Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Singing to Baby

Months ago when I was trying to figure out who Penny Simkin was, I came across this inspiring letter she wrote about singing to your baby before and after birth to promote closeness and parent-infant bonding. Immediately struck by the three stories she tells, and holding back tears, I knew right then that singing to my baby was definitely something I wanted to do.

Penny says that starting around 32 weeks, when a baby's hearing is developed, you can begin to sing out loud to them every day. The baby becomes familiar with the tune and the parents voices in utero, which promotes safety and familiarity outside of the womb when the same song is sung out loud. Singing is also something that the parents can use in almost any situation and environment from birth onward to soothe the baby whenever the baby seems upset or uncomfortable. She encourages fathers to sing too.

She then goes on to tell of three couples who sang to their babies during pregnancy. I warn you that they are real tear-jerkers, or maybe that’s just the pregnant woman in me. Either way, I melt picturing the father bursting out in gentle song to his brand new baby and thinking of what joy that must have brought to his wife’s heart. Penny claims the baby was enamored and within seconds calmed and fixed on her parents familiar singing.

The letter focuses on the idea of singing one song repetitively each day. Frankly, this seems a bit monotonous to me. So I’ve chosen four songs to sing to our little girl, and have been doing so since about week 17. I think I would like to hone in on one song that I can memorize in full, since I half hum and half sing the four current worship songs. The songs I sing now are also a bit complicated and not easily sung on their own. But it’s really the general idea of singing to her that is most appealing to me.

At Centering last week, I was talking with our class facilitator, Heather, about how I was writing this post and asking if she sang to her baby in the womb. She said that she chose to sing Moon River to her baby—now 15 month old—since that was the song her mother sang to her. So sweet. This is the sort of soothing song that I want to sing, but I can't seem to come up with anything good. I'm not the biggest music buff, but do appreciate it as much as the next person. Maybe I should listen to some old hymns.

Heather said that she can't say her baby had an sort of noticeable response to her singing after birth, but we both agreed that her baby probably at least found it soothing, even though there wasn't a obvious recognition.

Have any of you sung to your baby in the womb and then after birth? I like to think our little girl enjoys my not so perfect singing, and will hopefully be comforted by it once she's finally in my arms. I will be sure to follow up.

Need to catch up?

Pregnancy Posts:

Weekly Updates:


  1. I've started singing to my BG, Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley (or whoever since it's been done a million times)


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