Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 18 : Attention new mommies, sing lullabies to your new born to feel more connected to your babies, suggests a study.
The research, published in the Journal of Music Therapy, finds that through song, the infants are provided with much-needed sensory stimulation that can focus their attention and modulate their arousal.
"One of the main goals of the research was to clarify the meaning of infant-directed singing as a human behaviour and as a means to elicit unique behavioural responses from infants," said study author Shannon de l'Etoile from the University of Miami in the US.
The researchers also explored the role of infant-directed singing in relation to intricate bond between mother and infant.
They filmed 70 infants and observed their responses to six different interactions: mother sings an assigned song, "stranger" sings an assigned song, mother sings song of choice, mother reads book, mother plays with toy and the mother and infant listen to recorded music.
The findings suggested that high cognitive scores during infant-directed singing suggested that engagement through song is just as effective as book reading or toy play in maintaining infant attention and far more effective than listening to recorded music.
The results also revealed that when infants were engaged during song, their mother's instincts are also on high alert and when infant engagement declined the mother adjusted her pitch, tempo or key to stimulate and regulate infant response.
For mothers with postpartum depression, infant-directed singing creates a unique and mutually beneficial situation," de l'Etoile noted.
"Simultaneously, mothers experience a much-needed distraction from the negative emotions and thoughts associated with depression, while also feeling empowered as a parent," de l'Etoile explained.
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