More than 40 Benefits of Music for Babies the Complete Guide

ByBarbara Nevers Updated October 5, 2020

Introducing music into your baby’s life is one of the many beneficial activities you can suggest, even from the womb!

You may have already heard that listening to music can benefit everyone in several ways, especially babies. It soothes, lifts the spirits, it also creates a moment of bonding and sharing. If you’re already relishing on the idea of sharing your own love and passion for music with the other greatest love of your life, then you should definitely read on about the great benefits of introducing music to your baby and children

But before we jump into how to introduce music to your baby or kids, let’s take a quick glance at some of the benefits of music for babies.

Table of Contents

4 Quick Benefits of Music for Babies

4 Quick Benefits of Music for Babies

There’s nothing out there in this world that prepares people to be parents. And frankly, everything that you do for your children has an effect. Sometimes, you’re completely at a loss and sometimes you just know what to do, as a work of magic. You’ll read books, articles, ask your friends and your parents too. You’ll find lots of information out there and once you find something that tickles you in some way, you’ll definitely want to give it a try.

This is where the music comes in and why you’re reading this article. There are many benefits of music for babies and kids.

Music brings life-altering benefits throughout each season of childhood, in fact, even the youngest baby can learn many things through music. This study showed that babies and toddlers that participated in interactive music classes communicate better, smile more often, and are easier to calm and soothe. It’s true, music from a young age opens doors to sophisticated brain responses.

1. Support Language Development

Let’s be honest, sometimes, babies make strange sounds when developing language. No worries though, they’re not turning into a rare creature from the jungle, they’re just learning how to talk!
Part of this process is the noises possible with our human elements, such as the voice, lips, tongue, mouth, etc. All of this produces the babbling sounds, cooing, and well… screeching. Vocal play and music go hand in hand, while your baby explores, they can listen to some music which will help them coordinate face and mouth muscles. This encourages breathing and vocal cord use.

2. Helps Experience Patterns

The when-will-I-ever-sleep pattern is the everlasting “eat, sleep, diaper change” babies go through during their first months of life. There’s a scientific terminology for this and it’s called ABC patterns. These patterns help babies connect with the world and recognize it. This helps increase their sense of safety and makes them feel more relaxed and happier in their environment. Just playing a bit of music during their schedule, will help them recognize the world. Babies that listen to music regularly, experience patterns through rhythm, tempo, dancing and vocal play.

3. Fine & Gross Motor Skill Development

During their first year of life, you’ll think your baby is growing by the hour! You’ll notice this with clothing but also by how their motor skills are quickly developing. One day they’re in the ABC pattern and the next they start grasping fingers. After this, you’ll notice them touching their nose and recognizing their own body.

Babies that engage in fun musical activities during their day-to-day routines are able to strengthen each stage of their development. Hand your baby a baby-safe instrument and watch them recognize sounds, and develop their muscles, coordination, and movement.

4. Activate Listening Skills

Just like adults, when you concentrate on hearing your favorite tunes, it’s like the noise of the world suddenly disappears. You find yourself in an oasis, even if it’s just in your mind. Sometimes, the world is very noisy, streets, people talking, the fridge running, the phones ringing. You, as an adult have the capacity to tune out sounds that bother you, however, babies do not. They hear absolutely everything. All 300 tones, phonemes, clicks, etc.

However, music can teach babies how to tune into the sounds for leveraging language skills. This helps them gain the ability to pay attention to and distinguish different sounds and be receptive to language quicker.

How to Introduce Music to your Baby from the Womb to Toddler Age

Introduce Music to your BabyNow that you know some of the benefits music will bring to your baby, even from the earliest stages of their life, it’s time we look into introducing music and what type of music to play for them.

1. Benefits of Music for Babies- In the Womb

There are many myths as to the benefits of playing music for your baby while in the womb. Well, according to what scientists know so far, there aren’t any “scientific” benefits to this. The benefits of music are aimed at babies, not fetuses. At this point, there haven’t really been any scientific discoveries about the impact of music on the development of the baby in the womb.

You may have heard that playing music for your baby in the womb is a must since it’ll make your baby smarter. Well, let’s just get this out of the way now: This is a myth. Any studies that were conducted about music for babies aren’t directed to fetuses, only babies, infants, and older children.

