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Recipe for a song

Mother singing to baby

There are a few ways to enjoy music with your baby. One way is to sing well-known children’s songs, like “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” or “Eensy Weensy Spider”. But another way to share music is to make up a song especially for your baby.

Follow these guidelines to create a custom-made song for your baby:

  • Choose a simple, familiar tune or make up your own melody.
  • Make up a song about things that are familiar to your baby. You can use your baby’s name in the song and names of other important people in your baby’s life. Or sing about things that happen during your baby’s day.
  • Choose meaningful, useful words. Some traditional children’s songs have complicated vocabulary, such as “Mulberry bush”, “water spout”, or “London bridge”, which are hard for babies to understand. The advantage of making up your own song for your baby is that you can choose simple, familiar words that relate to your baby and her daily routines.
  • Put important words at the end of the lines in the song – this will make these words stand out.
  • Keep it simple! Babies love repetition and learn from it. So repeat key lyrics and keep the number of words to a minimum.
  • Add simple actions or movements to the song.
  • You may want to add sound effects or “fun words” to the song, if appropriate. These sounds and words will catch your baby’s attention. Examples include: animal sounds such as “quack quack” or “moo”, vehicle sounds such as “vrooooomm” or “beep beep”, other sounds and fun words such as “achoooo!”, “wheee!”, “boo!”
  • Between 8-10 months, babies begin to recognize their own name. Try incorporating your baby’s name into the song – it will catch his attention.

You’ll probably see that your baby enjoys your singing to her, and pays attention for a longer period of time than usual. She will watch your face your face closely and smile when you sing and also react and participate during the song in her own way, through facial expression, movement, actions, and/or sounds. She’ll reap a multitude of future learning benefits too.

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