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Lullaby Therapy
Kissy Kissy
February 22, 2017

Do you sing to your baby? What's your favorite lullaby?

Whether you picked it because your mom sang it to you, it makes your baby smile or it's the only tune you know, that song might have more meaning than you even realize.

Researchers aren't sure why but it seems moms might be hardwired to sing to their children. And the value has nothing to do with the quality of your voice (so don't worry if you're not exactly Beyonce!).

Medical News Today says a mother's song "has a high starting pitch and increased gliding between pitch levels. A mother's song also has sustained vowel sounds and a variety in amplitude not heard in general singing."

Shannon de l'Etoile, professor of music therapy at the University of Miami Frost School of Music, is studying infant reactions to moms' singing compared to other interactions like toys or reading.

de l'Etoile filmed 70 infants and found that singing held babies' attention longer than reading or toys, and they much preferred mom to a recording.

She also learned this activity affected moms differently too. Mothers, while signing, are more aware of their babies, adjusting their songs and pitch to cater to baby's interests.

Ultimately she concluded this interaction is an important part of communication and bonding for mom and baby. And it could even help moms with postpartum depression.

"Mothers around the world sing to their infants in remarkably similar ways, and infants prefer these specialized songs," she told the paper. "The tempo and key certainly don't need to be perfect or professional for mothers and infants to interact through song. In fact, infants may be drawn to the personalized tempo and pitch of their mother, which encourage them to direct their gaze toward [her] and ultimately communicate through this gaze."

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