The importance of music for babies
Not many parents fully understand the importance of music for babies, and in fact, it starts all the way from the womb!
Studies show that listening to music whilst pregnant, especially classical music, can increase intellectual ability, and it can also be used as a calming technique. If you listened to music while pregnant, when your baby is born you can play the same music to keep them calm, or even play it when they are very upset. Studies show that young children can actually recognise the music they heard in the womb.
Every night I sing the same 4 songs to my 3-year-old to help her sleep. I’ve done this every night for the past 3 years, including whilst I was pregnant with my second. Based on current research. its not a coincidence that when my newborn struggles to sleep or is crying, singing those songs helps her calm down and eventually fall asleep.
Music also creates a great routine. If every night before falling asleep your baby hears classical music or any other song you choose, they know that when that music turns on its time for bed! A couple of ideas can be can Bach’s Cantana No 156, or Brahm’s lullaby. Many musical night lights for babies will come with one of these popular choices of music included.
Music for Babies, and toddlers too
Music is not only for babies but also toddlers. Studies continue to show that music has a stimulating effect on body and mind which improves physical and emotional health. Did you know listening to cheerful music can stimulate antibody production and fight off infection?
A great way to introduce music for babies is taking your baby (even as a newborn or toddler) to play groups where they can listen to music or even play with toy musical instruments. Not only can this help strengthen their relationship with music, but it also offers effective bonding opportunities with specific age groups. One of our favourite toddler groups is Moo Music.
What are the best musical instruments for toddlers?
There are many ways you can create music for free, like just using your voice, singing with your child, using pots and pans with wooden spoons, pasta in a plastic bottle, clapping, snapping, stomping, this list goes on! Alternatively, there are a number of musical toys you can buy, such as drum sets, pianos, and xylophones, all of which are great for a child to experiment with. A word of warning from our own personal experience though would be to avoid kids drum sets with thin plastic covers on the drum itself. These can be easily pierced with something as seemingly harmless as a pencil. Next thing you know you have a drum set incapable of making any noise!
Just remember the earlier you introduce music into your baby’s life the better 🙂