Is Your Baby a Music Junkie? Strike a Balance With These Sleeping Tips!
Does your baby like to listen to music in the car or seem to sleep better when the television is on? Most babies sleep better in environments with noise stimulation because it simulates the environment they experienced in the womb. If you are like me and listen to music constantly, don’t be surprised if your little one has a hard time going to sleep without a personalized play list. Because of the fluid that surrounds the baby in the womb, most babies are partial to music that has a baseline and a heavy drum beat or have a constant underlying chorus or melody.
There are advantages and disadvantages to having a noise loving baby. Babies that sleep with light music or a constant pulsating noise such as a fan or a humidifier sleep deeper and longer than babies that sleep in very quiet rooms. They more easily sleep into the restorative R.E.M sleep and wake up more rested and less fussy and intermittently needy. Music can be a very powerful tool in calming an upset baby and is a great aid for car rides and long outings. My husband has a portable MP3 player that he slips inside the cell phone pocket of our baby sling that makes a great on the go player for our little music lover, though if you use this in public expect to receive some confused and irritated stares.
It has been proven in a number of studies that babies that are exposed to classical music have consistently higher IQs and do better in math and language later on in life. Since music is a aural expression of mathematics, vibrations, tones and equations, it is essential to your babies development and promotes faster learning and lesson recognition. Taking your baby to the movies during the early months is a great way to stimulate and entertain them while at the same time helping them to recognize language variances such as accents and voice pitches that are much different than your own. Learning to sleep with noise is also helpful as they are not bothered by their surroundings and you may find that they will peacefully sleep through the grocery store or loud family Christmas party.
The downside to this practice is that babies may become fussy or irritable if they are in a very quiet place for too long without their usual tunes. This can be frustrating for both baby and parent when the climate does not allow for much disturbance, the baby has a hard time understanding the importance of ‘quiet time’ and may become confused or angry in these situations. Also some babies are very sensitive to electro-magnetic fields and can become irritable if exposed to too much electronic stimulation put out by such household items as computers, microwaves, radios or televisions. You may find that your power bill spikes way up as well with the all-night tunes, which for a family on a budget needs to be considered.
The best thing to do is to strike a balance that works for you. If your child sleeps better with a radio or television on, then leave it on in moderation. Try to expose your child to different sleeping environments around the house to aid in flexibility, moving their bassinet from one room to another or letting the child sleep in the bed next to you for those quick afternoon naps. If your child falls asleep in the car it is sometimes a better option to bring the entire car seat inside and let your infant sleep in it undisturbed for a time before moving them to their usual resting spot. Babies prefer to sleep in darker environments as it reminds them of their time in the womb, so darker curtains in their nursery or a cover for your bassinet is a great option for those long afternoon cat naps.
Remember that your child is unique and it will take anywhere from 8 weeks to 6 months for your child to settle into a constant sleeping routine. Try to be patient despite your exhaustion, and when you can, share the feeding and changing responsibilities with your mate, friends or family and make sure you are getting enough rest. Also remember not to take a babies’ cry personally, tests show that a child that has it’s needs consistently met for the first six months are better behaved and are more secure, independent and have higher self-esteem. Just as it is important for you to rest, remember that your baby is growing all the time and she will need lots of sleep to help her develop correctly. Try to leave the baby undisturbed if possible if she falls asleep, as moving her may awaken her or interrupt this healing process.
When possible take your infant to bed with you or place her in a sleeper either on top of the bed or besides you. This is especially important in the first few months as you develop and strengthen your bond with your child, there is nothing quite as satisfying as sharing a sweet dream and comforting embrace with your new miracle. Whether you play music, television, sing to her, rock her, talk to her or any variety of soothing calming activities, remember to fill it with love, tenderness, and soft tones and you will both sleep better in the end.