We’ve all seen the developmental programs for infants, including infant sign language, and babies first introduction to classical music. It’s tempting to think of these sort of enrichment programs as trends, or fads. Parents who want to insert a sense of culture into their baby, or don’t want to let go of their artistic routes, try various ways to inject a little culture into their child-rearing. However, not all of these so-called enrichment programs are just a fad. Many studies show introducing your baby to music from an early age, can help in their development, bonding, and overall happiness.
Here are five good reasons to introduce your baby to music from as early as possible.
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Soothing To Baby
This one is most obvious. Music is soothing to babies. Even very young babies will
respond to a singing or sing-song voice faster than to a talking voice. Before babies understand what words are, some sounds may be too harsh for them. Music has a lulling quality. Humming or singing to a baby is a good way to calm them. Music conveys tone long before a baby can understand words or gestures. If you’re singing a soothing song, a baby will naturally understand the feeling you are trying to convey. This may be because when the baby was in the womb, they become able to hear us, but only as muffled noises that sound like humming!
Music often conveys feelings through tone instead of language. Happy music is a signal to a baby that all is well, and even a baby younger than a year will start bouncing along to a favorite song! Listening to happy music creates endorphins in adults. It can do the same for babies. This makes the baby happy and helps with their growth and development. Babies are also learning different sounds. By the age of about 9 months, they will be learning more about what their senses can tell them about the world around them. Toys that play music will hold their attention longer. Familiar songs can also have a soothing effect when your growing, curious baby becomes overwhelmed or overstimulated. By providing something soothing and familiar, like a favorite lullaby, you can easily calm your baby.
Potential For Brain Development
Speaking of your baby’s development: According to linguistic scientists, babies learn
to appreciate music in the same part of their brains as they learn the language. This suggests that for babies introduced to music from an early age, music becomes one of the first “languages” a baby learns to understand. Music with lyrics can also help to increase a baby’s vocabulary. We’ve all seen babies move from using a single word to using small two or three word sentences. Often, children learning a language will borrow from well-known phrases they understand. The repetition in lyrics makes them much easier for infant brains to access when they are trying to learn the language, giving them a head start on sounds and vocabulary. With the help of music, your little one will move from babbling to talking in no time!
Developing Interest In The World and Culture Through Music
Speaking of language, music is the easiest and fastest way for your baby to be exposed to new languages and even new cultures. As we’ve already discussed, babies innately understand things like rhythm and repetitive sounds. When learning a language, infants up to the age of four learn all languages with the same part of their brain. After that, the language development shifts, and secondary languages are learned in a completely different part of the brain. That’s why teaching a child another language alongside their first is considerably easier than elementary school language classes. Music is a great way to expose a baby to another language from a very early age. Different sounds made by different instruments are another great way to teach your baby about culture, in a tangible way that involves using all of baby’s senses. Finally, encouraging any kind of artistic endeavor in a baby, music, art, or otherwise, has been shown to have long-term benefits to their development, IQ and even things like motor dexterity!
Helps Create A Lasting Bond
Singing to your baby, or teaching them things like Itsy Bitsy Spider or Twinkle Twinkle
Little Star offers a great bonding opportunity, which not only strengthens your own bond with your baby, but helps them with social development later on. They’ll get even more language exposure, as well as being taught to understand facial expressions. The interactivity of singing or humming to your baby will give him or her lots of needed social development time. Part of the reason baby and toddler songs have actions also helps with muscle growth and dexterity. Plus, who doesn’t love it when baby starts trying to sing along, complete with arms waving and lots of adorable giggling?
Music is a fantastic tool to help your baby’s development. Not only is it soothing, but because of the way our brains are formed, it can help convey tone before a baby has language, and help language develops more quickly. Singing, humming, or using music in your baby’s playtime will also help strengthen a bond between you and your baby, and help them develop better facial recognition and other social skills. Finally, thanks to the unique ways a baby’s brain learns a language, exposure to music can help develop a sense of language and culture appreciation from a very early age. There are so many ways to expose your baby to music, through dedicated programs to something as simple as lullabies and Itsy Bitsy Spider games before bed. But it is a fact that teaching your baby an appreciation of music, will carry them far for years to come.
Ready to get your baby listening to music? Take a look at the Top 5 Cutest Baby Headphones.