Why Lullabies?

Why lullabies?
The primary purpose of a lullaby is probably obvious: to soothe and induce sleep for a distressed baby.  Lullabies have long been used in this fashion in every single human culture.  What is it about lullabies that produces this sedative effect on infants?  Well, it’s really a number of things.  The organized and predictable melodies provide stability in what can be a very confusing world.  Lulling rhythms and gentle melodies provide a safe environment and establish a mood that a baby can move toward and eventually match.  Slow, steady tempos are reminiscent of the mother’s heartbeat, which echoed all around the baby prior to birth.  The combination of these attributes make lullabies an ideal tool you can use to calm your infant.

The benefits of lullaby music are increased when paired with other calming techniques.  Showing an infant that you are attuned to his or her needs results in the development of a stronger parent-infant relationship.  Using lullabies in combination with other calming techniques, such as rocking, nursing, stroking, and matching eye gaze, will support the development of secure attachment with your infant.  Research tells us that infants with secure attachment in early childhood tend to perform better across the board in later years.  They are generally more confident, more emotionally stable, and demonstrate greater success in the classroom.

Benefits for Mom
Being a parent is hard.  There are fears and uncertainties, and certainly periods of anxiety and self-doubt.  Overwhelm is a common emotion.  This is NORMAL.  However, there may be some things you can do to ease these negative, energy-draining emotions.  We know that listening to certain types of music can help adults calm themselves, too.  We also know that singing promotes relaxation in adults, and may ease many of these negative emotions.  Singing to your child, with or without the assistance of a recording, can improve the emotional state of both you and your baby.

Music and Language:· Music, like language, has a natural rhythm and contour to it.  Music  reinforces the learning of this.
· The repetitive sounds and structure of children’s songs encourages sound production and vocal play
· By engaging in music, infants learn auditory patterns like rhythm and phrasing, which support the learning of sentence structure

Music and the Brain

· Babies brains learn from experience.  Music is a multi-sensory medium, engaging both sides of the brain in positive stimulation
· Singing is often paired with other types of stimulation, such as rocking, bouncing, stroking, and eye gaze
· Immersion in appropriate multi-sensory stimulation leads to increased brain growth and function

Music and Routine

· Music can help establish routines, such as bed time and bath time
· Music acts as an indication of what is coming and sets expectations based on previous experiences
· Music may provide comfort during unpleasant routines, such as medical procedures