Singing soothes distressed babies | Possums for Mothers and Babies

Singing soothes distressed babies

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Dr Jeanette Kennelly - Paediatric Music Therapist

When your baby is distressed, how do you use your voice? Do you sing, speak quietly or use a combination of both modalities?  Or do you feel so upset that singing is the last thing on your mind and yells of exasperation come rushing out instead?

Could singing to your baby instead of speaking help to settle and calm them more during these challenging times? At Song and Sensory we focus many of our sessions, particularly our 0-12 months groups on the practical differences between infant directed (ID) speech and singing. We help parents to use their voices in a variety of ways to arouse (using speech) and sustain (using singing) a baby’s attention. A recent study investigated the impact of both ID speech and singing on the stress levels of babies aged between 7 – 10 months and found that ID singing was more effective than speech in delaying the onset of distress. Read the full article HERE

So as parents we have a wonderful tool within us, our own individual voice, which can be creatively used to engage with our children, support their sensory development and help regulate their emotional state. Your voice is the one your baby most connects with. Why not take the time tonight to sing to your baby and watch what happens next….. You might notice a difference in the way you feel too!


Dr Jeanette Kennelly

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