Studies Show How Lullabies Can Save The Health Of Premature Babies And The Wellbeing Of Their Families


They say that it’s always better to make babies listen to lullabies. The soothing songs help calm them and the beats of the sound can also help in the development of their brain. While people just played songs to put their babies to sleep, studies show that this isn’t just good for the infant, but for other members of the family as well.

Studies were recently made and they have observed that singing lullabies can improve the health of premature babies, especially those in the intensive care unit. These songs also help lift the spirits of their anxious family too. This was stated in a new research conducted for this very reason.

What gentle music therapy does is slow down the heart rate of prematurely delivered infants. The researchers observed how the songs help them to feed and sleep better. New research into live music has also been made to see if this helps the new mothers and family members. It has shown how rhythmic strings or humming helps the with the therapeutic or care procedures that come with taking care of an infant.

Playing sad songs may seem to be the antithesis of what scared parents may need at a time when their young ones are still the intensive care unit. However, medical staff have observed the impact of these songs and said that, contrary to what people say, the results were actually positive.

It has been hypothesized how playing songs about loss, love, heartbreak, or other difficult times actually helps parents process the feelings they have. The songs also give them a glimpse of life outside the hospital. Taru Koivisto, a doctoral student at UniArts Helsinki, said how she had worked with other professional musicians in hospitals. They all witnessed how the playing of live instruments helped both mother and baby especially in terms of physical and mental healing.

Taru said, “A moment of music can create an intimate atmosphere where the parents can forget about treatments, tubes, and machines and put their entire focus on their baby and truly see them. For the parents, music was a sign of life from outside of the hospital and helped them understand that life will carry on even in hard times.”

When a premature infant is wheeled straight to the intensive care unit, their life may change for good. Taru further explained, “Music moments were described as a break that allowed the whole family to metaphorically travel to another space or place. A shared musical journey together may have helped the family members create a new narrative for their life.

She added, “In one of the example situations, a mother of a baby asked her own mother, the grandmother of the baby, whether the song she chose was too emotional for her. The grandmother said ‘no’. When they sang the song together, the grandmother started crying, but the mother of the child was content in her own way.”

There are other live therapeutic studies made as well, and all of them have shown how gentle music therapy such as lullabies can influence and improve cardiac and respiratory function in newborns. Previous research have shown the good effects because they found that babies who receive this kind of therapy are able to walk out the hospital doors sooner.

The findings of the research were published in the journal Expanding Professionalism in Music and Higher Music Education.