Singing to babies before they are born has multiple benefits.
Advisor Erica Martinez – Psychologist with a Major in Musical Therapy
Sing during pregnancy, during childbirth and in their first months of life. Lulling a baby is a process that can initiate from way before birth with surprising physical, emotional and neurological effects. It relaxes, tranquilizes the newborn infant and reduces its emotional discomfort.
Even though not a widespread technique prenatal songs bring important benefits in the strengthening of the liaison between parents and child and in the child’s bodily and cognitive development.
“It is a tool that allows the mother and father to generate emotional harmony along the pregnancy and in childbirth, especially. It facilitates the coming into this world,” explains psychologist Erica Martinez, Masters in Musical Therapy and expert in this subject. She offers courses to pregnant mothers and until their babies are three months old. She teaches them to sing even inside the womb so that they can recognize the notes, voices and melodies when they are born facilitating their adaptation to the world.
Even though the transition process can be carried out with only movement, Erica recommends accompanying it with a musical routine. It will be a more pleasant experience for the babies and will connect them through laughter, babbling or crying with all those people that will take care of him.
Lulling is suggested at a slow harmonic pace accompanied by song, unhurriedly. “If this is done quickly the message that they are sending the child is being lulled because the person carrying him needs for him to calm down and the effect can be quite the contrary,” she indicates.
How to sing to them
The psychologist also recommends that the song be sung in one specific tone, with low and sweet notes. Lullabies, for example, are medium and low tones with slow tempos. She adds that benefits differ if the voice is masculine or feminine. The first is graver and impact the development of the lower region with effects on walking and stability. The second that is more acute helps to optimize the development of the upper area of the body, from the waist up including some neurological aspects of the brain.
In general, lulling them from the first weeks of pregnancy awakens in them a sensibility to vibration given that the sense of touch is the first one in developing. In that way, the more they hear tones of voices and songs they begin to recognize them making them familiar producing a feeling of confidence in birth. This gives them back the security that accompanied them since conception.
While the woman is in labor, prenatal singing is a good therapy that benefits both mother and child. “Sound is oxygenating. It is better than screaming.” Erica recommends that the father be present and that he be the one singing at that time. His voice is low and helps in the production of endorphins in the mother and therefore reduces the pain.
Intonating during labor
While the woman is giving birth, prenatal song is a good therapy that benefits both the baby and the mother. “Sound is like providing oxygen. It is better than screaming.” Erica recommends that the father, if he is present, be the one to sing at that time because his low voice helps in the production of endorphins in the mother and therefore diminishes pain.
- Lulling must also have limits so that the baby learns to see the world from different perspectives beyond the arms and faces of his caretakers.
- This song relaxes the nervous system of the child and calms him when he is crying. Soft Movements represent a rhythmical stimulus that calms him down because it is similar to the sensation of being in the mother’s womb. It also stabilized his heart frequency and gives him rest, harmonizing his breathing. So movement, constant sound and the warmth of his parent’s arms are the perfect scenario for the healthy emotional and physiological evolution of the child.
A good lull
Here are some guidelines for producing it given by the National Council for Educational Promotion
- Pick the baby up softly; avoid brusque movements in order not to scare him and never pull him by the hands or feet
- The adult’s body must be a support, by carrying the weight of the baby on your chest and in your arms.
- The baby must be snuggled up with his head higher than the rest of the body.
- If you are going to pick the baby up, it is important to hold his head with one hand.
- Once you are carrying the child, talk to him, sing to him and rock him.