Young parents don’t sing lullabies, but science says they should
THEY may once have been seen by parents as a staple of the bedtime regime – but now it seems that lullabies are falling out of favour with younger mothers and fathers.
Just over a third (38 per cent) of parents sing lullabies to their children aged under five, according to a Yougov poll of more than 2,000 adults. But the vast majority – 70 per cent – of those who still keep to the old ways are older than 45.
The poll was commissioned by the Lullaby Trust, which aims to prevent unexpected deaths in infancy and promote infant health. It showed that women were more than twice as likely to sing to their children every night, compared to male parents.
A study carried out at Great Ormond Street Hospital has previously shown that lullabies help to make children feel better.
Researchers sang to a group of children under three, some of whom were waiting for heart transplants, and monitored their heart rates and pain perception.
The results, published in the journal Psychology of Music, showed that young patients experienced lower heart rates, less anxiety and reduced perception of pain after they had lullabies sung to them.
A separate study, published by the National Literacy Trust last year, found that singing songs and rhymes with your baby or young child supports language development and reading skills.
Laura-jane Foley, a soprano and ambassador for the Lullaby Trust, said: “Singing to children is just as important as reading to them.
“The musical three Rs of rhythm, rhyming and repetition are crucial to a child’s mental and emotional development.
“And by participating in the shared activity of singing, parents are strengthening the bonds between parent and child.”
‘The musical 3 Rs of rhythm, rhyming and repetition are crucial to a child’s mental and emotional development’