4 things you didn’t know about lullabies
Have you ever stopped in front of a shelf with a wide choice of lullabies in your local music store? Mozart, relaxing Aboriginal songs, even white noise – you can find any sort of wonders designed to put kids to sleep and help them calmly get through the night. No doubt such records and various baby songs will enchant children with their lulling power, but let’s not forget that we too have something to say in that matter.
Bonding power of a baby lullaby
Singing lullabies and baby songs is one of the oldest, most natural and in my opinion most beautiful interactions between a parent and a child.
Parent’s voice has the power to comfort a baby when she’s sad or to put her to sleep when she’s tired. Safety, comfort, warmth and bonding with the parent are a foundation on which we build a close relationship full of love and affection. And I think that’s the most precious gift we can share with our child.
Humming, murmuring or singing – everyone can make music! It’s not about the melody or lyrics, it’s the interaction itself that matters: voice, touch, eye contact. Lullabies are not only meant to put kids to sleep. Used on a regular basis they also have enormous benefits in other areas.
Baby lullaby – facts about lullabies for bedtime:
- It’s an opportunity for children to practice active listening – and these days it’s quite a rare skill!
- Lullabies sung on a daily basis build a predictable sleeping routine which helps children to fall asleep easily and improves sleep quality.
- A study by University of Roehampton and GOSH (Great Ormond Street Hospital) published in Psychology of Music suggests that listening to lullabies can slow down the pulse, decrease anxiety and pain (!) levels in a group of child patients.
- Lullabies create a unique bonding moment between the caregiver and the child. And that gives children sense of safety and helps them learn how to relax and calm down.
How to benefit the most from singing baby songs:
Add lullabies for bedtime to your daily routine
Make putting your little one to sleep a ritual. Let the lullaby be its most important and fixed element. Even 5 minutes of singing is enough!
Don’t focus on lyrics or your singing skills
Baby lullaby doesn’t have to make sense. Neither lyrics have to be perfectly logical nor the melody in tune. You can sing your child’s name or some sweet nothings. Sing, hum, murmur, it really doesn’t matter what you choose! It’s the soothing sound and the feelings of warmth, closeness and safety what matters in lullabies. If you’re reluctant to sing unaccompanied, use a CD and sing along, but play it quietly in the background.
Take pleasure from the moment
Hold your baby while singing, cuddle in a rocking chair or sway gently to the music. Let your mind clear of any thoughts and simply enjoy the cozy, wonderful moment when you, your child and music become one. I know that sounds a bit exalted, but trust me – that’s what it feels like!
If your kid is a bit older you can also use other baby songs and rhythms during the day – just for fun, stimulating development and building intimacy. But don’t forget about lullabies. They’re useful at any stage of development!
Now you know that singing lullabies for bedtime not only soothes your little one but also strengthens your bond with him. So – don’t you feel like hugging your child and singing a little song right now?