Remember the last time you heard your little one cry? What did you do to soothe your baby? If you are like most parents, you probably tried feeding, rocking, burping, distracting, and “shushing” them, right? How long did it take for any of them to work?
Although these techniques might have worked, you have yet to try another very powerful and quite simple tool to calm your baby: singing!
The effects of singing
A study from the University of Montreal found that singing rhythmic children’s songs might be as effective to keep babies from crying as rocking or carrying them! In fact, babies remained calm twice as long when listening to a song (even if they didn’t previously know it), than when listening to speech (regardless if it was baby-talk or not). These findings are important because a lot of mothers speak much more often than they sing to their children, missing out on the emotional and regulatory properties of singing!
What kind of songs can you sing to soothe your baby?
A study from Harvard compared how babies reacted to lullaby and non-lullaby songs and found out that lullabies are the type of songs that mostly help relaxing babies. Even if they are in another language! They mentioned that the melody and rhythm of these special songs help relax babies. Even if the non-lullaby song was peaceful, babies seemed calmer with children’s lullabies.
So, even if you think your voice sounds terrible, it doesn’t matter! The truth is that your baby loves your voice and feels connected to your way of singing, regardless of whether you sound like Whitney Houston or not. The benefits of singing to your baby should outweigh any personal insecurity. Remember that by singing, you will not only be able to soothe your baby, but you will also help strengthen the bond between the both of you and boost their language skills!