To My Little One Sleeping in the Night: Lullabies

There was an interesting article this month in the New York Times about the tradition of creating and singing lullabies to children, their meaning for us as parents, the Lullaby Project, and a little about the importance of this ritual.

Here is a quote about the health benefits of lullabies for babies in NICU:

Studies on babies in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) show that premature infants prefer lullaby-like songs to other music — their heart rates and breathing steady, their feeding patterns improve and they are more likely, when hearing lullabies regularly over time, to gain the weight they need. It has even been shown that preemies in NICUs who have lullabies sung to them during venipuncture sessions have significantly lower pain scores following the prick. Babies seem to recognize the voices of their parents more readily than anyone else’s. The maternal voice in particular, which a fetus begins to hear around 25 weeks into a pregnancy, is uniquely comforting.

In our culture, we are beginning to lose hold on this tradition through each successive generation. We sing less and less to our babies. For what reason, I wonder? Maybe tonight you will sing to your child—anything—softly and sweetly, with a beautiful or broken voice, and they will listen and love you.

Please read more here: The Melancholy Mystery of Lullabies.

Melancholy Mystery of Lullabies

Illustration by Angie Wang

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