Singing to babies boosts their attention, creates better mother-child bond Singing to babies boosts their attention, creates better mother-child bond
Mothers singing to babies is an old practice across cultures and traditions. Now an American research finds it is actually an important way to... Singing to babies boosts their attention, creates better mother-child bond

Mothers singing to babies is an old practice across cultures and traditions. Now an American research finds it is actually an important way to stimulate children and help create better bonds between them and mothers.

Shannon de l’Etoile, professor of music therapy and associate dean of Graduate Studies at the University of Miami Frost School of Music, initially set to look at how infants behave in response to their mothers’ singing, also called infant-directed singing, compared to other mother-baby interactions such as reading books and playing with toys.

In addition the research looked into the role that infant-directed singing plays in creating the intricate bond between mother and child.

For her initial study, de l’Etoile filmed 70 infants responding to six different interactions: mother sings an assigned song, “stranger” sings an assigned song, mother sings song of choice, mother reads book, mother plays with toy, and the mother and infant listen to recorded music.


The babies showed high cognitive scores during infant-directed singing, suggesting that song is just as effective as reading books or playing with toys for engaging and maintaining babies’ attention, and far more effective than listening to recorded music.

Singing to a baby is just as effective as reading books to them or playing with them. (Shutterstock)

The promising results led de l’Etoile to carry out a second study that focused on the mother’s role during infant-directed singing by measuring the make-up of the song and the mother’s voice.

The results suggested that when infants had a high level of engagement during song, their mother’s instincts were higher, with mothers intuitively knowing when to adjust pitch, tempo or key or the song to stimulate and regulate their child’s response when the child’s level of engagement declined.

De l’Etoile then looked at the acoustic range in the singing voices of mothers with post-partum depression. The results showed that although the children were still engaged, the tempo of the singing did not change and was more robotic. However de l’Etoile added that for mothers with postpartum depression singing to their child can offer a distraction from negative emotions and thoughts, while children are given much-needed sensory stimulation.

In conclusion de l’Etoile commented, “The tempo and key certainly don’t need to be perfect or professional for mothers and infants to interact through song. In fact, infants may be drawn to the personalized tempo and pitch of their mother, which encourage them to direct their gaze toward and ultimately communicate through this gaze.”

Henry Okafor

  • AliMarie Roman

    2017-02-20 #1 Author

    It’s true I sing to my daughter and she picks up words just as if I’m reading to her and I sing horrible lol but she loves it a mothers voice ❣

    Reply

  • karla Karina

    2017-02-20 #2 Author

    I’ve been singing to my baby girl since she was 1 month & she actually tries to sing along with me . Stares at my mouth & tries too sing . It does boost their attention .

    Reply

  • Tionna

    2017-02-20 #3 Author

    This is very true , I started singing to my baby early and now it’s like he tries singing with me

    Reply

  • Diamond Herny

    2017-02-20 #4 Author

    I agree I sing to my baby and she loves it

    Reply

  • Dana Sutton

    2017-02-20 #5 Author

    This is very true

    Reply

  • Reggie Holley

    2017-02-20 #6 Author

    I was just singing to my niece yesterday and it works . 😊

    Reply

  • Iman

    2017-02-20 #7 Author

    My daughter loves to hear me sing . I try to sing at least once a day and more during bedtime. But she enjoys it , I never knew it was used as a communication tool amongst mom and baby but I did know that it made our bond stronger ❤😀

    Reply

  • Keneshia johnson

    2017-02-20 #8 Author

    When my daughter is fussy I sing to her or either play music and she doze off to sleep everytime

    Reply

  • Quentin driver

    2017-02-20 #9 Author

    My fiancé and I sing to our baby girl all the time she loves music !!

    Reply

  • Tawauna Gill

    2017-02-20 #10 Author

    I find that when I sing and read to my daughter she gets so excited. And she would dance and clap her hands.

    Reply

  • Keneshia johnson

    2017-02-20 #11 Author

    When my daughter is being fussy I sing to her and it always catch her attention. She get quiet and just look at me.

    Reply

  • Lannii

    2017-02-20 #12 Author

    Yeah I did the same with my son every night

    Reply

  • Eva Martinez

    2017-02-20 #13 Author

    I agree my daughter loves it she falls asleep 😴 to music 🎶 I love it 😍!

    Reply

  • Andreiona

    2017-02-20 #14 Author

    I agree so much and she’s so cute

    Reply

  • Kianaly de leon

    2017-02-20 #15 Author

    I have been singing to my baby since he was really small just because it use to calm him and keep him from whining when he had to wait for his milk to warm. Loved this article.

    Reply

  • Robbreanna

    2017-02-20 #16 Author

    I agree she’s adorable

    Reply

  • Oluwalosola

    2017-02-20 #17 Author

    I concur.
    I sing to my princess a lot and she’s used to it.
    I sing when she wakes up,fussy, angry,crying, playing and so on.
    I have lots of composed songs for her (some with her names too)

    Reply

  • Shanetta Crisler

    2017-02-20 #18 Author

    I totally agree I have been singing to my baby ever since she was in the womb

    Reply

  • Omnee

    2017-02-20 #19 Author

    Yes and my daughter love to sing with me all the time

    Reply

  • Donielle

    2017-02-20 #20 Author

    Yes I love singing to my baby he falls asleep so easily ..

    Reply

  • Shamira Stephen

    2017-02-20 #21 Author

    This is so true..This is also a time for mum or dad and baby to bond..No greater love..xx

    Reply

  • Aylüh Gül

    2017-02-20 #22 Author

    It’s true. I sing to my baby every day. And he loves it !

