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Why your child should listen to music

Lisa Steinke, with Liz Fenton, is the co-author of the debut chick lit novel l'll Have Who She's Having and the popular Chick Lit blog chicklitisnotdead.com.

Music to your child's ears

Have you ever noticed how you feel when you hear a song you love? Your mood improves, right? A smile crosses your face? Maybe you even belt out the lyrics (in the shower counts!). That's because music has powerful effects. Not just for you, but for your child too. Introducing music to your little one (even while in utero) has a lot of benefits. Read on for how and why you should make music the soundtrack for your child's life.

mom and baby listening to music

Music soothes

Whether you're pregnant, have a little one trying to fall asleep or a toddler in a "mood," music can soothe. Think about those "trying times" when your newborn baby was up at all hours of the night. If you tried singing — even off key — it worked, right? That's because research shows that listening to lullabies calms babies. In fact, it may even help strengthen premature babies.

Researchers from Brigham Young University studied the effects of music on 33 premature infants in a neonatal intensive care unit. After playing the voices of men and women singing lullabies for the infants for four days, they found that the babies gained more weight, had a stronger heartbeat and lower blood pressure.

Ways to calm a crying baby >>

Make music the soundtrack to your life

Playing music daily can be a great way to help your little one develop a love of music. Turn on fun, up-beat music in the morning to get your child moving or during those "twilight" hours to settle him. Play music during long car rides to make the journey more fun. At night, when it's time for bed, switch to lullabies or slow tracks to cue him it's time to wind down.

An iPod for your infant >>

Music moves

Have you ever noticed how a child will start bouncing along to the beat of the music that's playing? (You'll figure out very early on if he gravitates toward Beyonce or Elmo or both.) Music can be a great way to introduce dance to your little one. Not to mention, it's just so darn cute to watch him bounce to the beat and sing along to the words.

Best iTunes music for toddlers and preschoolers >>

Music bonds

Music can also be a great way to bond with your child. From an early age, you can make it a ritual to dance and sing with him. Even before he's old enough to stand, you can hold your child in your arms and dance around. As he grows older, you can share your favorite artists and songs with each other. Before you know it, you'll be going to concerts together.

Read more about music and children

10 Ways music benefits children
Making music with your kids
How to create a musical life for your child

Life vs. Fiction

Close Your Eyes

Want more on the benefits of utilizing your senses? Check out a great read in the new SheKnows Book Lounge —  Close Your Eyes by bestselling author Iris Johansen, a new book about a once-blind woman who uses audio and tactile cues to solve crimes. Head to our SheKnows Book Lounge now.

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