Doctor always has answers! The power of music. The more babies listen, the better their physical development

Doctor always has answers! The power of music. The more babies listen, the better their physical development Doctor always has answers! The power of music. The more babies listen, the better their physical development Doctor always has answers! The power of music. The more babies listen, the better their physical development

Many people have heard that music can promote child development. Nonetheless, many of them do not realize that we can stimulate such development with music since infancy. (Actually, we can boost it even when babies are in their mother’s womb.)

Promoting child development through music does not just refer to taking your little one to piano lessons. The use of music to stimulate children's brain development and learning has been researched a lot, especially in infancy during which the functioning of various organs coexists. For instance, the middle ear which is not fully developed can cause the baby to hear high-pitched rather than low-pitched voices and tend to respond to more familiar sounds. Therefore, babies tend to respond better to mother's voices than others. It is easy to notice that, when giving birth, mothers tend to sing lullabies more successfully than fathers do.

In addition, there is still a lot of research on music and child development. Research also indicated that music with melody with a rhythm that allows mothers to rock the cradle slowly, along with a part that pauses during singing. and a relaxed rhythm without any melodic surges can make the baby relax more. Relaxation is not simply for your child to fall asleep easily, but, when the human brain relaxes, the body's secretion of cortisol, known as the stress hormone, decreases. Consequently, the brain becomes more efficient at learning and accepting things than the one that receives cortisol due to stress.

However, when parents turn on music for babies, they usually reported that their babies seemed uninterested. A major reason might be that children may not get familiar with the music. As stated earlier, babies tend to respond to familiar sounds (such as the mother's voice) more than anyone else's, and they tend to relax more when they hear their mother's voice. As a result, it is initially advisable that mothers should sing along the turned-on music so that babies feel relaxed and their brain functions fully. Moreover, doing so will help children feel safe and strengthen relations between mothers and babies, which is the first development of EF creation among infants.

How to use music to promote the development of babies of 0-6-month old

            Infants are not very good at separating melodies or sounds, but begin to perceive rhythms in simple ways when they reach 5 months or more. Therefore, during this period, parents need to choose music that is slow, comfortable, and relaxing, with female voices with warm tones. The lyrics should consist of simple words with a rhythm to hold a lullaby or allow mothers to rock a cradle slowly, such as traditional folk songs and lullabies. (Slowly swinging the baby back and forth stimulates the sensory cells and the baby's balance) Singing a lullaby or rocking the baby slowly according to the rhythm of the music along with humming produced by mother's voice or someone familiar help strengthen the brain of the baby in terms of learning and memory. It also makes babies feel safe and trust in other people, especially parents, prior to the creation of development, which is the next step to create a real mother that helps strengthen the advanced functions of the brain (Executive Function: EF) for children.

How to use music to stimulate the development of babies of 7-12 months

            During this period, children will begin to turn around and start to sit, crawl, hold on to stand, stabilize their body, and be able to respond to parents more. They can follow simple commands, such as peekaboo, bye-bye, and hello. Also, they can differentiate sounds, so music for the babies should contain the sound of musical instruments and various notes. Parents have to emphasize on active participatory music as it enables different skill improvement effectively rather than passively listening to music alone. For instance, parents are allowed to sing directly to their babies, thus increasing their interest, concentration, and attention maintenance. Doing so will boost safety feelings and relations between mothers and babies. Therefore, music for the babies should be simple and memorable for both mothers and babies.

            Many people may say that it is very difficult because they have no ideas about where to choose a song. I would like to introduce you to Baby Love melodies which were created by Baby Love and College of Music, Mahidol University. The melodies were also under research by the Asianparent. That is why the songs are suitable for the development of children from the womb to infancy. 96% of mothers claimed that their children improved better when the music was turned on. Parents can visit and listen to the music for free.

            Last but not least, the thing that can best stimulate the development of children is happy parents as, the happier parents are, the happier their children will become. Age development requires both physical and mental balances. Do not forget to relax yourselves by listening to music and calm your own mind, too.

All the best,

Phornnipha Sriprasert, M.D.


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