Sometimes, your newborn baby will be fussy for no reason. Even if you’re tried feeding him, changing his diaper and rocking him to sleep, he will cry and cry with no end in sight. Babies get this way sometimes because they become frustrated and uncomfortable. As long as you’re sure you’ve tried everything else, you might just want to distract your baby.

Music is an excellent way to calm a fussy baby down. The best part about the technique is that you don’t have to limit the soundtrack to cheesy lullabies. Research shows that introducing your baby to a wide variety of different songs and genres can be extremely beneficial to his mental development and interest in music later in life. It’s important to remember that you might not be creating the next Mozart, but you’ll certainly be helping an interest grow in your child.

Make playing music in your home and daily life a habit with your baby. If you’re in the kitchen cooking with baby by your side, play upbeat fun music. If the family is settling down for bedtime, play slow and smooth jazz to calm your baby down. Research shows that babies really do respond to the different feelings that music can provide, so take advantage of that.

One recent study in particular also showed that parents who played music to their newborn baby developed stronger bonds and a greater sense of love. When you share the music you love with your baby, you’re sharing a part of your life. It’s one of the few things your baby will be able to understand instinctively, so you’ll feel a special connection. For example, your baby won’t be able to understand when you tell him that you have a PhD in Zoology or that you’re MVP in your company’s softball teams. However, he will certainly be able to feel the mood of your favorite Billie Holliday album, and the connection there is invaluable.

The benefits of playing music regularly for your newborn are really endless. Try making a part of your everyday life after you first bring baby home. Doing so will increase his musical intelligence later in life, and it will be a good tool for soothing him when he’s being especially fussy. It will also help strengthen the loving bond between the two of you by connecting you on a deeper level, which is truly priceless.

Source: Rebecca Parlakaian: Beyond Twinkle Twinkle: Using Music with Infants and Toddlers. National Association for the Education of Young Children Volume 65 Issue 2 pp. 14-19 March 2010

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