Posts Tagged ‘music’

Pregnancy Week 26: Music!

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

Pregnancy Week 26: Music!

It seem like this baby is growing at turbo speed–next week begins the third trimester. I’ve been focusing on music this week: new music for my labor playlist, music for the nursery, music for the boys to share with their new baby brother. I used music during labor for my first two labors and found it to be very helpful in keeping my mind in the right place. Nothing makes the mind at ease quite like a great song.

During labor, music can help shift the mood as the contractions progress. Sometimes the songs can get you out of your own head when the going get tough, sometimes they can give you the needed energy to get through transition and finish the task at hand. I find my mental clarity of the moment is really affected by what is playing – with silence really occasionally being just what I need when things are hectic. With my previous births I have used this cd as inspiration.  I dream of this baby being born into a lively, music-filled room.

On my playlist is some easy, soft music from Elizabeth Mitchell – kids songs that I find soothing and calming, some fun pop songs to get energy going such as a bit of Michael Jackson and Michelle Trainor, a bit of country or blues for soul and some calming tunes from Jack Johnson and Mumford and Sons. I’ve always found the voice of Ella Fitzgerald to be extremely soothing and relaxing.

I like to use music for background noise as my babies sleep, too. We live in a small house, so the white noise in the nursery is great for keeping the babies asleep as the bigger boys play. My bigger boys also enjoy sharing their favorite songs with the baby. As this pregnancy has progressed, they have shared many tunes with the baby by playing the radio near my belly, with headphones, or by singing him a tune. My eldest son loves music and likes to play his keyboard or ukelele for the younger ones.

Even as birth is still 14 weeks away I figure it can’t be too early to start preparing for what comes next – a special tune for a special boy as he is welcomed into our family.

Pia Watzig is a stay at home mom and music lover who lives in Portland, Oregon.

Can Music Make Your Baby Smarter?

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Can Music Make Your Baby Smarter?Of all the activities my three-year-old daughter and I have done together music classes have been one of the most enjoyable. When she was four months old I enrolled her for a summer session of Music Together. We’re just finishing up our fourth semester, and I have already signed up for the next one.

The classes themselves have been a lot of fun, but watching her flourish musically has been amazing. She bops to the music, memorizes all the songs, makes up her own words and loves playing instruments. One of the great things about most music classes is that there’s usually no age restriction, so you can start as soon as you feel ready. Even though most of the classes are somewhat structured, children are encouraged to participate and have fun so you don’t have to worry about a short attention span.

Some of the most popular music classes are Music Together, Musikgarten, Kindermusic and Gymboree. While they’re all slightly different, they tend to follow the same basic style. Each class focuses on parent-child involvement, letting them play instruments, vocalize at different pitches, sing fun songs with accompanying movements, and make rhythm a whole-body sensory experience.

The babies and toddlers are just having fun, but they’re doing so much more. Babies will respond to music by making their own sounds, advancing language and vocal development. Lots of movement, including dancing, rolling, marching and kicking helps develop gross motor skills. Fine motor skills are used when they grasp and release instruments and move them from hand to hand. Being around other babies and parents also gives them an opportunity for social development.  Studies have shown that babies who participate in interactive music classes smile more, communicate better, and show a more sophisticated brain response to music.

Some of the music programs have strict start and stop dates, but others will let you join at any point in time. Gymboree even offers a free trial class so you can see how your baby responds to music before signing up. Music is such a fun way to learn– you’ll both have a great time making music together.

Jacqueline Banks is a certified Holistic Health Counselor focused on nutrition and green living strategies. She works with women in all stages of motherhood, from mothers struggling with conception, through pregnancy, lactation and beyond to ensure the best health and nutrition for both mother and baby.