Expert Advice

There are so many beautiful reasons to sing to your baby

Follow Osher's lead and sing your little one a sweet lullaby.

By Fiona Wright
When Osher Günsberg recently posted a video to his Instagram showing him singing to his newborn son, Wolfgang at his change table it was a pure hit of cuteness overload.
But do you know the many benefits of singing a lullaby?
Firstly, singing to your little one is a great way of bonding. Music impacts parts of our brain involved in empathy, co-operation and trust, and it enhances social bonds.
Scientists have shown that singing releases oxytocin and endorphins – the 'happy hormones' also released during labour, birth and breastfeeding – in the brain, making you feel connected, trusting and loving.
Also singing to your baby lowers your own heart rate, increases oxygen levels in your bloodstream and decreases your stress levels. Your baby is intuitive to your mood and will be comforted by your relaxed state.
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Dr Anita Collins is an award-winning educator, researcher and writer in the field of brain development and music learning. In her book, The Lullaby Effect, Anita explains the benefits of singing to your baby.
"Most parents think of music as a way to help their children sleep or soothe their nerves when upset, but the truth is that every time you sing to your child, something incredibly important is happening.
"Singing is one of the most natural experiences to share with your children and now we know even more through scientific research about the power of music to assist in your child's cognitive and physical development."
And you don't need to worry about whether you're in tune or not. Anita says your child doesn't care.
"As long as the singing voice changes pitch up and down, as long as it is at the right volume for the baby (not too loud) and it is coming from a person they feel comfortable and safe and synchronised with, then it works. Your baby thinks you are the greatest rock star there is when you are singing to them, so the key doesn't really matter."
Osher and Wolfie's bond began moments after he was born with some precious skin-to-skin time. (Image: Instagram/@osher_gunsberg)
Hearing is the first sense to develop so from as early as 16 weeks into pregnancy, your baby begins to recognise the sounds of your voice.
Your baby prefers their parents voice to any other sound, so you really are the best person to be singing her a lullaby, whatever you might think of your own singing voice.
In Osher's video, which was filmed covertly by his mother-in-law, it shows him making up his own adorable tune.
"Busted. My wonderful mother in law secretly filmed me changing Wolfie the other night," Osher captioned the post.
"This is my "coconut bum cream" song. Anyone that knows me, knows I sing/narrate a lot of my life - because if we don't sing as we go, how are we ever going to feel like we are in a musical? Yes, Wolfie and I are working on choreography too."
For the full experience just have a listen to actual song itself (watch in player above).
"If we don't get this, it will be in the way. There's going to be some pee all over us no matter we say," Osher sings.
"You've got a new nappy! Woo! Here's your coconut bum cream! It smells like dinner in Byron Bay"
Osher shares a sweet moment with his newborn, Wolfie. (Image: Instagram/@osher_gunsberg)
If, like Osher, you can freestyle your own lyrics to a lullaby, then you're sorted but if you need help personalising your tune try adapting one of your favourite songs to include your baby's name. Give it the lullaby treatment by making it smooth, slow and low, and you and your baby will have your very own lullaby.
Osher and partner Audrey Griffin welcomed their first child together on August 25. Audrey also has teenage daughter Georgia from a previous relationship.
Other benefits of singing lullabies to babies and children:
• Stimulate language
• Stimulate cognitive development
• Improves memory and attention span
• Teaches concepts such as days of the week
• Decreases stress levels and anxiety
• Introduces lullabies from around the world
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