen

    I’m reading “Daddy’s Roommate” to my en-wombed right now!

  • tiara

    well and good indeed if you read good book like bible to the baby……its like telling a story specially book of psalms.

    • Michael H.

      Have you actually read the bible? It is one of the most violent books in history.

  • sara

    Yeah, I think I will stick with reading the telephone book. It’s less harmful for the newborn.

  • RS

    No doubt the pro-choice advocates will have something to say about this. You know, considering they don’t acknowledge it’s a baby and all!!! And they will think this is a pro-life agenda. Happened before, pathetic as it is!

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