    Reply

  • Taylor Stewart

    2017-02-20 #23 Author

    My son is very active and loves listening to music. I sang to him while he was in the womb as well. Hes very smart when it comes to music.

    Reply

  • Aysia McCreary

    2017-02-20 #24 Author

    It’s definitely soothing, I sing to my little one all the time and she loves it❤️

    Reply

  • Vicky

    2017-02-20 #25 Author

    Es una manera de transmitirles amor. Me encanta.

    Reply

  • Cha’Kena Sparrow

    2017-02-20 #26 Author

    I agree with this post. Whenever my son has rough nights I sing Hush Little Baby and then he’s out like a light! It lieterslly works every time 🎶💙

    Reply

  • Jaiye

    2017-02-20 #27 Author

    I sing to my child every morning and night. He loves it.

    Reply

  • Nikki Lakey

    2017-02-20 #28 Author

    Myself and my husband sing to our baby everyday , and he absolutely loves it, a great article and great read.

    Reply

  • Jasmine j

    2017-02-20 #29 Author

    Its Truee❤ i sing to ny nephew and little cousin wen they were smaller.

    Reply

  • Cheyenne Johnson

    2017-02-20 #30 Author

    My child’s father sings to her all the time. She loves it , she blushes and giggles.

    Reply

  • Melody Harris

    2017-02-20 #31 Author

    I sing to my sister everyday. She goes to sleep instantly

    Reply

  • Danijah Stephens

    2017-02-20 #32 Author

    I. Sing to my baby all the time

    Reply

  • Stefanne kohl

    2017-02-21 #33 Author

    I sing to baby jude everynight before bed and when he wakes up. He always hugs onto me when i do and smiles

    Reply

  • Ashli

    2017-02-21 #34 Author

    The way my daughter looks at me when I sing to her is a feeling undiscribable. I just hope she loves to sing as much as I do ❤

    Reply

  • Shay Shay M

    2017-02-21 #35 Author

    This is so true I sing and play music to my babyall the time!

    Reply

  • Dora Freeman

    2017-02-21 #36 Author

    I totally agree! I’m always singing to my babies

    Reply

  • Keiona

    2017-02-21 #37 Author

    I did not know this…guess my son will have to get use to my horrible voice lol

    Reply

  • Tiffany trapp

    2017-02-21 #38 Author

    I sing to my punkin and she sings back to me shes almost 2 now

    Reply

  • shavonne

    2017-02-21 #39 Author

    i sing to my baby all the time & she loves it

    Reply

  • Ayanna D

    2017-02-21 #40 Author

    Whenever I sing to my daughter she just stops and stares ..it’s so cute seeing her mesmerized. To know that it’s an equivalent to reading a book is cool, especially at this age when everything goes into her mouth!!

    Reply

  • Chels Slehc

    2017-02-21 #41 Author

    True! I always do this especially when she’s about to sleep. And she’s so cute everytime she smile! Now I do this kind of bond with my second daughter!

    Reply

  • Romziath

    2017-02-21 #42 Author

    It make their feel better

    Reply

  • Ingrid

    2017-02-21 #43 Author

    Me encanta cantarle a mi hija! Cuando se siente un poco frustrada siempre le canto su canción favorita, (“everydobdy dance now” baby vuvu) le encanta esa canción y la hace sentir mejor, también bailamos es muy divertido!

    Reply

  • Chelsea bridges

    2017-02-22 #44 Author

    I sing to my Baby all the Time & have his little music going especially when he’s taking a bath . When hes fussing all I have to do is turn his music on and he gets calm . I Know me and my baby have a great bond because Everytime I sing to him he smiles the brightest smile ever . I’m not the greatest singer but it’s worth it

    Reply

  • April Love

    2017-02-22 #45 Author

    Ive been singing to my baby since she was in the womb 💖 Love it.!

    Reply

  • Kiley Kimball

    2017-02-23 #46 Author

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.phpfbid=1450027358364482&set=pcb.1450027921697759&type=3

    Can “BABIES ARE BEAUTIFUL” please post this on their page?

    Reply

  • Kathelece

    2017-02-25 #47 Author

    I have sung to all 5 of my babies since they where in the womb n I still sing to them at night if they are fussy❤️ Twinkle twinkle ✨ and ate homemade song beautiful baby!❤️❤️

    Reply

  • Samri

    2017-02-25 #48 Author

    Me and my husband we put on z player for our baby every morning , he loves it and dance with it …. But I never try to sing a song by myself I think I should have start it coz I want a very strong bonde with my baby boy …. Am a flight attendant and I don’t have too much time with my baby

    Reply

  • Rachel Cook

    2017-02-25 #49 Author

    I’ve sang to my daughter since she was in my belly❤ Love to see her smile when I sing.

    Reply

  • Kamari Jones

    2017-02-26 #50 Author

    This is true…….

    Reply

  • Keonna Smith

    2017-02-27 #51 Author

    I need to start singing to my little guy more often.

    Reply

  • Georgiana

    2017-03-07 #52 Author

    I sing to my little girl all the time and she loves it!

    Reply

  • Maria Chenoa

    2017-03-10 #53 Author

    Will make them calm and feel security of love.

    Reply

  • Phyllis Lynch

    2017-08-19 #54 Author

    Since conception I’ve been talking and singing 🎤🎼to Lady Logan, and when she arrived she was so alert… intuitive!💖

    Reply

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