Rock-a-bye Baby: singing helps your baby grow

Added 23 Aug 2017
father with baby

Songs, rhymes and musical games are all great ways for parents and carers to communicate with babies and young children. Musical activities make communication fun and enjoyable, and have been associated with later educational outcomes. 

Singing songs and rhymes with your baby and young child not only support language development and later reading skills by encouraging children to listen carefully to predict, it also promotes movement and coordination when using accompanying actions.

Some musical activities that support early communication and language include:

  • Singing songs in a child’s home language
  • Singing the same songs multiple times to allow children to fully understand and make connections
  • Singing songs with actions
  • Using new words when singing to extend vocabulary
  • Adding music to stories
  • Allowing children to play freely with musical instruments

In this clip, mother and baby are engaging in singing games. Watch as his mother sings a song then stops and waits for him to indicate his desire to sing the song again.  This is a great example of communication where the child doesn't have the words yet to communicate what he wants but manages to communicate through other means.

Originally developed for Talk to Your Baby. Video Clip courtesy of Siren Films.