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Study: Singing calms fussy babies longer than talking to them

LISTEN: Parent Corner: Crying babies

Singing may be better than baby-talk when calming a crying child. According to a study from the journal Infancy, it keeps baby’s calm twice as long.

Talking can be good, singing can be good, or just leaving them alone may also be effective, said DeAnn Davies director of Early child hood outreach for summit health care says.

“Most babies come with the ability to self soothe, and really don’t need a parent’s intervention to help them calm,” Davies said. “They’re very good at calming themselves.”

Babies can lose that ability once parents interfere and do things to help them get to sleep, or make them calm, she said.

“Let the baby take the lead by looking at your baby’s cues,” Davies said, “and seeing if what you are doing is helping or making it worse,”

A relationship with your baby is the single most important thing you can give that will make a difference in the long run, she said.

“Not a device, not a toy, and parents should really take their cues from their children,” she said. “If their children are over-stimulated, and tired and hungry or wet.”

Parents need to take care of those basic needs before they can have quality time together, she said.

“Babies use crying as an outlet just like you would call a friend if something happened to you and you needed to talk about it,” Davies said. “Sometimes babies just want to tell you it’s just too much, just let me be,” she said. “Put me down, comfort me and soothe me by doing the minimum required, and I can pull it together myself.”

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