Rock-a-My Baby

During a baby’s first year of life, parents worry just about everything! Has the baby had enough milk?  Does the baby need her diaper changed?  Is the baby sleeping enough?  Add to that all of the studies that new parents read on how to influence their newborn’s intelligence and creativity.  Well, the jury is still out on whether music does in fact make babies smarter.

However, no one can argue that music does have an overall positive influence on a baby.  Lullabies are a perfect example of how music can have a soothing effect and help a fussy baby fall asleep.  Well, that combined with a bit of rocking back and forth doesn’t hurt!  Listening to music generally delivers a pleasant experience for both babies and their parents.   While engaging in musical activities, parents and their babies are not only having fun together but also forging intimate bonds in the process.   In fact, research shows that infants tend to prefer upbeat, harmonic music.  Moreover, as early as two months old, infants can recognize brief melodies.  This signals the development of memory at a young age.

In fact, a study of 5 year olds suggests that performance on cognitive tests are improved when listening to music that is pleasing to the ear.  In addition, it can promote creativity.  Therefore, continued exposure to music throughout childhood can only have positive benefits, particularly when it is a shared experience with the parent(s).  So, rather than using the television to entertain young children, parents should opt to expose them to musical sounds and instruments.  This will engage their senses rather than dulling them and allow them to cultivate their creativity as well as their ingenuity for life!

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