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Music and the Brain of a Newborn Preemie

October 31st, 2016 · No Comments · how the brain works, music and the brain

Preemie comes home

Out of the NICU

What is more precious than a newborn baby?  When they arrive early, it’s even more emotional because it’s usually quite a surprise and the issues can be very, very different.  Hopefully, the parents and siblings (if there are siblings!) have been singing to Mama’s belly every night from month 4-6 and they are bonding to with new brother or sister.  Any children’s song will do.  I recommend “You Are My Sunshine.”

So whats going on with the brain of the full-term newborn or preemie?  At birth, the brain is only 25% of it’s future weight.  Neuroscientists and pediatric neurologists tell us the the first three years of life are the most important!  “The brain grows dramatically and builds pathways and connections, called synapses, between its numerous cells.”According to Dr. Diane Bales, Ph.D., author of “Building Baby’s Brain: The Role of Music,” the synapses used for classical music are similar to those used for spatial and temporal reasoning, which are skills needed for math. Just listening to classical music can “turn on” the synapses.”

Knowing this is so valuable because there are dozens of infant playlists on YouTube that you can play softly in baby’s room.  If a preemie newborn is in NICU, you can request that soft lullabies or classical music be played through speakers that are created for the isolette.  Sometimes they come in pillows that can be placed at foot of isolette.  For a full-term infant who is going home in a few days (or even hours!) setting up music in the nursery is very easy.  I got my grandchildren a “Sleep Sheep” and they are wonderful and widely available at the usual places.

Why am I writing this today?  Because my fifth grandchild will be born later this week in Boston!  I’m practicing singing my lullabies and will of course bring multiple copies of the Lullaby CD I created several years ago before my first was even born!  If you’d like to purchase either the CD or the download, click here:

Enjoy your baby!!


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