The Power of Singing to Infants: Strengthening the Parent-Child Bond
In the world of Parent-Infant communication, Speech is limiting. That’s where Singing miraculously steps in, serving as a magical ‘bridge’ of communication between parent and child.
We often make up our own songs, mumbling nonsensical, incoherent words in the shower to tunes of our own making. The importance of singing, though, cannot be undermined where it comes to consciously using it to communicate with your child.
There are several distinct benefits afforded by singing to kids, the most important of which we will attempt to elucidate in the course of this article. But first, a look at what Infant-Directed Singing is all about.
Infant-Directed Singing: The Low-down
Before one compiles a list of the best songs to sing to infants, here’s a closer look at what singing to infants really looks like.
The thing is, even when we are talking to infants, we are using a sing-song voice. When singing to babies, what we do is raise the pitch of our voices and sing at a slower than normal tempo.
You will find the emotional quality of your voice rises, as you rock or move softly, and maintain eye contact with your baby. In a nutshell, this is what infant-directed singing is all about.
The Significance of Singing to Infants
There are far more benefits that stem from singing to infants, apart from creating a shared space of communication between you and your little one.
Singing songs to your children is a great way to build their vocabulary.
Even babies who don’t understand the words of the songs you sing to them, slowly pick up sounds that are part of their mother tongue, and eventually learn to distinguish the words and phrases.
Gross and Fine Motor Coordination
Kids are far more animated than adults where it comes to singing songs they love.
You can sing Movement Songs and Action Rhymes, that will get children to use their large muscles. This will only serve to hone their gross motor skills. Finger Play can also be incorporated – this is great for building the fine motor muscles in the fingers.
It Improves their Auditory Perception
The very basis of learning to read and spell, lies on the ability to understand sound and be able to hear sounds in words. This forms a vital component of a child’s auditory perception.
When a baby is older, they will learn to integrate sound with its visual representation (letters and words), and decode them to read and spell.
Note: Songs that incorporate rhyming, repetitive and even nonsensical words, are good for sharpening auditory perception in kids.
A Great Stress Buster for Babies
Music can be a tool that will help your children in more ways than one.
Looking for calming techniques for kids? Singing soothing songs to them, might be just what the doctor ordered! If you can’t get your baby to sleep at night, try singing them Nursery Rhymes and watch as they magically drift into dreamland.
Strengthens the Bond Between Parent and Child
What singing does, is it helps to create a common ‘meeting ground’ for you and your infant.
When you sing to your baby, it gives them the feeling that you are ‘wholly present’ with them. That is something that strengthens the parent-baby bond by leaps and bounds.
Songs to Sing To Infants
By now you’re probably dying to know which songs are the best to sing to your little one, right? Well, let’s delve right in and see what songs hit ‘all the right notes’, when it comes to making for a memorable musical experience for a baby!
- ‘If you’re Happy and You Know It’
This is a joyful clapping song that teaches the parts of the body.
Tip: You can help your baby clap their hands, until they learn to do it on their own.
- ‘Itsy-Bitsy Spider’
This one’s a classic that all babies love to hear.
Tip: The weather in this song is dramatic, so you want to make appropriate accompanying gestures while you sing it. For instance, you could use a hand to ‘make showers’ and make a big ‘O’ to represent the sun.
- ‘You are my Sunshine’
Of course your little one is the most precious thing in the world to you! That is why you will pull out all the stops in telling them how much they mean to you.
This gentle, happy lullaby is one of those soothing songs that will lull your baby right to sleep1
- ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’
Your child is the most beautiful thing in the world to you, and only deserves to be serenaded by the most beautiful words.
Like through the singing of this song, it has phrases like ‘Someday I’ll wish upon a Star’ and ‘Trouble melts like Lemon Drops.’
- ‘Baby Shark’
If you’re looking for a song with a catchy tune, this one’s it!
It might make you cringe, but it will surely captivate not only your baby’s fancy, but that of every family member who listens to it, too!
- ‘This Little Piggy’
This one’s a song that will get you to interact with your little one!
Lay your baby on your lap while you sing, and tug on each of their tiny toes. Indubitably the best part of this song, is when the last piggy cried ‘wee-wee’ all the way home, and you tickle baby’s chin!
- ‘Wheels on the Bus’
Another addictive song for babies to listen to. This one teaches them about all the people on the bus (like parents and driver). Needless to say, babies will be more interested in those wheels of the bus going ‘round and round.’
Needless to say, singing forms an important part of the curriculum at EuroKids. Nevertheless, we believe you should sing to your baby as much as you possibly can. After all, yours is the first and most important voice in their life. It’s best to lend it that ‘musical touch’ every now and then, in the hopes of securing an even greater bond with your children.