“Music is the greatest communication in the world. Even if people don’t understand the language that you’re singing in, they still know good music when they hear it.” ~ Lou Rawls
Communicating with your baby through song creates a special bond between the two of you. It makes no difference whether you have a ‘good’ singing voice or not; your baby will simply enjoy hearing you sing.
Babies of all ages can benefit from hearing you sing, as even day-old infants are able to distinguish the difference between various rhythms, according to PsychologyToday.com. You may even start singing to your baby while you are pregnant, as babies in utero are able to process auditory signals at about 25 weeks.
If your baby has older siblings, it may be fun to involve them by letting them choose a song to sing to the baby during the pregnancy. Then once the baby is born that can be their ‘special song.’
Along with strengthening your relationship, singing also lays a strong foundation for your baby’s language skills. Learn a few lullabies or nursery rhymes to share with your baby. Songs of the culture carry with them the melodies and inflections of the mother tongue, laying the foundation for the child to speak the language as he or she develops.
Singing can soothe your baby, and help improve his or her mood as well. For instance, if your baby gets upset while you are driving in the car, you can sing a calming song to help ease the discomfort. Also, songs to prepare your baby for transitions helps make life feel more predictable. You can have a song for waking up, coming to eat, going to sleep, etc. Choose a song to sing to your baby for bedtime, and your baby may associate this with calm and relaxation.
Talking to your baby in a sing-song voice is beneficial, too. Make up lyrics as you go throughout the day. Hold your baby and use your sing-song voice to tell him or her about the world around, or about what you are doing.
Music in general is wonderful for a baby’s development. However, live singing has been shown to be even more beneficial than recorded music. So regardless of your singing capabilities, why not try it today? And while you are at it, throw in some dancing, too. Then your baby will be learning about communication and coordination in a powerful (and fun) way!