Singing to Soothe the Savage Preemie

April 17, 2013

A recent study by the American Academy of Pediatrics has shown the positive benefits of singing to your preemie.

Thank god! At least now I can stop apologizing in my head for subjecting my wonderful nurses to my terrible singing voice for all those months! I wasn't just singing for myself - I was singing for Sam's health. Phew.

In all honesty, I knew that singing to Sam was helping him. I could see how he relaxed when I sang. I would watch the numbers on the monitor settle as I broke into song. But more than what it did for Sam, singing to him did wonders for me.

While in the NICU there was not a lot I could do to feel like a "normal" mom.  I only got to hold my baby once a day.  He didn't nurse until he was almost two months old.  All of his baths were done late at night, so I didn't get to bathe him until he was over three months old and home.  Changing Sam's diaper was the one thing I was able to do routinely in the NICU.  Well, changing his diaper and singing.  And I did both of those things as often as I could.

In order not to loose my mind by singing baby songs, I had an interesting mix of songs that I sang to Sam.  I had a few traditional songs like "You Are My Sunshine" and "Hush Little Baby".  I made up my own verses for the latter - it was more fun that way.  I also sang some of my favorites like "Mama Tried" and "Monkey Man".

It's funny, because even today, song is such a huge part of Sam's soothing routine.  When he is upset, all I have to do is break out of of his current favorite songs, and Sam immediately calms down.
Sam the Anti-Preemie loves music
If he will not eat, I pull out the iPhone and play the Mumford and Sons "I Will Wait" or Sandi Thom "I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker".  No matter the situation, all it takes is a song to bring Sam back to a calm and happy state.

The power of music is really remarkable.

What songs did you (or do you) sing to your baby?

Tagged: Music
I am relearning all the nursery rhymes I ever knew. Our favorites are The Wheel on the Bus and Row, Row, Row Your Boat. I made the mistake of singing You Are My Sunshine to her while we were in the NICU and as I was singing the second verse I was also hearing the words applied to our situation and I sort of lost it.
I should find non-baby songs to sing, too!
Wheels on the Bus and Row, Row, Row Your Boat are also popular here. Along with Old MacDonald, Itsy Bitsy Spider, Ring Around the Rosie, etc. I just can’t bring myself to just sing those songs – especially as Sam likes music so much. I had to shake it up.
I hear what you are saying about You Are My Sunshine. It’s funny, because until you brought it up, I am not sure I even thought about that verse closely… but Now that I am, I can’t believe I sang it to him!

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