2. How to Play Music for your Baby in the Womb

Even if there are no exact scientific benefits to playing music for your baby in the womb, you need to learn about some of the distress you can cause. Take note: If the music you’re playing is too loud, this can overstimulate the baby and even aggravate them.

What’s the best choice? Playing music on the stereo as you go about your daily routine. Ever seen charming images of moms putting headphones on their tummies? Well, this is not the way to go. When music is being played too close, this causes the baby to overstimulate. And yes, it would make sense to turn up the volume because you may think the sound needs to penetrate the belly. However, and to our surprise, amniotic fluid, is a great conductor of sound. Wow!

3. How loud should you play music?

In the late 1990s, the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) reported that several studies had shown that babies in the womb exposed to loud noises (over a considerable period of time) were more likely to be born prematurely, born with lower birth weights and may suffer from hearing loss. Nevertheless, these studies were conducted with moms who worked in very noisy areas, which is considerably different than going to a pop concert once during your entire pregnancy.

Consequently, turning up the volume to higher than 65 decibels (dB) is still not a good idea, which can startle and hurt the baby. But, if you really enjoy music for longer periods, the best thing you can do is listen at a volume below 50 dB.

Let’s take a look at some of the dB levels of a common household.

If you’ve ever gone to the movies or a concert at a later stage in your pregnancy (when you can feel your baby move), you’ll notice that the louder the sounds get, the more the baby squirms. This is because high pitched sounds are being irritable to them.

These loud noises will not only irritate them, but they will also startle you. And if loud sounds startle you, this nervous feeling is automatically passed down to your baby. This is the point in which we finally get to see the other side of the coin: Putting the focus back on yourself.

Since there isn’t any scientific proof that the fetus benefits from music, you’ll need to play music that soothes you instead! Sure, if heavy metal soothes and relaxes you, go for it. Everything you do will affect your baby, this is the truth! Find music that makes you feel better and not startled. And to be honest? Music is a lifesaver in the midst of how stressful pregnancy can get.

Benefits of Music for Newborns & Babies Stage

Benefits of Music for Newborns

Once your baby is born, they’ll easily become big music fans, especially when music is a part of their daily routine. For instance, you can sing to your baby while playing soothing lullabies or instrumentals while they fall asleep. You’ll notice that once you start doing this every day, this pattern will help them fall asleep quicker and feel restful.

1. Some of the Benefits of Music for Babies & Newborns

Most babies like music as most adults do. Music is part of our lives! For babies, listening to some tunes is good for them at this stage. Take a look at some other benefits of music for babies.

2. The Benefits of Singing to your Baby

According to some research, we may not be singing to our children enough. Singing is actually the first language lesson ever given to them. However, Sally Goddard Blythe, the director of the Institute for Neuro-Physiological Psychology believes there is much emphasis on reading, writing, arts, and numbers, but not enough on singing, which ultimately reduces risks of language development issues in their future.

Babies will start developing the ability to recognize and process sounds at about twenty-five weeks old. However, certain studies state that even day-old babies are able to recognize rhythmic patterns. Just goes to show that we are actually born with the ability to recognize and appreciate sounds and singing.

3. How to Sing to your Baby

There is no exact science as to how to sing to your baby, but there are important tips to keep in mind about how you do it. Generally, when singing to babies, the pitch of our voice is raised and we sing at a slower tempo. Also, the emotionality of your tone rises and we begin to rock, move slowly and maintain eye contact.

This “infant-directed” singing, has several benefits. Not only does it strengthen the bond between child and parent, but it also regulates the baby’s excitement level to bring them down to a sense of attention, focus, and awareness. When singing, you’ll be altering your baby’s mood in this way, which can help with sleeping, feeding and soothing nap times. All of this will have a positive impact on the infant’s development and growth!

4. Do you need to take singing lessons?

Most people aren’t Grammy Award winners, right? But this really doesn’t matter. You’re singing to your baby and you’re perfect for them in every way. You won’t be signing to Simon Cowell (fortunately). The sound of your voice to your baby is soothing and makes them pay attention.

