Singing Calms Babies More than Talking

Scientists compared singing, baby talk and regular adult tones and found babies stay calm twice as long with song.

Babies played even unfamiliar songs stay calmer than if they're spoken to.

Baby engrossed in listening to music (Sheryl Seidman)
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When babies listen to music, they stay calm for twice as long as when they listen to spoken words. In a recent experiment, babies aged 7 to 10 months of age listened to three different recordings; one was a song that was unfamiliar to them, and the other two were the spoken lyrics of that song, one in an adult tone, the other in a baby-talk tone.

The results surprised Dr. Sandra Trehub, a Professor Emeritus in The Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto Mississauga. Babies listened to the music for nine minutes before they became unsettled or started to cry. In comparison, they listened to both spoken word versions for just under four minutes.

The results provide new insight into the evolution of music in human psychology.

Related Links

Paper in Infancy
- University of Montreal release
- University of Toronto Mississauga release
Medical News Todaystory