What Are The Magic Songs For Soothing Your Baby?
Does your baby have a favourite song that works its magic every time, to cheer them up, calm them down, or send them off to sleep?
Of course, there are some that are specifically designed for children, like classic nursery rhymes and lullabies; but a recent conversation revealed a number of songs which were a bit more, well, cool… and easier to listen to on repeat, I’m sure.
It’s fascinating to see how many moms have discovered a particular song, and how these are specific not to each family, but to each individual baby.
Here are some favourite suggestions:
And to make them laugh?
Read Next: Baby Toys & Music
So why do certain songs have such an effect?
One of simplest explanations to why music helps to soothe a baby, is because some types of music feature a swaying or rocking rhythm (similar to a traditional lullaby), which closely matches the movements a baby would have experienced while in the womb. This is also why babies are often soothed by rocking motions. The beat can also reflect baby’s heartbeat (slightly faster than adults’) which soothes them. Babies also find repetition attractive, and according to studies prefer higher pitched music.
“Around the world, caregivers sing to infants in a way that differs from most other kinds of singing—usually in a conversational style, with a lot of repetition, high in pitch, slow in tempo, and in a loving tone of voice. Infants prefer this over other styles of singing.” Dr. Laurel Trainor, McMaster University, Ontario.
There have been a number of recent studies on babies’ relationship to music, but one has gone even further, creating a song ‘scientifically proven to make babies happy’: According to developmental psychologist Dr Caspar Addyman and music psychologist Lauren Stewart, the music should be:
'In a major key with a simple and repetitive main melody with musical devices like drum rolls, key changes, and rising pitch glides to provide opportunities for anticipation and surprise. Because babies’ heart rates are much faster than ours, the music ought to be more uptempo than we would expect. And finally, it should have an energetic female vocal, ideally recorded in the presence of an actual baby.'
To achieve this, they recruited Grammy award winner Imogen Heap, and developed The Happy Song together, including sounds voted as the funniest (for babies) and with the opportunity for actions. So … does your little one approve?
Whether you’re trying to make them laugh, or soothe them into sleep, music can certainly influence how our babies feel. But from birth (or even before), they’re already developing their own particular taste. So what are the favourites in your house? We’d love to hear.