Baby · Breastfeeding · Classes

The Magic of Music

smiling baby breastfeeding

(Cheek and elbow dimples – pretty adorable!) The next breastfeeding class is coming up!

What: Breastfeeding Class

When: Thursday, Nov 12th, 6-9pm

Where: Pacifica Family Maternity Center, Berkeley

Please contact me know if you’d like to join. Check out my Classes page up at the header for more information. Thank you!

It’s around this time, after the fun of summer, the rush that comes with the beginning of school, and the madness of Halloween, that my family decides to s l o w down. The weather turns colder, there are fewer hours of sunlight, and we try to turn inward to think. The change in seasons is also the time when I start to listen to different music, maybe more classical, or something slower and quieter. This got me thinking about music and its importance for not only my family but for many cultures around the world, and of course, music and kids.

Babies get into the magic of music too, even as they are growing in the womb. Babies begin to hear in the second trimester, and by the beginning of the third trimester, many babies are able to discern the difference between the language of his mother and other languages, show a preference for musical genres and remember something they commonly hear. There were some really neat studies done with young babies to see if they can recognize and would prefer their mother’s voice over other voices. These babies learned that if they sucked faster on a special pacifier they would hear their mother’s voice, or if they sucked slower, they would hear the voice of a stranger. The babies showed preference to their mother’s voice by continuing to suck faster. (Ever think newborns don’t really care about what’s going on around them or aren’t really doing a whole lot of thinking? Check out Your Amazing Newborn to find out just how aware babies really are.)

When parents play or sing a song to their growing baby, the baby will remember the song after they are born and are often soothed by hearing something familiar sung by familiar voices. When this singing is accompanied by smiling, touching, gazing into each other’s eyes, our brains get oxytocin flowing and you and your baby really get that feeling of falling in love, feeling secure and building attachment. Sometimes I feel like there are so many discoveries of diseases, genetic changes or personality quirks that “begin in the womb” that it can be difficult to not feel responsible and guilty during the pregnancy, even when some of these things are out of our control. But singing and talking to your baby are in your control and have a positive, lasting effect on your baby and a positive effect on you that can continue after the birth. Learn more from long time doula and advocate for families and babies, Penny Simkin, who is passionate about singing to babies as a way to foster further attachment between parents and baby. Check out what she has to say on this podcast.

There isn’t a time that singing has to begin by either, it can start anytime. Though I don’t sing as often as I should with my older girls, I do still sing to my little guy, especially when he is nursing. In the early weeks after his birth, as I was trying to calm him to sleep, I remembered a song that my grandma sang to me when I was little. It felt pretty special to continue singing that to my little guy, especially since he will never meet this grandma.

Check out this sweet video of this couple singing to their little one. This baby looks so relaxed!