Music is one of the few forms of language that speaks to hearts universally, no matter where you are in the world, or how old you are. Right from babies in the womb, to busy adults, to wizened seniors, music in its raw and best element – rhythmic, repetitive, lilting – affects people in positive ways that ultimately drive the energy of their daily lives.
You know those soft lullabies that you catch yourself humming when you’re holding your baby in your arms? Remember where they come from, how they’ve formed an eternal home in those parts of your brain that store only comforting memories, like the soothing voice of your grandma, singing you that same lullaby that now just comes back to you in bits and pieces? Do you realise that instinct in you that reaches for that melody each time your little one is getting fussy, uncomfortable, or scared?
Lullabies are our cultural inheritance, passed down gently to us in simple shows of affection and love through the familiar and comforting tones of our parents and grandparents. And, somewhere along the way, we forgot about our heritage. While we know how to love and care for our babies, we may not have the best ways to calm them down or get them to fall asleep without a fuss.
Why You Should Sing to Your Baby
Music is an inexpensive and fantastic soother, along with being an instrument of bonding. There is a reason that reading and singing to your baby in the womb is recommended: not only does it attune your baby to the sound of your voice, it also helps to keep him calm and comfortable while he grows safely in your tummy. Lullabies have been shown to actually reduce a baby’s heart rate, with its soft and repetitive rhythms. At 16 to 18 weeks, your little one is ready to hear his first sounds, and by the time you’re in your third trimester, he is probably already loving the music you play for him! As a bonus, plenty of studies have also shown that music and singing helps in the foetus’s brain development.
After your baby is born, and he goes through the inevitable bouts of crying, tantrums, and general baby fussiness, one of the ways to quickly make life easier for everyone is to pick a song or a melody, and put on a spontaneous acoustic concert for your one-man audience. Solid research from reputed universities like Harvard has shown that lullabies, irrespective of language and familiarity, are greatly accepted by babies as instant soothers. So, in case you’re wondering if your little one will understand the songs his grandmother sings to him in her native tongue, here’s the truth: it doesn’t matter. His little mind is focusing on the lilting repetitive rhythms, which are working to make him feel better and safer.
Another incredible benefit of lullabies is how they can be used to create a bedtime routine. Getting your baby used to soft singing before being put to bed will help him understand and predict how sleep-time is supposed to go, leading to less tantrums. This even works for mid-day naps, and also if your baby tends to wake up in the middle of the night. After a while, he might even begin to expect the comforting sounds of the lullaby, and thus ends your hitherto endless effort of thinking up new ways of putting your little one to sleep!
The Evolution of Lullabies for New-Age Parents
Lullabies are designed to soothe babies and lull them to sleep, which is why language, type of melody, and whether the baby has heard it before or not, don’t actually matter, as the experience is about the emotions.
Why are we telling you this, though? Because we know what you may feel at times: that maybe your voice isn’t good enough to sing a lullaby, what if the baby gets upset at how often you manage to go off-tune, that you barely even know any lullabies, and definitely don’t remember all the words! The last thing you want is your musical attempt to backfire, and your baby gets more cranky than calm.
Yes, there are plenty of classic lullabies available for you to play for your little one. But, how true are they to your dream of giving your kids a holistic childhood? Don’t you imagine holding your baby tenderly, singing to him softly the songs of your own childhood in your poetic native tongue? Thus, you, too, feel the instinct to pass down your inherited knowledge and emotion of lullabies.
What’s the best way to do that, when you’re worried about how you might sound to your baby? We’ve got your back there, with the Duroflex Sounds of Sleep.
Duroflex Sounds of Sleep is a one-of-its-kind digital series of Indian lullabies, each one recorded for your baby by prominent female Indian singers known for their distinct voices. It is hosted by philanthropist, actress, and new mom Kalki Koechlin, who is delighted to share this baby-bonding experience with new parents. Being a musician and singer, she has always understood the power of music, and has recently re-discovered the joys of lullabies after giving birth to her daughter and singing to her.
Singing or playing lullabies for your baby is that part of your parenting journey that should be embraced wholeheartedly, as it serves as a powerful means of connecting, syncing, and emoting with your baby. Duroflex is delighted to help you cement your bond with your child with Duroflex Sounds of Sleep, now streaming on their YouTube channel. Tune in every Friday for a new melody in a new language! Watch the trailer or dive right into listening to the first lullaby, and check out what else Duroflex has to offer.