If you are a new parent, then you are probably excited to find ways to bond with your infant. Fortunately, you can do this in a number of ways.
First, it’s important to explore attachment and bonding. What are they, and why are they critical?
Basically, both attachment and bonding are all about responding to an infant’s requirements with care, warmth and love. Through performing these services, your baby comes to view you as a trusted individual.
This is crucial, because bonding with you is a huge part of your baby’s development. When you give your baby a snuggle, a warm touch or a smile, your newborn begins to understand that the world can be a safe place to explore and learn. This effectively builds a foundation for your baby’s development and well-being for several years to come.
Another great reason to focus on bonding is that it actually assists with your baby’s physical and mental growth. Repeated contact with you through things like:
- Looking into each other’s eyes;
- Talking; and
causes your infant’s brain to release hormones. It is these hormones that help your baby’s brain to grow, helping him to develop language, thought and memories.
Bonding and Infant Music Classes
Most parents already know quite a bit about frequent skin-to-skin contact, talking to their baby and meeting their infant’s gaze, all of which are critical to building a stronger bond. However, it is not unusual for parents to not know about infant music classes and how they can help the process of attachment and bonding between parents and babies.
Infant music classes may be conducted in-person or virtually over an Internet connection, and they involve far more than just listening to lullabies.
Activities in Infant Music Classes
If you attend music classes with your baby, then you probably will participate in activities such as:
- Playing instruments;
- Exploring sounds; and
All of these activities are designed to help babies learn to communicate, develop muscle coordination and improve their skills with eye tracking.
One example would be an activity in which baby gets to explore an instrument like a xylophone or a drum. The parent might move the instrument around in the infant’s field of vision to encourage better depth perception and eye-tracking.
Perhaps the parent then plays the instrument softly and up close to the baby so that she can hear it. Next, the instrument may be hidden or played farther away to encourage the infant to follow the sound by turning her head.
Because these activities are being undertaken by the parent and baby together, you are developing a closer connection to your infant while she learns to communicate better and experiences new cognitive and physical skills.
Other activities that you and your baby might encounter in an infant music class include rocking in time to the music, finger and toe games, infant massage and much more. Most of all, your baby will love the opportunity to make his own music.
What Does the Science Say?
According to a study conducted and published by the McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, infants who go to music classes with their parents develop better early communications skills. For instance, they are more likely to wave goodbye and point at objects that they cannot reach themselves.
The researchers further concluded that babies who attended infant music classes tended to be easier to soothe, readier to smile and didn’t show as much distress when in unfamiliar surroundings or when they weren’t getting their way.
Many of these milestones can be directly tied back to better bonding with the parent, which clearly shows an incentive to attend music classes to enhance development.
More Reasons to Enjoy Infant Music Classes with Your Baby
Are you still on the fence regarding whether or not to sign up for infant music classes? Maybe you’re just not musically inclined yourself. That can easily make you wonder if you’ll be comfortable in a music class or get anything out of it.
Rest assured that no experience with playing or reading music is required to get a great deal out of these classes. Even if you can’t read a note and don’t know the first thing about singing, you’re pretty much guaranteed to have a fantastic experience in these classes because of the opportunity to bond with your newborn.
Along the way, you’ll both pick up some rudimentary knowledge about music that can serve as a foundation for further learning. You never know how an early introduction to music instruction will positively affect your child in the years to come, and your shared interest will only bring the two of you closer.
Improving Social Interaction and Development
Music can help even the youngest baby get in tune with feelings of anger, sadness and happiness. Accordingly, they can start developing positive habits with their social skills. That’s because these feelings can be conveyed through song, and when they are combined with interaction with the parent, babies begin to familiarize themselves with these feelings, giving them a jump start on emotional awareness.
Social development involves not only feeling your own emotions but also understanding them and being able to empathize with others. Music elicits emotions, thereby making it a powerful tool for social development.
McMaster University published a study supporting this stance. Researchers discovered that when 14-month-olds moved to the music with others, they got better at forming social bonds. This made them more likely to help an adult who had dropped an object. However, when the movement was off-tempo, they were less likely to help the adult.
Benefits to Motor Skills
You may have noticed that your infant isn’t exactly coordinated. That’s because they are still developing their muscles and their motor skills. This takes time, but you can speed the process along with infant music classes.
Typically, such classes introduce the baby to a variety of musical instruments. As they play with tambourines, drums and xylophone keys, babies learn to coordinate their movements. With practice, babies soon begin to refine their motions so that they can produce the sound they want.
Improving Sensory Development
Combining better motor control with sensory awareness is a critical component of every baby’s development. This means that babies are better able to identify the difference in sounds and refine their movements not only to play an instrument but also while learning to sing or talk.
Music classes can help to make your little one more comfortable with loud sounds. For example, playing with a drum in class can familiarize baby with the concept that a loud sound doesn’t have to be a scary thing. That may mean no crying the next time he hears the sound of popping balloons.
Developing Language Skills
Making music is an incredibly accessible activity, and it’s a wonderful way to expose babies to language. Babies who were quiet before beginning music classes may turn into chatterboxes during music class. These attempts at spoken communication are good for baby’s developing brain and may even help them make the transition into school in a few years.
Help with Regulating Emotions
It often feels like a household with a newborn is run by the baby’s impulses to eat, sleep and be comforted. Sometimes, baby’s emotions can seem a little out of control, and it isn’t always obvious to new parents how they can go about calming their child.
This is where infant music classes once again save the day. In class, parents learn to soothe their infant with music, such as by singing a favorite song. Repeating this song helps to build healthy associations. In other words, your baby learns to trust you because you are helping him to regulate his state of mind.
Music also becomes a powerful means for babies to express themselves and to learn about self-regulation. It can even help them to learn that their state of mind can be changed through the use of a positive trigger.
Boosting Brain Power
When babies learn about and play music, it stimulates parts of their brains that are responsible not only for processing music but also speech. Such music classes further help infants to develop cognitive skills like identifying patterns and controlling attention.
While all, or at least most, infants seem to be naturally attracted by rhythm and beats, it is usually those that have attended infant music classes that show the greatest responsiveness.
Strengthening the Parent-Child Bond
Of course, the best reason of all for attending infant music classes is that these activities strengthen the bond between you and your baby.
The first year after your baby is born tends to be incredibly hectic. With so much to do, it can be easy to overlook spending enough time just enjoying being with your infant. Music classes are a way to play together, learn something new and build a stronger bond.
That’s why infant music classes aren’t just about the baby playing with a musical instrument. They are all about babies and parents playing together.
See What Prodigies Has to Offer
At Prodigies, we firmly believe that no one is ever too young to enjoy music. That’s why we have programs that are geared toward infants and their parents.
We not only love music but also we understand how critical music learning can be to a child’s growth and development even from their earliest months. Moreover, taking music classes together is an excellent, science-backed method for fostering attachment and bonding between parent and baby.
If you would like to know more about the infant music classes at Prodigies, start browsing through our programs today.