(ORDO NEWS) — Scientists have shown that singing for babies promotes their social development and teaches interaction as early as two months of age.
However, only rhythmic singing works effectively, as songs with unpredictable rhythms are more difficult for children to focus on.
Lullabies, as well as songs that accompany playing with a child, seem to be an integral element of raising children.
Now scientists from the Vanderbilt University Medical Center (USA) have shown that this is also an extremely important element in teaching social interaction and strengthening the bond between the child and the caregiver.
The study involved 112 infants aged two and six months. The researchers assessed how often they made eye contact with their parents or caregivers.
As early as two months old, when infants were just beginning to interact with other people, they were twice as likely to make eye contact with adults who were singing rather than silent or just talking.
By the age of six months, the children showed already more complex communicative behavior in response to singing. For example, they began to babble and looked into the eyes of singing adults four times more often.
To exclude the influence of parents or guardians themselves, in the next experiment, infants watched a video with a person singing. They could look anywhere, but their behavior was not random.
At this stage, scientists came to the conclusion that the rhythm of singing is critical. In order for an infant to get carried away with singing, it must be predictable and not change.
When listening to unpredictable songs, infants were much less involved in watching videos and looked at the screen less often.
This effect was observed in both groups of children – at the age of both two and six months.
In the older group, it was more pronounced. It is also noteworthy that infants mostly follow the rhythm of the music with their eyes, trying to make eye contact with the singer in sync with the rhythm of his singing.
This effect disappeared when the rhythm of the song got lost and the children lost interest more quickly.
According to scientists, the study highlights that music is a critical aspect of early social and emotional development of infants, develops empathy and allows you to communicate more effectively with other people in the future.
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