Babies benefit from music in such a wide variety of ways it almost seems like child abuse to keep them from their tunes. Introducing your infant or pre-born baby to music is a known way to help build their brain, develop their senses and even strengthen their physical body. Two new studies point directly to the effect music has on babies.
Physically strengthen premature babies
When researchers from Brigham Young University studied premature infants in a neonatal intensive care unit, they found music to be a key factor in very important areas. After playing lullabies sung by men and women for four days to the infants, the researchers found that these babies had gained more weight, had a stronger heartbeat and lower blood pressure.
Build communication skills before your child can walk or talkA recent study published in the scientific journal Developmental Science and Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences show that infants who participate in music classes with their parents show 'sophisticated brain responses to music' and gain the ability to communicate more effectively.
- Build a playlist for your baby - Start adding music that fits into your daily routine. Choosing fun, up-beat tunes to get moving in the morning and soothing, quiet music before naptime can help solidify the daily routine and provide welcome structure to your baby's day.
- Encourage movement - It is amazing how early a baby will start to dance along to the beat of music. Dance along with your baby to encourage movement. Rocking your baby to the beat, or being silly with your child is also a great way to bond with your child.
- Follow the clues - Just because your baby fits into the recommended audience of a particular CD, that does not mean that will be your child's favorite sound, thankfully! Not every baby has to listen to Disney tunes or lullabies. Watch for cues that your infant likes a particular sound. Jazz music may resonate with your little one, or you may get a great reaction from classical songs.
- Allow musical expression - When purchasing toys, look for ones that your child can use to make music of their own. Some toys play music, others can be used to make music. Consider making simple musical instruments with bells or shakers. Teach your child to play along with songs on the radio.
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