There’s a new tune in the air, and lots of research has been put into making sure it’ll make your baby very happy!
We know music soothes the soul. We often turn to music to comfort ourselves, and certainly to comfort our babies. Knowing what babies like isn’t always easy to decipher, but research shows that music definitely affects babies, even as they are growing in the womb.
Research has also found that babies tend to prefer female voices, especially ones that sound ‘motherish’ (think of that sweet Mary Poppins pitch we get when we are cooing to babies). That said, not much research has been done into the type of music that calms babies and makes them happy.
Until now. Developmental Psychologist Dr. Caspar Addyman teamed up with fellow psychologist Lauren Stewart, who specializes in the cognitive neuroscience of music, to create a song that would make babies happy. The UK based C&G Baby Club commissioned the pair, and encouraged ‘real science’ in the development.
Dr. Addyman has spent the last few years working on the Baby Laughter project, and in that, has gained insight from parents that gives him a unique perspective on just what makes babies laugh. This, combined with Stewart’s work on songs that get stuck in one’s head (known as earworms), helped guide them toward the right notes for happy babies.
They found Grammy-award winning Imogen Heap, who has an 18-month-old little girl, to write a song that excited babies, but doesn’t make parent’s skin crawl at the same time. They gave her their recommendations based on their research, and then tested four melodies to see what made babies (and parents) seem genuinely happy.
The result? The most adorable little diddy full of silly sounds and baby laughter with lyrics that also made parents happy.
The song is the tale of how loved babies are. Based on this compilation and its success, the researchers are planning follow-up studies to look more at how a baby’s physical response is affected by happy music. If the research results are as cute as this video, we can’t wait!