Why You Should Dance And Sing With Your Baby
Music And Dancing For You And Your Baby
No one likes hearing their baby cry. Mothers in particular are biologically programmed to find their infant’s cry distressing — an evolutionary method for ensuring babies get the attention they need, when they need it.
The experience of an inconsolable baby’s screams can, for a parent, be very difficult; it provokes an immediate and sometimes painful emotional response.
So it’s not surprising that researchers around the world are interested in effective and loving ways to soothe unsettled babies. From day one, we want to help our newborns’ brains develop healthily by providing them with security and validation.
Two very positive methods for calming a baby, from newborn until toddlerhood — and beyond! — are music and dancing.
Sing A Song, Dance A Jig
As we’ve explored in some depth on this blog, music has a variety of calming, stress relieving and bonding capacities that make it a very good idea to expose your little one to live and recorded songs and instruments.
Movement is also a highly effective way to soothe a young baby.
In the womb they are, of course, experiencing constant movement as the mother goes about her life. So once out of the womb and in your arms, bouncing and swaying are wonderful ways to make your child feel calm, settled, and to stop them crying.
Combine music and movement and naturally, you arrive at dancing!
Sing a lullaby to your baby while dancing gently with him in your arms. Put on a favourite song and boogie around the living to let her feel the joy of rhythm — as she gets older, it might even inspire a first smile or laugh.
Dancing to music with your infant helps them to develop listening skills, rhythm, and start to understand their own proprioception when they start joining in with their own movements.
Dancing is Good For You Too
And making a living room dance a daily activity in your house is good for you as well. Early parenthood is certainly not without its challenges, and many new mothers and fathers experience ‘the baby blues’ or, more seriously, postnatal depression.
There’s evidence to suggest that both music and movement can help people struggling in the first weeks and months after a baby is born. Dancing combines the two; you can listen to songs that make you feel good, and raise your heart rate as you shimmy around the sofa — combining baby entertainment with exercise and soul-soothing for you.
Dancing is fun. And enjoying fun experiences with your new baby helps you to bond; you’ll feel connected to each other and appreciate the love you share as your movements release mood lifting chemicals in your brain.
And afterwards you can put your baby down for a nap, make yourself a cuppa, and relax with the warm glow that comes with making your baby happy.
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