By Dr. Laura Brady,
Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center
Music is hard wired in our brains at an early age. The ability to process music appears in specialized areas of the brain during the first few months after birth. It socially connects, communicates, coordinates and instigates neurological and physical movement, stimulates pleasure senses and hormones, alters perception, and shapes personal identities.
Infants have the ability to manipulate an object in response to hearing certain songs. They also can differentiate between sounds, as well as recognize different melodies, which is why singing a lullaby to your infant can be beneficial.
Three benefits of singing a lullaby to your baby:
1. Lullabies are scientifically proven to lull babies to sleep.
2. They stimulate language and cognitive development.
3. Lullabies can strengthen the emotional bond between a parent and child.
Some professionals suggest parents repeat a song while their baby is still in utero in order to familiarize the child with a melody before birth. This may help the newborn relax and ease him or her to sleep.
The concept of lullabies is often geared toward parents with newborns, however, they can also be beneficial for adults. Roughly 41 million individuals in the U.S. report sleeping less than 6 hours per night — even when the suggested amount of sleep for adults is 7 to 9 hours. Listening to a soothing song such as a lullaby can help make falling asleep easier.
Below are some resources to aid you during your child’s lullaby experience:
- Sleep apps: Baby Shusher, Sleepytime, Lullaby for Babies, Lightning Bug-Sleep Clock