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Goodbye, iPod: How Singing to Your Kids Improves Development

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By Blythe Copeland


All those songs you're singing to your baby -- night time lullabyes, your favorite pop hits in the car, the oldies your mom sang to you -- may be doing a lot more for your child's development than you think.

The Stir references a piece fromThe Guardian, in which Sally Goddard Blythe, director of the Institute for Neuro-Physiological Psychology in England, says that singing to children who are too young to speak can encourage better language skills in the future. 

In her book, The Genius of Natural Childhood, Blythe explains that the combination of music and lyrics requires a baby to use more of its brain. "Song is a special type of speech," she says. "Lullabies, songs, and rhymes of every culture carry the 'signature' melodies and inflections of a mother tongue, preparing a child's ear, voice, and brain for language."

But if you think you can just choose your favorite album and let your iPod do the performing for you, think again: Recorded music doesn't have the same effect as a parent's singing. "Babies are particularly responsive when the music comes directly from the parent," says Blythe. "Singing along with a parent is for the development of reciprocal communication."

What's your favorite song to sing to your baby?

by on Sep. 3, 2013 at 8:47 PM
Replies (11-14):
by on Oct. 1, 2013 at 5:26 PM
Interesting. Our fav is Angels Watching Over Me. DS loves when I sing it to him before bed at night.
by on Oct. 2, 2013 at 5:35 PM

We love singing in the car and all over the place!  I always sang hymns when rocking, but sometimes oldies, Chris LeDoux, always sang along with the radio...

by on Oct. 2, 2013 at 5:41 PM
I used to sing to my ds. But he has autism and for awhile he hated it (Apparently I must not sing on key). Now that he's gone to school (probably suffered listening to people who couldn't sing) for 2 yrs and is working on his 3rd, he doesn't mind.
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by on Oct. 2, 2013 at 6:40 PM

 When my oldest was a baby he had colic, and singing seemed to help calm him. One night I had sang every nursery rhyme I could think of. Then the Oscar Meyer weiner song came to mind, so I sang it, he stopped crying completely and fell asleep. After that, everytime I sang it, he fell asleep. Then one night DH said I whould also sing the "My balogna has a first name, it's O S C A R"...and it worked just as well...we still laugh about it.

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