Have you ever reached the end of your patience trying to soothe a crying baby? Next time, switch to singing instead of talking. You may be surprised at the results.
Researchers at the University of Montreal in Canada, found that infants respond sooner and stop crying longer when listening to a song instead of speech.
The small study involved 30 healthy infants, aged between 6 and 9 months. The purpose of the research study was to investigate how the emotional self-control of the infants would be influenced when they are exposed to music or speech.
The researchers maintained the objectivity of the study by not using any sounds that could have been recognized by the children.
For their study, researchers at the University of Montreal in Canada, played Turkish music and two types of speech -- ‘baby-talk' and regular adult-directed dialogue to the infants.
Researchers deliberately chose a language and music that would be unfamiliar to the babies.
Mothers were placed behind the children to avoid contact and the environment cleared of any other possible stimuli.
After playing both the music and regular speech to the children, researchers found that singing was twice as effective at calming distressed babies compared to exposure to regular dialogue: Babies remained calm for an average duration of nine minutes before breaking out in tears, while dialogue -- both the ‘baby-talk' and adult speech -- kept them calm for less than half that time.
The findings are significant, authors note, because Western mothers speak more to their babies, than sing.
"Our findings leave little doubt about the efficacy of singing nursery rhymes for maintaining infants' composure for extended periods," said study co-author Isabelle Peretz in a statement.
"These findings speak to the intrinsic importance of music, and of nursery rhymes in particular, which appeal to our desire for simplicity, and repetition."
Next time your baby is cranky, don’t be bashful; break out all the nursery rhymes you know and sing away. It may be the just the sound your baby wants to hear.
The study was published in 2015 in the journal Infancy.
Story source: http://www.ctvnews.ca/health/singing-more-effective-than-talking-to-soothe-babies-study-1.2631472