How music and lullabies strengthen the parent-toddler bond
Music plays an important role in developing a child’s growth, brain development, even before birth.
Listening to music when a kid is in the womb is not only be soothing to the mothers mood but also has a positive influence on the baby.
By 24 weeks, as the babies ears form and develop, they have been shown to turn their heads in response to voices and noise in the last few months of pregnancy and can recognise their mother's voice, native language, word patterns and rhymes, says Furtados School of Music.
The early years in a child's life can be termed as the "prime time" for his/her young developing brain. This intense period of brain growth and network building capacity happens only once in a lifetime. As parents, this period of brief but unique opportunity is extremely important to encourage and facilitate the formation of brain circuitry in our infants, it adds.
Benefits of simple and slow music
The English word ’lullaby' comes from the ’lala' or ’lulu' that are sounds made by mothers or nurses to calm children. These are sung in our most intimate spaces as our days come to a close, these songs hold far more than their function. As situations change, lullabies help to establish safe spaces for children.
Today, amid changes driven by the Covid-19 pandemic, lullabies endure as an especially important way to preserve tender moments between parents and their young children. It is like a safe spot where the child feels its mother's warmth and belonging. A familiar tune or music or song becomes like a session of music therapy.
There is a growing body of research on how lullabies help soothe both the caregiver and child. Laura Cirelli, professor of developmental psychology at the University of Toronto, studies the science of maternal song. She found when mothers sung lullabies, stress levels dropped not just for the baby but for mothers as well. In her most recent work, she found that familiar songs soothed babies the most.
How does this impact children?
Language acquisition, or learning to speak, is natural for most babies, in other words, they learn language simply through exposure and play. Studies have shown that exposing your baby to music can speed up the process of learning to speak and help them to master complex language concepts.