New technology will allow mothers to read their unborn baby's mind

Does your unborn baby prefer Motörhead to Mozart? Soon, they will be able to tell you. Amazing scientific advances could allow babies to communicate their preferences for certain foods, sensations and sounds

Mumsnet, the UK's biggest website for parents, is announcing extraordinary research that will help unborn children to clearly express distress or contentment, allowing mothers to adjust their diet, sleep patterns, and even their Spotify playlists to suit the baby's natural preferences.

Mumsnet will fund a major investment project, taking advantage of recent advances in the mapping of neural circuits and motor functions, which will mean mothers and babies can have meaningful communication – before children are born.

Scientists with an interest in cellular neuroscience and motor circuit mapping will be invited to participate in a tender process for a £5m research fund provided by Mumsnet and the Mountain Valley Institute of Neuronics in California. Funding for the most promising research proposals will be awarded at the end of December 2017, and the results will form the basis of a major report and recommendations for government in 2019.

From sustained eye contact to aural echoing, recent advances in child development have confirmed something parents have always known: that newborns instinctively seek communication with caregivers. But recent breakthroughs in technology could, excitingly, open up communication pathways between mothers and foetuses inside, as well as outside, the womb.

This breakthrough technology should enable parents to understand their baby's natural preferences before spending money on expensive products that will never satisfy their child. Scientists believe the in-utero communication systems could allow the unborn to indicate whether they prefer sage green or sunflower yellow for the the nursery walls, a Bugaboo or three-wheeler jogging pram and in time could even deliver very early materials from the national curriculum Foundation stage. Parents-to-be, if they're aware that their baby has no plans to sleep through the night, could choose to pack in way more conversation and sex before birth, knowing that they wouldn’t have the time or inclination for either for at least the next two years.

Mumsnet Founder, Justine Roberts, said: “We're absolutely thrilled to be taking this step into the unknown, exploring new frontiers in child development and neuroscience. I'm sure every parent-to-be will find the idea of touching their unborn baby's head with a prosthetic sensor glove as thrilling as we do, and it will be an immense relief for many to know that the Elephant's Breath on the nursery walls really was the right colour choice for baby. The Professor of Cognitive Obfuscation from the Mountain Valley Institute of Neuronics really was very convincing, so we think it's just a matter of time before this becomes part of the everyday experience of pregnancy.”

Professor Angela Hernandez from the Mountain Valley Institute commented: “Those mums really didn't see us coming.”