Singing to Baby
Firstly, let me set you straight about your singing ability before I tell you about the need to sing to Baby. You might think you can't sing! EVERYONE CAN SING, even though you may have been told when you were at school your 'talent' was not needed in the school choir! No matter what you think you sound like, your singing to Baby is extremely valuable to him and needs to begin at birth (or if Baby is not yet born he will hear your voice ... and remember your voice AND the song after birth!).
- Attracts and sustains babies' attention more so than baby talk
- Expresses affection
- Soothes babies
- Promotes the parent - baby emotional connection (bond).
Note: Research has been done on the therapeutic effects of singing to babies in Neonatal Intensive Care Units. It has a calming effect which assists in boosting their growth. Furthermore it's mothers' singing that is more effective on their baby's wellbeing than the singing of another female.
Babies also seem to be comforted by the familiarity of certain songs becoming part of the caregiving day e.g. a particular playsong is sung during nappy change and a special lullaby is sung as part of the sleeptime routine. Through this routineness babies quickly learn to associate 'what songs go where' which enhances their feelings of security.
AND, your singing is a great source of 'release' for you. As well as singing being beneficial to babies, research shows that singing releases emotions and provides opportunity to be creative/expressive, have fun and to relax. It has also been shown that singing releases the physical burdens of work - so when you consider the demands of caring for Baby, singing the day away may give you some relief from the physical strain.
So, sing, sing, sing with the Bond With Baby Songs, Rhymes and Music! (Shaping the Day introduces how the Bond With Baby songs and rhymes can be used throughout the day with Baby). If English is your second language, you may have songs from your culture to share with Baby. If your baby has been adopted from another country/culture, your learning of songs in the native language is a lovely way of maintaining his/her heritage.