You can sing popular Nursery rhymes or children’s songs you know. As long as you sing something suited for them, even if it’s a Bruno Mars ballad song, they’ll be happy to hear it. Also, you’ll be surprised to know that babies oftentimes prefer your voice than recorded music, especially at this age, where it’s important to have skin-to-skin bonding moments. Adding singing will be perfect.

So, as you can see, there are many, many benefits and not many drawbacks when it comes to music benefits for babies and children. However, it will be smart for you to protect your baby’s ears. If you’re just singing lullabies it’s no concern for your baby, but if you decide to play music on your stereo or in your car, definitely keep it low.

Also, it’s important to know that babies shouldn’t be listening to music all day. It’s all about balance. Remember they also need to have their quiet time too!

5. How to Introduce Music to your Baby

Most babies are naturally attracted to music, and getting them interested isn’t very difficult. However, in case you need a little extra push, here are a few tips on how to start playing music for your baby.

Babies will love just about anything you play, especially if you like it too and know the words and sing along with them. As time passes, you’ll notice what they like best. They’ll have their own music taste too, you know!

You can try just about anything in terms of genre. Look for soothing, traditional, classics, anything! Plus, you’ll be interested to know you don’t always have to play children’s songs, lullabies or nursery rhymes on the TV, phone or tablet. You can definitely play music you like too.

Benefits of Music for Toddlers

Benefits of Music for Toddlers

It’s easier to notice love for music in toddlers. You’ll begin to notice they laugh, try to mumble the words to their favorite songs and start to charmingly dancing all around the house.

Trust us, you’ll definitely know which are your child’s favorite tunes. Because at this age, you’ll be hearing them singing it all day long. This is an amazing sign! Yes, we know that hearing the same song repeatedly can become very annoying, but hey, this is just a phase. You’ll soon be reminiscing on these behaviors once they grow up, and boy does that happen fast!

Your child will reap many benefits from hearing and singing the same songs over and over. Let’s take a look at some of them.

1. 11 Benefits of Music for Toddlers

2. How to Introduce Music to Toddlers

Children are naturally drawn to music, however, as with any habit or skills, there are things you can do to encourage a love for music and have it grow on them.

Here are some tips on how to motivate your child’s love of music.

Music at School

Music at School

Instruments are very beneficial to children and either if your child wants to join the school band, choir or want to learn an instrument after school, you should definitely be motivating this behavior.
Sure, music lessons, as well as instruments, can get somewhat expensive, however, if your child seems very interested in music from such a young age, you should definitely motivate. Music will be an investment, from which you will get the returning rewards.

18 Benefits of Music Education

How to Choose the Right Instrument

How to Choose the Right Instrument

If you know for a fact your child is interested in music and would like to encourage this passion, then it may be time to choose an instrument! How to choose though?

We’re here to help.

Bonus: How to Encourage Kids to Listen to Classical Music

How to Keep your Children Encouraged
Much to your surprise, classical music used to be what we now know as pop music, it was cool and people got really excited about going to classical music concerts.

However, this is not the case nowadays. While mainstream pop music is cutting the ties with classical music as well as the many budget cuts at fine art programs, this is all preventing children from experiencing what classical music is and how it benefits development for them.

How to Keep your Children Encouraged

It’ll be smart to really pay attention to your child and notice if this isn’t just a phase. Sure, some children may need a little push towards their passion, as they might have not developed the habit yet.

When this happens, you’ll need to work towards keeping them encouraged.

When you encourage to love and enjoy music (or anything at that) you’re setting the groundwork for success. Not only if they choose this as their career path, but also because they’ll develop confidence, self-esteem and a sense of belonging. However, even if you now know all the benefits of music for babies and kids, you’ll need to allow your kids to really enjoy music and not feel forced to do it.

If you really want to, you can definitely show them and introduce them to the magic of music from a young age and see how they react to it. If they have fun singing, dancing, playing or listening, you’ll want to keep them motivated and interested. Also, you may find out that they simply enjoy music and dancing, but aren’t really interested in keeping it as a hobby.


About the Author

Barbara Nevers

Barbara is a full-time mom of 3 children and a part-time blogger since 2018. She likes to write on various topics about motherhood. She drinks a lot of coffee, loves French pastries, reads a lot, also enjoys crafts and Montessori activities.

Related Reading