Baby's Brain in Week 19
Snuggling Baby in your arms, you—like all mothers from every culture and generation—likely find yourself singing to him. Singing to babies, even those who are only a few minutes or hours old, is as universal as music itself. (Go ahead—just try to spend a day without so much as humming around your little guy!)
You may notice that when you sing, your baby seems to stop what he's doing, whether crying or kicking, and really listen. Is he going to be a music prodigy? Or does your child share his interest in music with all babies?
What the Research Shows
As it turns out, babies everywhere attend to singing—and, in fact, prefer it over speech. In a laboratory experiment, researchers proved this by videotaping five-and-a-half to six-and-a-half-month-old babies when their mothers communicated with them in two ways:
- singing to them in a distinctive style, which involved a high pitch, slow tempo, and emotional expressiveness
- speaking to them using motherese (that sing-songy talking style that proved universal in earlier studies)