Just as the right music can lift our sagging adult spirits or calm our souls, it has either a relaxing or invigorating effect on baby. Research also shows that music has a positive effect on baby’s brain development.
So make it a point to introduce your baby to the wonderful world of music: It’s a fun way for both of you to pep up a dreary day or tranquilize a stressful situation.
Here are some easy tips:
- Start by playing music during your baby’s awake “playtime.” Any peppy tunes will do: Dig out your ’80s faves or stream some ABBA or Beatles hits into your speaker system. Sing along as you move your baby’s arms and feet to the rhythm. Your baby-and you-are sure to be entertained.
- Remember that even if you’re completely off tune, your baby appreciates your singing voice above all others.
- Spice up your typical bedtime routine by playing some classical hits-Bach, Beethoven or Mozart or simple, soothing lullabies.
- Visit kindermusik.com to find a local Kindermusik school and enroll baby in her first music class. Each session strives to connect parents and babies through music. “The early months of a child’s life are an important time to form an emotional bond with their parent, and we foster that in class,” says Jessica Rice Solares, co-owner of Bucktown Music in Chicago, which offers a range of parent-baby music classes. “I’ve also found that my older music students who have completed the Kindermusik program have shown an increased ability for abstract musical concepts, have better rhythm and intonation, and better listening and attention skills in their lessons.”
- As your baby’s development progresses, offer some fun musical instruments for playtime. Visit musicaltoysplus.com for a funky selection of baby-sized instruments including mini-drums, shakers, guiros and even baby pianos, or visit the Lincoln Park or Lincoln Square locations of the Old Town School of Folk Music, where you can find everything from jingle bells to maracas.