Can Music Help A Baby Sleep?
Sleep is a precious commodity. It sharpens our minds, refreshes our souls, and heals our bodies. For babies, sleep is an essential aspect of their development. Babies sleep so much (but hopefully not too much) because the rest helps their bodies and brains to develop. Music plays an essential role in both the development of your baby and in its ability to achieve restful sleep.
The Science Behind Playing Music To Help Babies Fall Asleep
The truth is that babies are not so dissimilar from adults. Although their brains aren’t fully developed and their bodies are much smaller than yours, the basic structures of the baby’s brain are intact and functional.
This includes the auditory cortex portion of their brain that processes sound, language, and music. Baby sleep music is becoming very popular, even while the baby is still in the womb. Your pediatrician and other baby experts tell you to talk to your child while it grows in the womb. That this will help it to learn your voice. They even tell you to place headphones around your belly to play music for your baby to listen to while it grows.
This is because the auditory cortex is located in the temporal lobe of the cerebral cortex and is one of the first portions of the human brain to develop in utero. Due to these delicate stages of prenatal development, the hearing of sound becomes a very important way for you to stimulate and bond with your child.
In fact, playing music for your child in utero can help to create the foundation of their reaction and appreciation for music once they’re born. Using baby sleep music in utero will make it easier for you to use music as a way of helping your child to fall asleep at night while they’re lying in their crib. The music will already be familiar to them, so it will create a sense of comfort and familiarity in your baby’s mind to help ease them into a state of relaxation that promotes a night of deep sleep.
One thing you may notice, even in your adult years, is that there is something magical about the sound of baby sleep music. Playing one of your favorite songs can help to soothe your anger, focus your mind, and help you to find tranquility and relaxation. You know firsthand what the power of a good song or a familiar tune can do for your mind, body, and spirit. Babies experience this same calming sensation when their auditory cortexes are exposed to pleasant-sounding baby sleep music.
Just like certain soundtracks can help lull you to sleep, like nature sounds or thunderstorm sounds, there are certain sounds that can also soothe a baby’s brain to the point that it begins to wind down and slip into a peaceful and deep slumber.
Not All Music Is Designed To Aid Your Baby In Falling Asleep
If your time spent in college taught you anything, it taught you that human beings are capable of falling asleep during the most chaotic and boisterous of situations. This isn’t true for your baby. Your baby cannot fall asleep with heavy metal playing or with baby sleep music that possesses high pitches and deep bass.
These two types of sound, in particular, affect the auditory cortex in such a way that it acts as a stimulant rather than as a relaxant. Not all music is designed to aid your baby in falling asleep. If you’re looking for a few bits of advice on how to choose the best sleep music for babies to help them to fall asleep, you’ve come to the right place.
Lullabies are a popular choice for parents. Lullabies are specifically designed to promote a sense of comfort and familiarity in your child at bedtime. You must be careful when choosing the lullabies to play during your child’s bedtime. Certain lullabies are designed to be enjoyed during playtime or during a long car ride. Make sure you choose a collection of lullabies that are meant to be played during bedtime. These lullabies are created with soothing instruments and background ambiance that won’t overstimulate your baby’s brain.
Classical baby sleep music is another popular choice of bedtime music for babies. Classical music contains no lyrics, which can be distracting and overwhelming for a baby’s brain, and also contains soothing, gentle instruments and tones rather than heavy percussion. The best type of classical music for your baby’s bedtime would be the kind that plays in elevators or that plays over the phone while a company has you on hold.
Another effective choice is spa music. When you go to the spa or to the masseuse, there’s usually soothing baby sleep music playing over the speakers. Spas and massage parlors will typically play music that incorporates natural sounds, such as waterfalls and rustling trees, wind instruments, string instruments, and piano. All of these sounds combined create a symphony of harmonic melodies that can tame even the most stubborn of babies.
There Are Benefits That Accompany The Playing of Music For Babies During Sleepy Time
The main purpose of playing music for babies at bedtime is to get them to fall asleep at a decent hour while ensuring that the sleep they receive is restful and refreshing. This is a noble cause, but playing music for your baby at bedtime can have some unexpected benefits.
Music played to help your child to fall asleep can actually help to reduce any growing or teething pains they’re experiencing. A study was conducted by a London hospital that yielded interesting results. It showed that children felt less pain while listening to music. The popular theory for this scientific phenomenon is that the emotional part of the brain is stimulated by music to a degree that it helps to distract the brain from responding to pain stimulus.
Baby sleep music speaks to the mind in ways that words cannot.
Playing music for your baby while they sleep can also help to increase their overall brain development. Baby sleep music speaks to the mind in ways that words cannot. This is true for babies as well as for adults. Babies who listen to music while they fall asleep will be introduced to a myriad of emotional stimuli. These emotional stimuli will help your baby to increase its emotional intelligence.
As your baby begins to feel more complex emotions, the world will become a richer place. Your baby will begin to feel more connected to the world around it and to you. This gentle emotional stimulus will also help your child to better understand itself and to learn to recognize patterns. The recognition of patterns is the cornerstone of both critical thinking and problem-solving.
Tips To Effectively Playing Music For Babies To Help Them To Fall Asleep
It may seem like the act of playing music to help your baby to fall asleep would be a simple task without many details about which to worry. This is not entirely accurate. There are a few tricks when it comes to playing music for your baby that will make the process more effective and better received by your baby.
When it comes to playing music, the music’s volume is a very vital detail that should be worked out immediately. It stands to reason that louder music would be too much stimulus for your child. Although the music is meant to calm and soothe, turning up soothing music to an incredibly loud volume can cause your baby’s brain to become more active as it processes both the music and the loudness, distracting the brain from settling into sleep mode.
The placement of the device that will play music for your child goes hand-in-hand with the volume. The further away the music device is, the louder you will have to set the volume so that the baby can hear it. Try placing the device next to the crib or a few feet away from the crib. This will ensure that the music isn’t an overwhelming force that would arouse rather than soothe the baby’s senses.
Psychologists and sleep experts suggest that you play music for your baby a few hours before bedtime but not all night long. As soon as your baby seems to be falling asleep, turn off the music. This is to prevent the music from becoming a sleep crutch for your baby. This means that your baby will become so dependent on listening to music to fall asleep that they’ll need to listen to it anywhere they fall asleep, creating complicated situations. The duration of the music should last a couple of hours leading up to bedtime. This will help to get them into the right emotional and mental state for sleep without creating a dependency issue.
Playlist Versus Repetition
This detail is really a personal preference that will differ from baby to baby. Your baby may respond more positively to a playlist of different bedtime songs. Alternatively, your baby may prefer to listen to the same song on repeat. Experiment with both and see which one yields better results.
Bedtime is a time to recover from the stresses of the day and to allow your baby to bond with you. Keep in mind that your baby is used to hearing your voice. Your voice is the most melodic, soothing, and comforting sound that it knows. Don’t hesitate to sing to your child to create your own baby sleep music to help your child fall asleep and stay asleep.