By Jodie Lynn
Does music really help babies become smarter? The jury is still out on this one. However, it certainly couldn't hurt. Just ask all of the parents who have sat up at 2:00 a.m. singing a song to an upset and crying baby.
What we do know is that music affects all of us in different ways, mostly which are positive.
A soothing lullaby might just help to soothe a wailing infant, just as much as a screaming toddler or anyone who has had a bad moment or an unnerving mishap of any sort.
Happy music with various beats inspires many of us to want to dance around a little, sing along or lightens our mood - so, what's wrong with this?
Either way, as a parent, why not enhance the love of music in our babies, toddlers and everyone in our household by choosing to listen to music more frequently, perhaps over watching TV?
Play soft music at bedtime. Some parents swear by this nightly calming ritual, especially when the same music is played.
Sing to baby. Babies grow to love to hear familiar voices. Singing a special song is one more way for them to connect to you and actually inspires stronger bonding.
Watch for body language. Monitor the body language of your baby as you play certain kinds of music. When a baby seems calmer and happier, he is actually choosing his own music.
Our goal in filling our environment with beautiful music in our homes and cars is not to capture some kind of an unreachable goal that our baby or child will become the next Mozart or Einstein, but instead should focus on lifting spirits while building and increasing appreciation for the melody currently playing.
Along the way of listening to favorite toons, should baby cultivate an innate intelligence that sparks the next mastermind plan behind the complexity of improving brain surgery - count your blessings. However, keep life in perspective and don't become frustrated if he doesn't.
Just remember, happier babies are healthier emotionally and physically - just like all of us. If playing music soothes your baby or brings a smile to his face -- do it.
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