Kalki Koechlin learnt how to play the ukulele when she was pregnant, so that she could sing for her baby. Not everyone can learn instruments, of course. But a lot of us can hum or sing a tune or two. The benefits of singing for your baby are many, and they’re not based on hearsay. Scientific studies say children of different ages react to playful or soothing music in different ways which help with their temperament and behaviour. There are many benefits to singing for a baby, and only one of them is mutual entertainment. Read on to know why you should sing for your baby.
Singing to a baby helps them feel safe
According to a study by two Harvard Medical School researchers, songs directed to infants helps them feel safe. “I can’t be singing to you and be talking to someone else,” Max Krasnow, assistant professor of psychology at Harvard, explains. “It’s unlikely I’m running away, because I need to control my voice to sing. You can tell the orientation of my head even without looking at me; you can tell how far away I am even without looking.”
It improves their concentration levels
When we’re trying to concentrate on a task, many of us turn to concentration music. Streaming platforms are full of such playlists. We know music helps concentration levels, and that’s how it works in babies too. When you’re singing to them, they’re paying attention to you. If you do this on a regular basis, it’s likely to help your child concentrate on tasks later in life as well.
Strengthens the bond between the singer and the baby
All new parents could do with some bonding time with their child, right? Singing is one such way to strengthen the bond as your child learns to recognise your voice and associate it with a soothing experience. The right kind of music can also help calm an agitated baby and make them relax. Using music as a relaxation technique can also encourage mindful breathing in a child at an early stage.
Helps them learn words faster
According to Dr Laurel Trainor of the McMaster Institute for Music and the Mind in Canada, singing to your baby can help them learn communication faster. Moving along to music encourages babies to use communicative gestures sooner. “The more expressive gestures she uses, the more likely she is to acquire language skills,” Dr Trainor says, as quoted by parents.com. Research has also linked parents’ singing to babies learning new words inadvertently through rhythms.
Entertainment for both parent and child
Singing for your baby doesn’t have to be limited to nursery rhymes. Sing along to music you like and, as long as it’s not jarring to the ears, your baby will enjoy it too. You can still get all the benefits of singing to your baby while enjoying your own music.
Don’t limit yourself to one language. Listen to music in regional Indian languages as well and try to sing along where you can. Need some inspiration? Listen to Kalki Koechlin sing a Bengali song for her daughter.