Who doesn’t love music? While the preferred style of music varies from person to person, we love to turn on the radio, jam to our iPods, pop in our favorite CD, or just sing in the shower. Well babies are people too, and they love music just as much as us adults. Why not serenade your sweet one with the vocal stylings of – you?
Jan Boner M. Ed., MT-BC recently wrote an article called, “Sing to Snuggle – Sing to Giggle with Your Baby” where she listed benefits of singing to your baby. Here are a few things singing can do:
- Gains attention and engagement with baby for building communication
- Optimizes an infant’s mood and regulates the arousal level
- Strengthens emotional bonding with parent or caregiver
- Helps regulate emotional states
Since babies will respond more to familiar songs, why not take opportunities to sing to your baby at different times? Jan suggested singing while changing diapers, feeding, rocking, walking, or driving. Your baby will become more familiar with the songs and eventually respond with a gleeful chuckle and a twinkle in the eye.
When I babysat my niece for the weekend, I would sing the song that her paternal grandmother would sing to her. Now I had no idea what her grandmother was saying, but I tried my best. I thought that even if I could get close to what she was saying, or at least follow the melody, my niece would recognize it.
The only thing I could remember was the word ‘Tumbala.’ That’s it. I knew nothing else. When my niece would cry, I would just repeat, Tumbala, Tumbala, Tumbala, Tumbala. It worked, and she loved it. The real name of the song is TUMBALALAIKA, and I only discovered this when preparing this blog. It turned out to be a Russian folk song in the Yiddish language; who knew?
The point is, you don’t have to be a talented vocalist or even remember all the words to a particular song. What’s important is that you are singing to your baby.
It’s sweet; my niece is four-years-old now, and she still smiles when I repeat those Tumbalas over and over. It just goes to show how much children listen and remember. Jan mentioned in her article that you should even start singing to your baby while you’re still pregnant. What a beautiful way to start your relationship.
Check out musiktogrow.com; Jan is a teacher there, and this is a wonderful place where children ‘develop their potential.’ They offer ‘early childhood music classes, music therapy services, group piano and private instrumental lessons.’ Similar Musikgarten classes are offered all over the US and abroad too. Find a class in your area at http://www.musikgarten.org. What a great idea! I wish an organization like this was around when I was a kid.
Do you sing to your baby? There are so many benefits; have you seen the effects?