Did you know . . . . newborn babies demonstrate a preference for music heard frequently while in the womb? This is because hearing begins at about 16 weeks gestation, giving the growing baby plenty of auditory information about it’s family! Babies are already familiar with mom and dad’s voice because they’ve had a preview from the womb.
Infants show a preference for infant-directed song over infant-directed speech, according to a 2016 study in the journal Child Development, and singing to your baby can be a wonderful way to build healthy attachment. While singing, parents and babies engage in eye contact as well as close physical contact, both of which help to build a strong bond, and even increase brain development and even protect against postpartum depression in moms!
Even when babies are in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit), they can still benefit from music therapy, which can help to mask some of the noise from hospital machines, replicate mother’s heartbeat as heard in the womb, increase nutritional intake, and support parent-infant bonding even in such a fragile state.