Add Some Music to Your Day

Children are ready for learning new skills at this time, and the earlier you work on musical skills, the more staying power they'll have.

  • Ask about music classes at daycare and other early childhood programs your toddler goes to.
  • Use music in everyday activities and play to encourage creativity and language development, as well as problem-solving skills.

Brain Science for Your Baby


Although there is some controversy on how much music helps other areas of cognition (spatial reasoning, receptive vocabulary for example) - there is less controversy on the positive effect of practicing music on musical ability! 


There is also research that suggests that using music to teach can improve children's attention.  A 2009 study (Wolfe, 2009) found that kindergarteners seemed to be more attentive, focused, and engaged during a musical story, whether with or without distraction, compared to a spoken story, with or without distraction.  Many children listening to the musical story seemed to enjoy the listening process; they remained focused on the visual aids throughout the distractions, while some engaged in moving, humming, and/or singing along with the song.

A Baby Buffer Prescription for Your Baby

Play different kinds of music for your baby. Although listening to any type of music can strengthen pathways in the brain, the complex notes of classical music have been shown to be especially effective.


Be sure to keep volume at a moderate or low level, and watch for over-stimulation. If your baby is irritable, turn the music off for a while.


As your baby gets older, consider giving her music lessons early. If your toddler shows an interest in music, you do not have to wait until "formal" school begins. Those as young as 3 years of age may understand and become proficient in the basics of certain musical instruments. 

A baby Buffer Prescription for You  


Babies are particularly stimulated by rhythms and tunes they've previously heard. Sing your favorite songs (and her's!) to your little one often, whether or not you think you have a "good voice"!  Doing so will help her develop language skills because putting words to music helps babies (and adults) remember them more easily.


If you play a musical instrument, do so with your child. Not only will this be good stimulation for her, but it will also be fun for you both to share this activity together. 



What Your Baby Can Do - Developmental Milestones 


By now, your toddler is starting to use and understand more language. Many children are able to use single words and some are able to put two or more words together.

Your child can also understand more of what you are saying and can follow simple 1-step directions ("sit down", "get your shoes"). This means that your child is paying attention to what you say, how you say it, and when you say it.

Gene's Research Tip

A study on infant sleep machines in the journal Pediatrics, tested 14 devices at 3 different distances.  The devices are made to attach to a crib, about 1 foot away or to be placed distantly, up to about 6 feet away.  Now, recommended sound wave levels in baby intensive care units are less than 50 decibels.  At maximum volume, all of the machines were over this level, when tested at 1 foot and 3 feet from the testing device. At 6 feet, only 2 of the units were in the safe range when cranked up to maximum volume.  Read More

Baby Buffer Blog
Written by, Barbara Unell
Barbara Unell

With a grin on her face, my friend, Sara, once told me the following sarcastic comment that her mother, Martha, made after Sara's daughter was born:

"You will spend the first two years of your child's life teaching her to talk, and the rest of her life trying to get her to be quiet!"


Although many moms tell me that they wish that their children would be less talkative, as Martha did, I didn't have this attitude about my children's verbal skills. I loved listening to them learn how to use words to express themselves, from infancy on. Why? Doing so strengthened the bond between us and helped me understand my children as they were growing up. I continue to delight in our conversations, as my now adult children tell me daily all about their jobs, friends and feelings! 

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