Busting Baby Myths Part One
July 5, 2019
Myth One: Newborns and Infants Can’t Learn Anything in a Class.
Truth: Au Contraire! Your baby is learning to live outside the predictable aquatic, warm, dark environment in which she developed. She is learning how to self-soothe, how to communicate, and how to bond with those who love her most.
More truth: This class is not so much to teach your baby something specific. We work together to teach YOU about the amazing things going on in the newborn’s “fourth trimester”, and about the fascinating milestones they strive toward as infants.
What ARE babies learning?
Baby’s new environment is completely opposite from what he has known; it can be quite disorienting (hence, babies that “get their days and nights mixed up”.) In Foundations classes, we explore techniques to help soothe your baby and make them feel more calm and secure. We participate in research-driven activities pertaining to infant massage and the importance of skin-to-skin contact, the strengthening of baby’s development in the areas of visual, vestibular, and proprioceptive senses, and the power of YOU – your face, your speech, and your amazing voice!
The Power of the Lullaby
Yes, your voice is magical – don’t believe otherwise! A recent study revealed that Millennial Parents are not singing lullabies to their children! There are likely many reasons why, but the bottom line is you and your baby are missing out if you don’t.
“Singing to children has been scientifically reported to soothe children before surgery, calming them and slowing down their heart rates, lowering their anxiety, and even reducing their pain levels before they headed into heart surgery. And the effects carried even after surgery, with the children displaying decreased signs of pain too. Other studies have found that singing songs, especially those with rhymes like many popular lullabies, helps boost children’s language development and improves their reading skills too, because it attunes their ear to listen to patterns and predict upcoming sounds. And still another study basically found that singing songs to babies is the #1 thing you can do for them and it calms them twice as long as just regular old plain-jane talking.”
And even more amazing is the research results of Laura Cirelli, Ph.D. in psychology, neuroscience and behavior, who discovered lullabies are actually beneficial to both of you.
“Singing a soothing lullaby helps calm not only baby, but also parent, even without rocking or holding the baby.”Source: https://www.npr.org/2018/05/14/610796636/baby-talk-decoding-the-secret-language-of-babies
And not just lullabies. Vocal play with speech and sounds, coos and babbles are amazingly important. Just because your baby isn’t carrying on a deep convesation with you doesn’t mean they don’t need to hear a language-rich environment.
Rachel Albert, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychology, Lebanon Valley College, Annville, PA, says,
“When babies babble, they’re indicating that they are in an optimal state of being ready to learn. Parents can take advantage of this by having conversations with their baby. When baby babbles and mom responds, it creates a social feedback loop of communication and learning, which is what we call language.”Source: https://lvcbabylab.weebly.com/
This is such a precious and trying time for you – the newness of having a baby, the wondering what to do, feedings, diapers, the lack of sleep. Join a community where we are ALL learning as we talk about trials and joys, and the sleepy, sloppy, beautiful days in the baby bubble.
In a Kindermusik Foundations class, we share tools to bring wisdom and grace to support and celebrate the parent that you are. Hope you will be joining us soon.
Special thanks to my Kindermusik colleagues who contributed their thoughts and experiences to the content of this article.