Philadelphia Moms Play Music for their Babies
The Philadelphia area doulas have been learning about music and babys and we want to share what we've learned! Music has the power to make memories, shape relationships, effect mood, and simply makes people happy. But how does this effect babies? Well, many researchers believe that fetus’ as young as 5 months can distinguish sounds and at two months infants can remember short melodies. Baby's in the womb can even hear music and sounds being played in the other room. So why not start as young as possible in shaping your child to have a lifetime love for music. Introducing music can very soothing. To explain this music phenomenon on a deeper level, babies have billions of brain cells that form connections to each other. So when infants are readily introduced to music they naturally will form strong music related brain cells. Thus, early listening will enhance a baby’s admiration for music. Not to mention, like most adults, music has a positive effect on a baby’s mood.
So does music make babies smarter?
In some ways yes, music can benefit learning. Studies show that babies as young as three months can pick up on the structure of music, therefore the more complex structure the better. For example, classical music has shown to allow babies to improve on spatial reasoning. Likewise, music can enhance a baby’s learning capability by increasing his or her mood.
Music does not only benefit the baby but it also benefits the mother’s overall mental health.
It is recommended for women to ask their nurse, doctor, doula, etc. to play music during labor. This has been proven to relax the women and make the process much less painful. Also, playing music during pregnancy lowers stress levels tremendously. Main Line Doulas also offers a Music Therapy Assisted Childbirth program. This program has been developed based on the very scientific information we have about the direct effects that music has on the laboring woman. For information on that, please click here.
On top of aiding cognitive health and a mother’s well being, utilizing music is an ideal way to strengthen the bond between mother and child. Those moments when a mother sings her baby to sleep or plays games with music are moments that the child feels a deep connection with its parent. Even if the mother is tone deaf, the baby does not care. All it cares about is the comfort it finds in its mother’s.
Is OK to be that crazy women with the headphones strapped around her belly? No! While music is a wonderful way to help sooth your baby, it is not appropriate to play music close up to your baby via headphone. This practice has been shown to overstimulate developing babies. You can however introduce your baby to a variety of music to see what it likes. Infancy is the time to begin to plant the seeds for a lifetime full of talent. So who knows, maybe your child will be the next Beethoven.
Robledo, S.Jhoanna. "Music and your baby (newborn to 1 year)." BabyCenter. BabyCenter Medical Advisory Board, n.d. Web. 25 June 2014. <http://www.babycenter.com/0_music-and-your-baby-newborn-to-1-year_6548.bc?page=1>.
Bales, Diane. "Building Baby's Brain: The Role of Music." Building Baby's Brain: The Role of Music. Education Oasis, 1 Jan. 2012. Web. 25 June 2014. <http://www.educationoasis.com/resources/Articles/building_babys_brain.htm>.