Written by Cathy Thompson
My youngest child is now 9 years old, although it seems that she is too old for her nightly lullabies, sometimes in moments when she is upset, I will simply start singing her lullabies (the nightly ones I’ve sang for years). She immediately seems to feel comfort and it’s a way for me to engage her while she’s upset.
I started to sing lullabies to my first born, on his first day of life, 11 years ago. It was not planned and I certainly can’t hold a tune, but for some reason, singing to him felt so natural. I felt like I could do something to comfort him in times of distress, and I think it made ME feel better. Of course I didn’t have a repertoire of songs to draw from, but I knew a couple of tunes and just made up the words. Hush little Baby was my go to. To this day, I don’t even know what some of the Actual words are!
Did you know:
• the therapeutic effect of lullabies can have a strong impact on calming anxieties and nurturing bonds in infants?
• lullabies are often used to pass down or strengthen cultural roles and practices?
• lullabies almost never have instrumental accompaniments?
• infants have shown a strong preference for unaccompanied lullabies over accompanied lullabies?
So when you think you’re just singing along to your baby/toddler/child, remember it’s much more than that – it’s a way to communicate, to bond and to soothe.