Singing Lullabies Does Calm Babies
Here at Lullaby-babies we have long supported the idea of lullabies being beneficial to baby, and have plenty of written text on the subject on our pages. However, it was very pleasing to see the story below making the front page of the Times, backing up our theory with scientific evidence. It was also great to see a number of our own lullabies getting a mention in the article.
Singing Lullabies Article Courtesy of the Times
Hush, little baby, don’t you cry. Mama’s going to sing you a lullaby — and when she does, your heart rate will drop by a statistically significant amount and you will have a lowered perception of pain.
Scientists have shown what generations of mothers have always known: singing lullabies calms babies. They have also demonstrated that telling a bedtime story does not.
Researchers at Great Ormond Street Hospital, Central London, tested the reaction of 37 cardiac or respiratory patients, ranging from a week old to four years old, to being read to or sung to, as a means of seeing how it might help their stay in hospital.
The songs were classics of the genre: Hush, Little Baby; See Saw Marjorie Daw; Hush a Bye Baby; Donkey Riding; Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star; Five Little Ducks and The Little Fish. The bedtime stories would be equally familiar, including Where’s Spot? by Eric Hill and Oh Dear by Rod Campbell.
Before and after each session the children’s heart rate was taken and their pain levels were determined using a standard scale. If they had been sung to, both were lowered. If they had heard about the adventures of Spot the Dog, however, there was no difference.
Nick Pickett, who led the research, published in the journal Psychology of Music, said: “Parents have been singing to their children for thousands of years and they have always instinctively known that it helps their children to relax, but it’s exciting to have scientific evidence that lullabies offer genuine health benefits for the child.
“The findings also show that it’s not simply attention from an adult that soothes children, because the children did not experience the same benefits when they had stories read to them. There is something inherently special about music and singing to a child that achieves these results.”
View our Lullaby Music page here