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Sunday, July 5, 2015

A Daddy's Guide to Lullabies

© 2014 Catherine L Pittman

As a dad, it is important to teach you child life skills so they can thrive.  When your child is well rested, he or she will thrive and you give him or her the wings to fly. 

Music to Bond By
Bedtime is an opportunity for little ones to bond with their daddy. Music as part of your baby’s bedtime ritual is encouraged and beneficial to your little one.  The sounds of music begin teaching your child the world of language, and scientists have proven that singing lullabies can lower your baby’s blood pressure, calm and soothe them, strengthen bonds with their parents, and improve their sleeping patterns.  It is a powerful catalyst for healing, learning, creativity and development.

All of that from one simple song? 

A resounding yes!  Nick Picket, a researcher who published an article in the journal Psychology of Music, said: “ There is something inherently special about music and singing.” Both mom and dad should sing lullabies and bedtime is the perfect opportunity for song and swaying dance.

Music and dance create an incredible bonding opportunity for dads.  Through the power of music and movement, your baby will learn more about you and will feel the warmth and comfort of your arms.  Spending the time to dance and sing to your baby is beneficial for your child and will strengthen the bond between you and baby.

How to Start
When baby comes home, begin introducing lullabies at your baby’s bedtime.  If you feel uncomfortable singing without some type of “accompaniment,” there are plenty of lullaby or karaoke CD’s that you can hum or sing-a-long with.

There is nothing wrong with continuing your lullaby bedtime ritual long after infancy. While one day lullabies will be left behind as your child’s music curiosity evolves, enjoy the time spent with your little one singing lullabies.

What Should I Sing
Babies are attracted to lullabies and rhyming in particular, but any kind of music can be sung to your little one.  Whether you prefer Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, “ or the Beatle’s “Blackbird,” your baby will enjoy the comfort of your voice and arms as you slowly sway and softly sing. You can hum to your favorite classical music, make up your own words to your favorite classical song, or sing along with your favorite popular song.  Anything and everything works. 

Don’t be afraid to belt out whatever tunes strike your fancy, whether you sing off-key or in perfect pitch, your baby won’t know the difference.  All baby will love is being crooned to dad’s favorite or silly tunes.  It doesn’t matter if you can’t sing in tune or dance on beat; you are showing your baby the joy of music and beginning his or her language skills. You gain bonus points using rhymes and dancing!

Don’t be afraid to change the lyrics.  You can sing, “Baby now it’s time for bed” to the tune of “London Bridge is Falling Down.”  Changing “baby” to your little one’s name in a song can help grab their attention and motive them to do what you would like your little one to do!  Selecting a special daddy’s bedtime song that just the two of you can sway to each night can become your ending “bedtime boogie” song that signals it’s time to go to sleep. A song such as "I Love Rock-n-roll," can easily become your child's "I love going to bed" song.

The most important thing you can give your little one is your time.  Savor baby’s bedtime while you sing and sway, and hold your baby close to you.  It is time well spent!

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