I believe that the most important part of our job as a Mother is to build and maintain an emotional connection with your child. The more connected or “attached” you are the more you are able to “read” and meet the everchanging needs of your growing child. This leads to a happy and content baby and a fulfilling mothering experience.
Dr Sears describes this conection beautifully when he writes,
Attachment means that a mother and baby are in harmony with each other. Being in harmony with your baby is one of the most fulfilling feelings a mother can ever hope to have. Watch a mother and baby who are attached (in harmony) with each other. When the baby gives a cue, such as crying or facial expressions, signifying a need, the mother, because she is open to the baby’s cues, responds.
Using music and sound during pregnancy, birth and on your parenting journey are powerful tools to use to build the bond that both you and your baby need.
Sing Your Baby to You During Pregnancy
Dr Tomatis found in his research about sound and babies in utero that they can hear their mothers voice from four and a half months before they are born. Singing combined with being aware that your baby can hear you is a beautiful way to connect during pregnancy. You can sing in the shower, sing in the car, sing in the kitchen and sing in the garden. The more you sing the better you feel and the more familiar your voice will become to your baby. Making up your own words about how you feel towards your baby or about the dreams you have after s/he is born can make the song you sing even more powerful and connecting. It may even bring tears of joy to your eyes as you sing. The song you make up may also be a great sound tool you will use to connect for many years to come.
Sing Your Baby to You During Labour
Singing or toning during labour assists to bring your baby from his/her cozy little space inside you into your loving arms. There are many benefits of toning during labour such as giving more oxygen to you and baby as you take fuller breaths; the vibration of the sound relaxes and energises you; the sound of your voice combined with the sound of the crystal bowl help you to focus and put you in the “zone”; and it helps you to express and release pain. All of these assist you in riding the waves of your contractions, staying present and strong so you can birth your baby the way your body already knows how.
Sing Your Baby to You After the Birth
You have birthed your baby. The umbilical cord is cut. Now s/he is in your arms sometimes content and other times crying and unsettled. After trying to meet all of his/her needs (feeding, changing, making them comfortable etc) I have found that the next best cure for an unsettled baby is movement and hearing the familiar sound of your voice. Don Campbell says in “The Mozart Effect For Children” that,
Nothing is as pleasingly stimulating to your baby’s brand new ears and growing neuronal network as your own voice – no matter what your friends and relatives think of it!
So sing your “family lullaby” or another song you may have sung during pregnancy. You could also make up a chant as you pace with your baby or feed your baby. Or choose gentle music that you can sing along with. I have found that putting on the same music track every time I was trying to settle my baby and singing along too helped as the baby soon recognised the song and connected it to being settled or sleeping. I also used the same song in the car when baby was crying or trying to sleep. It has now become their special song that brings me straight back to when they were a baby.
Remember that YOUR VOICE is the most soothing, powerful, beautiful, simple and nurturing way to connect with your child no matter how young or old they are. Singing will create an invisible cord of connection between your souls that will last forever!
SING SING SING!