Mummy’s Voice Wakes Baby Faster than a Fire Alarm, says Study

According to a recent study, sleeping tots wake quicker to the sound of their mother’s voice—than to smoke alarms. Here’s why.

newborn baby girl asleep in her crib

Published in The Journal of Paediatrics, findings revealed that children exposed to a smoke alarm that blasted the typical, deafening screech, slept longer than when a recording of their mother’s voice played saying “Wake up! Get out of bed! Leave the room!”. At the sound of the maternal voice, sleeping participants were awake within an average of 2 seconds; a loud and persistent alarm had them waking after nearly 3 minutes.

The important takeaway from the study is of course the matter of safety. In the event of a fire or other emergency, an alarm is much less reliable than you waking your child yourself. (This is likely down to the difference between paediatric and adult sleep—infants and young children sleep more deeply.)

Of course, the results also emphasise the existence of the almost preternatural bond between mother and child, and the fact that this strong connection is evidently a mechanism for protection.

Via motherly