What experiences are there from parents who sing for their unborn babies, premature babies, and infants right after birth?
That’s what this article is about.
Parents have been singing lullabies for their babies since the beginning of time. Has there ever been a culture without a set of lullabies that have been passed down over several generations?
They aim to soothe the babies, make them feel safe, comfort them when they are unhappy, make them fall asleep. These songs can make a bigger difference in both parents and children’s lives, than many people think.
We have long known that the fetus can hear clearly several months before birth, can distinguish between sounds, and even develop preferences for certain sounds and voices. For example, a newborn prefers her parents’ voices over a stranger’s.
How do we know? Well, a newborn will provenly be calmed by a familiar voice and orientate towards it.
Even complicated communication, such as music or a story, that is repeated to the fetus, will be recognized and adored by the child after birth.
Penny Simkin explains her experience: “There was one couple whom I served as a birth doula, who took my suggestion (to sing to the fetus) to another level, and showed me much more about the value of singing to the unborn baby. They were having their second child, hoping for a VBAC. When they discovered that they were having a boy, they decided to give their baby the song, “Here Comes the Sun” and sang it to him often during pregnancy. The VBAC was not possible, and as the cesarean was underway, and the baby boy, crying lustily, was raised for the parents to see, the father began belting out the baby’s song. Although the mother did not have a strong voice under the circumstances, she also sang. The baby turned his head, turned his face right towards his father and calmed down while his father sang. Time stopped. As I looked around the operating room, I saw tears appear on the surgical masks.”
This experience shows us that singing before birth is not only beneficial, but singing the same song repeatedly actually does something for the fetus.
Imagine being ripped out of your warm, humid home, where the sound of your mother’s heartbeat has been a faithful companion all your life. Out to an overly bright, too cold room, with hands grabbing you, betting you, pulling you, and lifting you up. The sensory impressions are overwhelming.
But then you suddenly hear a familiar sound amidst all the confusion. A tune, and words you’ve heard many times before. This feeling is reassuring, and you are automatically comforted by and drawn to it.
Indeed, singing to your unborn child is thus a simple and practical measure that can later soothe the child, comfort and put it to sleep, but also create a unique and lifelong bond between you.
If you have one or more songs you sing repeatedly to your child both before and after birth, you will have the opportunity to create a bond that will last the rest of your life, an opportunity that will never present itself the same way again.
The soothing effect of your voice will always lie so deep in the child that your relationship will be unbreakable.
If you have any experience with this, good ideas or comments, feel free to write us below.
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