All parents try to find ways to give their infant an advantage in life. One belief is that by letting your baby listen to classical music you can make them smarter. But is this really possible? Mary Go reviews music for new babies.
According to many scientists music can make babies feel relaxed, but as far as them becoming a genius, they don’t believe so. Here’s a list of albums that may make babies smarter, but if not, they’re definitely songs they can grow up with. Since you may be hearing some songs a thousand times, we also kept parental sanity in mind.
Baby Einstein – Baby Mozart (Amazon, $29.99 for DVD)
This is a DVD compilation of Mozart sonatas. There are visuals of different toys while the music plays however in my opinion some need to move a little more quickly. It’s a great introduction to the majesty of classical music, and the interesting melodies with quickening pace paint a vibrant picture in your child’s imagination. Did I feel smarter? Not really, but I was surprisingly more alert. Parents can also have the satisfaction of exposing their c hild to classical music at a young age. There’s a Baby Einstein – Baby Bach DVD however buying just one should suffice as they are quite identical, even the toys are the same.
Rating: Four smiles as the sonatas can put your baby to sleep or settle them after waking from a nap.
Who said children can’t listen to rock music? Parents who enjoy rock and want to pass that love onto their little ones will enjoy these rock lullaby renditions from the Beatles, Bjork, Bob Marley and Coldplay. The bells, harps, and other gentle sounds make for mellow renditions of rock classics. Obvious choices include kid-friendly tunes such as “Golden Slumbers”, “Yellow Submarine” and “All You Need Is Love”. As an extra touch, the cover art is of teddy bears re-enacting classic rock band album covers and you can cut out the figures provided in for a mobile for the crib. The Rockabye Baby albums will get your baby going for the day and if you’re going to have to listen to music, it might as well be something you already know you like.
Rating: Five smiles to keep you and your baby entertained
With songs about marching dinosaurs, animal noises, spaghetti, and insects, Laurie Berkner’s music is more for toddlers. Berkner is apparently a kindie-rock goddess for juniors with a regular appearance on Nickelodeon. Her straightforward delivery and silly songs get little ones dancing along and joining in. The tunes are mostly acoustic stomps with catchy choruses and plenty of chances to sing along. This is definitely one for the kids but not so much for the adults.
Rating: Two cringe faces as the catchy songs are sure to be stuck in your head for a while
Jazz for Kids: Sing, Clap, Wiggle and Shake by Various Artists (Amazon, $13.80)
This is real jazz from real jazz performers playing classic children’s songs. This short collection opens with “Old MacDonald” and other familiar numbers include “The Muffin Man”. Others are more obscure, but well worth getting to know. All the tracks are entertaining performances and the album closes with “What a Wonderful World.” The Jazz beats, drums, upbeat tempo and catchy tunes are fun and can have you up and grooving to songs like you would never have imagined.
Rating: Three smiles to get your baby grooving.
Not your usual baby album but if your baby only falls asleep in the presence of very specific sounds, this may be your all-time number one. It’s definitely cheaper than running the vacuum to induce naptime or spending an extra hour driving around. With ten loops of sound, this CD includes “Hairdryer,” “Vacuum Cleaner” along with a selection of more natural sounds from the forest, the ocean, and the womb. Hopefully one of the sounds will work.
Rating: Two smiles as the white noise will definitely put you and your fussy baby to sleep
Personally, growing up my favourites were tongue-twisting tunes such as “Nina, Nina, bo-bina, banana, fana, fofina, mee-mi-momina, Nina”, Disney Classics that never grow old or the old-fashioned singing to your child. The wonderful thing about singing with an infant is that babies don’t care whether your voice is good or you can carry a tune.
I wouldn’t recommend that you buy the entire collection of baby Einstein CD’s. These are really just a waste of money. Whether or not it can really make them smarter seems to depend on the child and how much time you as the parent spend stimulating their brain. Also, don’t just turn on the music and leave them there all day: listen and learn together!