The Benefits Of Bedtime Songs For Babies
Singing your baby to sleep connects you with your ancestors.
Your parents did it for you, their parents did it for them, and singing to your child carries all of that love on through the years. It’s extra special because many of the songs that you sing to your children have been passed down through generations and they represent the beginning of a musical journey through life.
Lullabies are special for other reasons, too, and actually have incredible affects on your baby’s brain.
Lullabies Promote Better Bonding For Better Health
Singing bedtime songs is a proven way to develop a strong, safe bond with your child, and this has long-term effects. A secure bond at a young age can improve a child’s resilience and mental health later on in life. It’s good for you, too — feeling a close bond with your baby makes you feel like a good parent, and helps to reduce your chances of experience anxiety or depression in early parenthood.
And for your baby, being eased into a deep sleep with the help of a trusted voice and familiar songs stimulates the release of dopamine and related uplifting chemicals in the brain, and causes a fall in stress hormones which are associated with a baby crying herself to sleep.
Lullabies lower a baby’s heart rate and can even relieve pain — so singing to your little one when they have Chicken Pox really can help!
Lullabies Help Your Baby Learn
Think about your own experience of falling asleep at night, as an adult. If you’ve had a stressful day and you’re feeling anxious and your mind is racing, your tiredness doesn’t feel good.
It’s not good quality tiredness. Instead of being the kind of tired that allows you to fall into bed and curl up into a deliciously comfortable, deep sleep, you get into bed and feel stiff and unsettled.
You toss and turn, feel irritated by your clothing or duvet, and you feel stressed about not being able to get to sleep.
For your baby, bedtime songs induce the good kind of tiredness. Their irritable tiredness is relieved and they fall readily into deep sleep — and sleep for longer.
There’s another, less obvious benefit that comes with singing your infant to sleep. The sounds and words in the songs are repetitive and, as they become more and more familiar, they help children to learn about voice intonation and language.
The words in bedtime songs tend to be warm, loving and uplifting, and your baby will learn them over time. As their language skills grow, they’ll learn the meanings of the words as well as the sounds, and they’ll be able to use this knowledge to decipher other sounds and meanings more easily.
When you sing your baby to sleep you help them calm down, sleep better, and plant the seeds for beginning the journey of learning language, identifying emotions, and loving music. And you pass on a beautiful tradition that your parents passed on to you.
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