Your baby was able to hear music when they were in your womb. Their hearing is one of the first senses they develop with it being fully developed within the first month. Music is a great way to soothe your baby and help them sleep. But it can also be used at other times of the day too.
The benefits of your baby listening to music are astounding. Music helps to:
- Strengthen the bond between you and your baby
- Have a positive effect on a baby’s mood
- Improve a babies brain processing of music and speech sounds, which will have a long-lasting effect on their learning
- Enhances cognitive, emotional and language development
In this in-depth guide, I will show you the type of music that’s best for your baby. I will also go through what part of the day it’s most effective. This will helpYou can then use it to your advantage to encourage their development, help your day run smoothly and improve your baby’s sleep.
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Baby Music to Sing and Dance to
Singing and dancing to music with your baby, is a fun and easy activity you can enjoy with your baby. You can do this any time of the day but it’s best to do it when your baby isn’t tired. Any music that has words is great for this but here are some examples:
Having your baby listen to music without any other distractions will help their language development. Nursery rhymes are particularly effective at encouraging communication. Their short, repetitive nature makes them easier to remember and sing.
Action and sensory songs will get your baby moving. They help to develop their physical skills as well as their language skills
Songs from the radio will ensure your baby listens to a variety of music. You will also feel the benefits of listening to it too!
I often put on baby sensory songs whilst making dinner. K enjoys it when I sing along and he’s started to dance. He’s a lot more patient when waiting for his food (less shouting at me) because it distracts him. It also keeps him away from screens!
Music for Playtime
Have you ever sat back and quietly watched your baby play? When watching my baby, it often doesn’t look like he’s doing much. But I can see him focusing and know that he’s thinking and making important connections in his brain.
Having music on whilst your baby plays will help them focus. Soft and slow classical music (baby Mozart, baby Beethoven, and Chopins Nocturne) is ideal for this because it won’t disrupt their thought patterns. Background noise from the tv or music with words often disturbs a baby’s play. They have to process new words when listening to it and it often distracts them.
Classical music varies but the best instruments that create softer sounds include:
- Acoustic guitar
The baby Mozart Youtube playlist below has soft, slow music that’s ideal to use during your baby’s playtime.
There are also lots of baby Mozart playlists on Spotify too.
As well as listening to background music when playing, it’s important your baby has periods of quiet. Listening to everyday household sounds and sounds from nature is beneficial too. Bear in mind that the brain has to work hard to process music. It can be overwhelming if music is on all the time and could cause sensory overload.
Making Your Own Music
Using musical toys with your baby is an entertaining baby activity they can enjoy from a young age. Your baby will be fascinated watching you make different sounds. When your baby can use them independently, they will learn cause and effect. They will also help their physical development (fine motor skills and gross motor skills). For example, banging a tambourine involves using larger muscle groups like arms. Shaking a bell stick involves using smaller muscles in the hands and fingers.
Some of the best musical toys for babies include:
Xylophones are especially fun for babies around 9 months when they start banging everything.
Baby Music for Sleep
Often you hear of white noise helping a baby sleep and there are lots of baby products that have this feature. While there are some benefits to using white noise, there are also negatives. A recent study found that using white noise incorrectly can have long term consequences and may delay infant development.
Using white noise increases the risk of hearing problems and speech and language delay. Some babies become reliant on white noise to sleep and others don’t like it. – Healthline.com
Lullabies and nature sounds are better at soothing your little one, making them the ideal music for baby sleep.
Lullabies are a peaceful soundtrack for babies because only a few notes are repeated. They also have softer sounds. There are many that you can sing along to, which will strengthen your bond and reassure your baby. Singing can also be used as a sleep signal. I sing the same song to my baby every nap time and night time. It works really well and now he’s a bit older, it’s the only time I get to snuggle him because he’s always on the go!
Popular lullabies include:
- Brahms lullaby
- Rock a by baby
- Hush little baby
- When you wish upon a star
I’ve recently started using lullabies before, during, and after bath time to prepare my baby for bed. On the first night of doing this, I noticed that bath time was calmer, getting dressed before bed wasn’t as stressful and he fell asleep quicker. I used the Disney lullabies playlist on Spotify.
Nature sounds are also soothing. They encourage positive emotions, which is why they’re often used in meditation. They will help you to create the perfect atmosphere for sleep.
Popular nature sounds include:
- Running stream
Spotify has nature sounds playlists too.
Lullabies and nature sounds are a perfect alternative to white noise and will aid sleep. Songs with words (nursery rhymes, sensory songs, songs on the radio) are ideal to use when a baby is not focused on a task or playing. Classical music is an effective background noise during playtime as it will not distract or disturb your little one’s thinking.
The power of music is incredible and using different genres for different daily activities will add variety for both you and your baby. Not only that, but it will also help you to have quality interactions. It will boost their development and soothe them before bed.
Listening to music can sometimes cause a sensory overload. The brain has to process a lot when listening to it. So remember to also provide your baby with quiet time throughout the day too.
We give our babies’ variety in many aspects of their lives – from food to activities and experiences. So why not give them a variety in the music we play to them too? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.