Do You Sing Your Baby to Sleep? New Research Says You Probably Should
A new study from the UK last month reported that less than half of parents (just over a third) sing their babies to sleep these days. While singing babies to sleep might seem like a timeless tradition to some, for many it’s something they’ve never done. Of parents who do sing their little ones to sleep, over half are 45 or older, indicating that younger parents are much less likely to sing their babies to sleep than older parents. There are lots of sweet ways to bond with baby as you put them to bed but singing to them might have some special benefits that other bedtime routines don’t have. If you’re not singing your babe to sleep, check out the reasons below for why you might want to start now!
Singing keeps babies calm for longer
While talking to your baby in a soft, calming voice will help them settle, studies show that singing to babies to likely to keep them calm and cry-free for up to twice as long as talking to them alone. If you’re looking to help your baby calm down enough to get to sleep (and stay asleep) singing could do the trick!
Singing boosts bonding
There are lots of wonderful ways to bond with baby: Cuddling, talking, bathing and feeding are all ways that you show baby that you care for them. Singing has a special way of boosting bonding though because it encourages eye contact and concentration from your baby. If you’re feeling a little disconnected from your baby after a long workday or a day filled with too many tears, sitting down for some lullaby time might help you feel more connected than simply talking to them.
Singing to your babe can make them smarter
Studies have shown that babies who are exposed to music and song score better on measures of cognitive development than their peers who have not been exposed to music and song. Listening to you singing primes your baby's brain for learning and can help prepare them for success later in life.
It calms parents (YOU!) down too
If you’re feeling stressed, consider singing to your baby for your benefit as well as theirs. Singing to a baby is shown to help parents calm down and relax in the same way that other self-care activities can.
There’s no wrong way to sing to your baby. So, if you haven't been singing to your baby but want to give it a try, don’t hesitate!