Music & Dance (birth - 15 months)
All around the world, mothers and fathers, grandparents, and other caregivers soothe babies with music. They sing or hum lullabies as they rock, sway, and pat their babies to help them settle or fall asleep. All of these moments help babies learn to associate music with comfort.
Music can also energize babies. Upbeat songs and tunes encourage babies to smile, wave arms and legs, vocalize, and bounce. At the same time, babies tune in to the language patterns they hear in songs. When you clap their hands or give them a ride at a particular place in a song, babies learn to anticipate the fun parts. They begin to connect the movements with the words.
Singing is a wonderful way to stay connected with babies as they learn to explore on their own.
- You can make up a song about where a baby is going or what she is doing.
- You can use special songs to let children know that it is time for a change.
- You can use songs from home cultures to make babies feel a connection between home and your caregiving setting.
- You can use musical routines for saying good-bye and hello to help babies remember that the people they love continue to exist when they’re out of sight––and that they will come back.
Music can help babies develop and grow creatively, physically, and emotionally. But that’s not all—music is a great way to make your relationship stronger and to have lots of fun together!