The Benefits of Singing and Music: For Baby

This is the first post in my series on the benefits of singing to your children. Part 1 is singing and playing music to babies. I hope you enjoy.

I come from a family big on music and song. My mama was in the church choir when she was young, my sister and I were in show choir in high school, and now I sing all the songs on the radio. The rest of my family members (my mama, sister, and me included) and, mostly uncles and cousins can either play piano or guitar as well. So it only seemed natural to me to sing to our newborn baby to stop her from crying when we brought her home from the hospital.

When I was stressed to the max and my little one was crying at the top of her teeny tiny lungs, I sang to her. I sang about hiccups, I sang about wet diapers, I sang about poo diapers, I sang during bath time. Now that I think about it, I probably sang to her more than I actually talked to her. Singing not only calmed and soothed M, but it calmed me as well. It relaxed my new mama jitters and calmed my crying. That first month was very overwhelming for me. I was sleep deprived. My nipples raged. I was frantic sometimes because my baby didn’t come with a manual and her crying was enough to make me emotional at times. I not only sang silly songs for M, but I sang for me.

You know what? It helped. I felt better. M calmed down and looked at me with those sweet little blue eyes. Sometimes I could even sing her to sleep.

Soothing music or musical toys are great for tiny babies as well. All of us know how wonderful the baby swing can be. I think the music option on the swing is a must have! If not, have your iPod or CD player nearby to turn on some soothing melodies. Sometimes M would cry and I wouldn’t be able to hold her and rock her to sleep. Fortunately for me, we had a baby swing with several music options. I tucked her in and turned on the music and sometimes she would immediately fall asleep.

Having soothing music in the car was also helpful for me. Sometimes you get tired of singing and you need someone else to do it for you. We were given a piano lullaby CD (fitting for our family) that I played for M during long road trips. I used it to calm her down if she became upset unexpectedly or to put her to sleep. I really liked Jim Brickman’s Piano Lullabies. Another mama friend recommended Peter, Paul, and Mary’s children’s album called Peter, Paul and Mommy.

As M grew older, I sang songs about her toys. Instead of for calming and bonding she learned through play. We played with her stuffed animals and I made up goofy songs about them. I also sang to her when I dressed her. Most songs were about what color her clothes were. I think singing to her about these things when she was younger helped her remember or learn what they are earlier than if I had not sang to her. She also was really happy when I would sing to her. She would have the biggest smile!

Researchers at the University of Toronto at Mississauga found babies whose parents sing to them sleep better and are more content overall. They also found that a mama’s singing voice is more soothing than her speaking voice. Music and mimicking baby’s sounds is also bonding for them. For more research on the benefits of music and song check out their website.

 My top five benefits to singing to your baby are:

  1. Calming
  2. Bonding
  3. Memories
  4. Learning
  5. Happiness

Do you sing to your child(ren)? If so, what do you sing? What’s your favorite children’s album?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>