Music’s Power: Songs and sounds — benefits for babies

By Cara Johnson-Bader

Whether it is singing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” or playing music and swaying back and forth, engaging in musical activities with your baby helps brain development. Recent research shows that music affects the physical, emotional, and intellectual development of babies and strengthens cognitive and sensory development.
Language development – Learning to classify sounds in music helps your baby distinguish sounds of language, improve verbal memory, and build listening skills.
Social and emotional development – Singing a lullaby to soothe your baby builds a bond between you and your little one and assists your baby in learning how to regulate emotions and soothe herself. Singing songs about feelings helps your baby learn words to describe his emotional experiences.
Cognitive development – Music provides a fun and easy way for your baby to learn about math concepts, such as counting, patterns, sequencing, and so much more. Songs like “Five Little Monkeys,” “Ten in the Bed,” or “Five Little Ducks” are all wonderful examples of learning how to count.
You may think, “Well, I am not a good singer.” That is just fine. Your singing voice does not matter. You are singing to you baby, not to a judge on American Idol or The Voice, and your baby loves the sound of your voice and the attention you are giving him.
Your baby is a born music-maker, so share your playlist, sing together, or make music together. The benefits are powerful.

Cara Johnson-Bader is the Vice President of Marketing and Parent Experiences at New Horizon Academy and mother of two young boys. Learn more about New Horizon Academy at

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