Busting Baby Myths Part Two
July 13, 2019
Myth Two: There is no benefit to attending a class if your baby is sleeping all the time.
Truth: This class is specifically designed for newborns/infants – awake or asleep – and the grownups who love them
Your new “Freshie” is, of course, sleeping a LOT. But she isn’t asleep ALL the time, is she? Let’s break it down:
What is happening when she is asleep?
Everyone’s auditory processing is switched on all the time – awake or asleep. So, believe it or not, your baby’s brain is still learning and developing even while asleep. The womb has been a noisy place; your baby has been processing sounds for about four months before they are born! The soothing, social sounds in a Kindermusik Foundations class are comforting.
My colleague Yvette Odell (www.kindermusikwithyevette.com) in Asheville, NC, related a story about a five week old in her class:
“He slept through class week one and week two. On week three of sleeping, he did the most beautiful wiggle/squeak when we sang his name. He WAS listening and he recognized his favorite word: his name!”
Consider this: if your baby falls asleep in class, it shows they are relaxed and comfortable with the class and environment, and they are content. This contentment translates to feeling safe, which further develops into the ability self-soothe (i.e., help themselves get back to sleep on their own), and later, self-regulate (tantrum management).
In fact, new research at Brown University indicates a change in understanding early neurodevelopment – a shift that recognizes that infant brains (specifically, the prefrontal cortex which is responsible for self-regulation) are not necessarily less functional, but rather they are constantly adapting and becoming more sophisticated. Source: https://www.brown.edu/news/2016-10-05/babybrain
What about when she is awake?
In a Kindermusik Foundations class, YOU are learning too. You have the opportunity to replicate class activities every day at home and provide your baby with the benefits over and over again, using what you have experienced in class, and using your home materials. When your baby is awake, they are constantly processing new information. Picture this activity, again described by Yvette:
“One 6 week old recognized the game I like to play of shaking to the steady beat for about 8 beats then 1, 2, ready stop! The first time she was curious, the second time she stopped her whole body. The third time she filled the silence with a giggle.”
Adorable, right? But what else is happening here? Baby’s eyes and ears are processing movement and sounds that start and stop. Eventually, baby internalizes the stop and start and adds her body to the pattern. Finally, baby can anticipate the start/stop pattern and is delighted to be accurate in her prediction!
These types of activities in class are fun and playful, but also purposeful and age-appropriate learning. They support the ways your baby is building brain connections that lay the foundation for each developmental milestone and all the learning they will do in the future. They are translating the hind brain reflexes they were born with into more sophisticated functions that Dr. Stephanie Johnson, author of Baby Bare, calls a baby’s “Important Work”
My colleague Diana Cameron was recently featured on her local news channel discussing these activities:
What about Moms and sleep?
I know. You’re in a constant state of sleep-deprivation. You’re not alone. We want to empower, educate, and support the adults in our class too. One mom says,
“This class is just as much for ME as it is for Paisley. I enjoy getting out every week and smiling and laughing with other moms. It really keeps me sane some weeks! I honestly thought maybe Paisley was too young to start at 2 months and almost didn’t sign up! But I am 200% glad that I did. Her doctor has told us for months that she is so far ahead of most babies. She is absolutely IN LOVE with anything music. I’ve really enjoyed watching her grow from just sitting in class and watching the other kids… to really beating on her drum with everyone else! She is so incredibly smart and I really believe part of that has to do with the early introduction to music!!”
At Kindermusik with Gina, we are dedicated to your baby’s magical learning through music, and to contributing to the precious memories you make along the way, and to sweet dreams. Won’t you join us?
Special thanks to my Kindermusik colleagues who contributed their thoughts and experiences to the content of this article.