Week 26 Brain Booster
Since babies obviously sense the emotional differences between play-songs and lullabies, choose music according to the emotional state you'd like your child to be in. "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" may not be the best way to communicate that it's time to sleep—likewise, your CD of lullabies might put a damper on an energetic play session. (Here's some help in choosing great kid music.)
Remember: The melody (rather than the words) is the message. The airy, smooth, and soothing feel of lullabies quiets your child; the rhyme, rhythm, and repetition of play-songs engage infants in direct interaction with the singer (again, you), thus entertaining him. For that play session, then, consider tunes with a distinct beat—whether waltzes or hip-hop—as research says they seem to facilitate the coordination of emotion between mother and infant.
Since music appears to be a central part of the crucial interaction that occurs between you and your baby as she develops, use music along with speech that sounds melodic or musical (like motherese) during your child's first year of life.
Your Week 26 Toolbox
Related skills and topics this week include …
Curious about how else Baby might be developing right now? Learn more about her brilliant brain and her growing body here: