Even if you’re not good enough to sing on “The Voice”, your baby will love the connection you two make when you sing your baby a lullaby. Believe it or not, your voice – Yes Yours! – Brings joy to your infant. Watch your baby begin to reciprocate to your singing in his/her own language: cooing, gurgling, babbling, and murmuring.
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN YOUR BABY’S BRAIN?
When your baby begins to “talk” back with her cooing and babbling, she is developing speech and language, and song. You’re stimulating his brain, connecting neurons. You are the first, best, and most loving teacher your baby will ever have. So SING OUT LOUD! One of the things I loved to do with my daughter was to put on a CD of favorite songs and sing along. Make sure you do sing along. It’s that interaction you want to create with your little one. As you sing along to the CD or sing without accompaniment, look into your baby’s eyes and watch the connection happen. Your brain and your baby’s brain are both stimulating the production of Oxytocin. Your brain and body will be flooded with warm feelings of that love hormone, Oxytocin. And so will your baby’s.
RESPONSE TO SOUND IS ALREADY DEVELOPED IN THE WOMB
Your baby loves rhythm and the cadence of these songs. Your baby knows your voice, and is comforted by it. Find a child’s book and read to your baby while still in the womb. Your new baby will recognize it and respond with more attentive behavior. It’s familiar already. The same goes with lullabies and music by Brahms, Handel, and Mozart. When a parent or caregiver begins to sing a familiar lullaby the rhythmic, repetitive melody and rhymes have a soothing, comforting, affect on the baby’s brain. They begin to relax and feel less disturbed by this new outside world. The music actually affects their brain in a positive way. Mozart can sharpen their wits, and lullabies can relax them and help them fall asleep.
THE PARENT’S OWN VOICE HAS A LARGER AFFECT ON CALMING THE BABY
Research has shown that preemies and babies who are in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) who listen to recorded lullabies, or to their parents singing lullabies, reduce their heart rates and their feeding and sleeping improve. When a parent is singing, the affect is even greater than the recorded version of the lullaby. This can have the same affect on your baby in the womb. So start early!
Here are some recommendations to help your baby in the womb get to know these songs early. And if you’ve already got an infant or even a toddler it’s never too late to get started.