Trinh Nguyen, Erica Flaten, Laurel J. Trainor, Giacomo Novembre  

The social and emotional bonds between mothers (or primary caregivers) and infants are crucial for infants to survive and thrive physically, cognitively, emotionally, and socially. Infants appear to be biologically prepared to process pitch and rhythmic structure while, at the same time, their musicality develops according to the specific musical system they are exposed to in their culture. Furthermore, infant-directed (ID) singing affects infants emotionally and can help them to regulate their state, in tandem, parents seem to instinctively use music while interacting with their infants again suggesting that this is a biologically prepared behaviour that may benefit parents and infants. 


Singing should be introduced to children especially children born premature as early as possible. Letting them just listen to music is benefitting their development. Singing is a great way to promote speech and language development and emotional development. 

The benefits of singing to your baby 

Bonding – When you sing to your baby, they bond with you and your voice. Singing makes yours the first and most important voice in their life.  

Transitions – Babies feel safe when life is predictable. A song for waking up, sleeping, and other routine transitions and activities helps them know what comes next. 

Communication - when you sing and speak, your baby learns about words, language, and communication. Through your singing, baby’s language comprehension begins. 

New words – While you sing and hold your baby, you introduce new vocabulary. When you hold up a stuffed dog as you sing about a dog, your baby learns to associate the name of that toy with the words you sing. When you sing about parts of the body and kiss your baby’s feet or tickle their tummy, they learns new words. 

Rhythm and rhyme – Music includes rhythm and rhyme, again, part of our language. In time, babies will recognize rhymes and rhythms. 

Play – Singing is one of many methods of play and “sing-play” is a fun way to interact with babies. 

Family fun – Singing is a great way to involve older siblings in welcoming a new baby to the home. Singing to and playing with the baby builds a bond between siblings.  

Singing names – A baby can learn their name by hearing it in songs. Try substituting your baby’s name for other words in songs so they hear their name sung over and over again. 

Listening skills – Like reading, singing is an activity that requires listening. It's another opportunity for your baby to begin to understand language and feelings expressed through language and sing-play. 

LOVE – All of the above boils down to using your singing voice as a way to express love. Babies don't care if you are a great singer. They only care that you are singing to THEM! In their eyes (and their ears), you'll be a star! 


Singing to your baby is one of the first language lessons you can give them. Even before they're born, babies recognise simple music and their mother's voice whilst in the womb. 

Music and child brain development are closely linked, so the more your child is involved in singing the better it is for their development. 

It's also great for language development from a very young age. When you sing, even little babies pick up on intonation or the patterns of talking, which is why you might find them babbling with different tones – they might sound like they’re talking before they actually are. 

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