Many thanks to birth support professional Heidi Lengel for sharing this guest post!
So, how’s this new Mom Gig going for you? If you’re like any normal Mom, there are moments of joy, and then moments of, well, pain. Babies are finicky (and yes, they’re wonderful too) little creatures. If you’re struggling to keep your sanity during those moments when your baby just won’t calm down, try using music to help soothe your munchkin. It can have a wonderful impact on your baby’s brain!
Use Music to Bond with your Baby
After you’ve fed your baby, use the next 15-20 minutes to bond with her by singing and playing. Don’t worry if you think you “can’t” sing- Your baby loves to hear your voice! You can sing something simple like nursery rhymes, or some of your favorite love songs. While singing, play with your baby’s hands or feet to engage them in the rhythm and movements of the music. You’ll be surprised by the connection this simple practice can bring to you and your baby.
Use Music to Create a Calm Environment
Have you ever considered how the sounds in your environment are shaping your mood and interactions with those around you? For instance, music that has a fast-paced beat combined with a lot of electronic sounds will affect you much differently than slow music with a gentle rhythm and muted sounds (think your favorite clubbing music vs. a visit to the spa). Is there music (or constant noise) in the background that is causing tension in your body or causing you to shout in order to speak with your family members? Take a minute to mute the TV (or other distractions), put on some calming music, communicate clearly with others (or yourself!), or even pair some breathing relaxation exercises with relaxation music (here’s one of many great tracks on Spotify). This can help lower physical and emotional stress and improve your body’s ability to nurture your baby.
Use Music to Soothe your Baby during tough Transitions
Does your baby have a tough time with diaper changes? Getting into the car seat or high chair? Transitioning when getting in or out of the bath? Next time you approach a transition that is tough for your baby, try singing to them before, during, and after the activity. Make eye contact and smile while singing so that your baby is focused and engaged on you (rather than what makes them upset). We think you’ll notice a difference!
For information about how to use music for pregnancy & childbirth wellness or to write your own personalized lullaby for your baby, contact us at 504-434-BABY or shoot us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Heidi Lengel, MMT, MT-BC, CD(SBD) is a birth support professional who specializes in Music Therapy Assisted Childbirth as well as therapeutic perinatal bereavement support. She is a Certified Birth & Bereavement Doula, seasoned Board Certified Music Therapist, and passionate maternal mental health advocate. Heidi is constantly improving the field of Music Therapy by researching Medical Music Therapy protocol development as well as Music Therapy for bereaved families. She is the owner of Interlude Perinatal Support Services and believes in empowering women to discover their own paths of wellness during pregnancy, birth, and life with baby.