Music helps baby to sleep

Music helps baby to sleep

It is true that music causes the release of dopamine in the brain, a hormone related to the sensation of pleasure, which can cause several reactions in our body depending on the music that we listen to. Good music has the power to convey our feelings and change our mood in many ways.

Movie scenes cause a greater impact on people when accompanied by a song. Exercising seems less tiring when listening to something more upswing. Moments of sadness seem less sad when listening to a song. Hours of relaxation bring better results associated to good music.

According to Dr. Diane Bales, Associate Professor and Specialist in Extension in Human Development at the University of Georgia, music brings many benefits to children by making them smarter and preparing the brain for thought processes.

An article published by the American Academy of Pediatrics published research entitled “The Effects of Music Therapy on Vital Signs, Food, and Sleep in Premature Babies.” In this study, 272 babies from 11 NeoNatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) were monitored by music therapists for 32 weeks. Positive effects were observed when lullabies were sung associated with the sounds of the uterus. Babies had better blood oxygen levels, suckling behavior and decreased stress as observed by parents (source: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/131/5/902).

 

Benefits of music for babies

– Many mothers often put on music for their babies to listen to when they are still inside the belly. Experts observed an increase in brain activity of fetuses when music is played to them;

– This helps stimulate hearing in newborns;

– It also stimulates language and the willingness to express oneself;

– The baby feels happier and more relaxed.

– It improves concentration and coordination.

 

What is white noise?

White noise is a signal with all frequencies at the same time or a mixture of sound waves that extends over a frequency range. To better understand, it is the noise that old televisions make when the channel goes off the air at night.

The idea is to gather sounds to drown out external distractions. Some people use this feature to be able to better focus on studies, at work or in moments of relaxation, against anxiety or depression, through the sound of waves or rain.

For babies, white noise is the most suitable type of music to play during sleep. A mixture of sounds that refer to the environment of the uterus calm the baby’s crying and ensure a much quieter night’s sleep. A study of 40 newborns showed that 80% fell asleep with white noise after five minutes.

This sound can be found on the internet, on YouTube, on mobile phones and tablet apps, or even a fan or humidifier. The sound of the television can also be associated with white noise, but the light can agitate and disturb, so avoid using this feature to lull the baby.

 

How music helps baby to sleep

On YouTube, song titles for babies that are “infallible music for the baby to sleep” are the most accessed or “music for the baby to sleep in 15 minutes”, “Song to lull the baby to sleep on the spot” and many other titles accompanied by the words “works”, “proven”, “infallible”, “fast”. The list is almost endless, with videos that reach more than wight hours long. There are also CDs and DVDs, targeted websites, and it is still possible to choose one from the family repertoire.

Using calm, peaceful music when putting the baby to sleep  has two benefits:

– The first is that the baby will associate the music with the time to go to bed, which will help a lot in the routine of putting him to sleep. Babies like predictability, i.e., the same song being played every time at that time will make him calm down more easily and sleep more peacefully.

Another advantage of music is if the baby needs to sleep in a different place because of a trip or a longer ride. By associating the music with bedtime, the baby will become calmer, making the process much easier.

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Karla Mendonça

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