Babies are the most wonderful little people to have in our lives, but sometimes it might be a bit hard when they are tired, hungry, and discovering new things constantly. You will find many ways to soothe your child, one of the ways children love to be soothed is through the form of music.
Music is a wonderful and almost magical thing. Music has the power of each of our emotions, contributing to how we feel in any given moment. So what type of music is best for soothing your baby? Music that has been studied and proven to help soothe newborns include:
There are many different benefits of each music choice listed here, read on to find out more!
Lullabies are the most preferred out of any type of music by newborns. This is because, usually, lullabies consist of a 6/8 meter and only a few notes that are repeated to create a peaceful soundtrack in which they can fall asleep and be soothed to. The repetitive rhythm is comparative to that of a cradle’s or mother’s carrying sway, for this reason, the baby is carefully lulled to sleep by the seemingly hypnotizing and beautifully simple music of the lullaby.
There are many lullabies that are recommended for newborns. Some of these include, but are not limited to:
1. Brahm’s Lullaby
2. Hush Little Baby
3. When You Wish Upon a Star
5. Over the Rainbow
6. Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
7. Danny Boy
8. Scarborough Fair
9. Let No Man Steal Your Thyme
10. I Often Go Walking
As you may note, all of these songs consist of soft tones and are sung in a hushed manner, wonderful for soothing your baby.
Classical Music is enjoyed by every age group from infancy to adulthood. While there are no lyrics, the sounds emitted from the classical instruments create and bring out emotions from us as individuals, no matter what age group we fall into. It is important when selecting music for your infant, to listen to it personally prior to playing it to your child. This is important because some classical music can be very intense and designed to create more negatively connotative feelings such as fear and suspense, this would not be good for your child to listen to because it is not soothing at all for a newborn. Instead, approach classical in search for more light music with a positive connotation. Harp music is wonderful for newborns because it is a simple and light sound played in simple melodies. Light acoustic guitar and piano music is wonderful as well. Calming symphony melodies are recommended as well.
One of the most naturalistic music to soothe your baby is that of nature itself! Listening to the patterns of different sounds of nature is extremely soothing for any age level, especially infants. Listening to nature sounds has been proven to increase positivity and happiness, and also bring increased relaxation. Some sounds to consider may consist of the following:
2. Light Rain
3. Wind through the trees or grass
5. A running stream
These are just some of the options of many that consist of the sounds of nature. This type of raw music is extremely beneficial and extremely soothing.
Babies respond very well to the sound of white noise. The sound of a hairdryer or a vacuum cleaner are examples of white noise and are very soothing for a baby. The reason why is because inside a mothers womb is a very loud place. Just imagine hearing blood swooshing, a heart beating, organs rumbling, digesting food, all of that is going on and baby is growing up in the middle of it! That is why when you say “SHHHH” it calms baby because the shh makes the sound of white noise. You don’t have to keep the hairdryer on all the time just to keep baby happy. Investing in a sound machine is probably the most ideal if you have a younger baby who is particularly fussy all the time. White noise works miraculously for any new baby!
Finally, I saved the best for last. The most soothing thing to your child is, in fact, the sound and music of your own individual voice. While you may think that newborns don’t learn and recognize the sound of your voice until they are born, they actually learn to recognize your voice from inside the womb. As soon as your child is developed enough to begin to hear they will be able to hear whatever is happening outside of your belly. This includes t.v. shows, conversations, and music, and most importantly your voice. This is important to be aware of while you are pregnant, whatever you hear and the reaction it emits your baby will hear and be impacted too.
Being able to recognize and hear your voice is extremely soothing for your child, this is a necessity and comfort for them. As soon as they are born they will want to hear your voice and continue as they get used to their new life. When they are troubled and are crying they can be soothed by the sound of your voice, either through talking or singing lullabies to them. Each mother always seems to have their own preference to what lullaby they sing to their child. Singing soft lullabies such as the ones listed above are great ideas. Do not be afraid to sing out loud either, your child is no Simon Cowell and loves the comfort and attention your voice brings to them.
Another way to soothe babies with your voice is to just talk to them, tell them stories! By softly telling or reading a story to your child you will be able to involve them, soothe them, and comfort them by given your child their desired attention and affection. They will learn to listen intently to what you say and help grow their developing brain to a furthering level of comprehension.
Playing music for your baby is a wonderful method of soothing them, after some extended research I have taken note of some recommendations when it comes to this method.
First, if you decide to play music for your baby do not just run a playlist and wait for it to shut off. Doing this may effectively soothe your baby and put it to sleep but the sudden silence following the completion of the playlist may wake your baby up. Instead, play music for your baby prior to them falling asleep and as they are drifting off slowly lower the music until it is quiet and then let them drift off on their own.
Babies can easily sense tone and emotion. This is extremely important when considering what type of music you play for your baby. With calmer and lighter music will come the result of comfort and soothing. Again, as stated before, be careful what music you play to your child because the result can lead to distress if louder and rougher music is played.
Some of you may wonder what it is about music that causes us to be comforted and soothed by it! Scientifically speaking, depending on the music you listen to, music has the power to slow your heart rate down, in extent slow your breathing down and also cause your muscles to relax. All of these effects combined lead to soothing and sleep.
It is also a fun fact to note that it can be soothing to sing or listen to songs in other languages. Infants can, in fact, tell the difference between two languages depending on tone. Some lullabies including some that are listed above were originally written in a different language such as German or Spanish this can be extremely soothing for both you and your child.
Is music good for newborns? Music is wonderful for newborns. Exposing your newborn baby to new beats, melodies, and rhythms will help their brain develop and grow. The impact of music on a newborn child’s brain is positively significant in their growing process.
Do all babies like music? While we do not know if babies are programmed to enjoy music, it is rare to find a baby that does not find comfort in the music of lullabies and other musical methods listed above. But this does not mean that there is not a baby that doesn’t like music somewhere in the world.
Does music make babies smarter? Many believe in the “Mozart Effect”, this is the belief that playing and listening to music as a baby can cause you to be smarter, while this is not necessarily proven it is an interesting concept that no harm can come from if pursued, really, listening to music as a baby can truly only be for the benefit. It is always recommended to give your child the opportunity to listen to music because music, especially classical, will be able to cause comfort and soothe your baby.