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Infant - Week #23

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Music & Movement Time

By Mary Perrin, edHelperBaby

  Baby Milestones
           As your baby approaches month six, you will begin to witness a plethora of new accomplishments and changes.  By the end of the fifth month, your baby might be doing the following:
  • Rolling from back to front and also from front to back
  • Opening his/her mouth in anticipation of food
  • Recognizing familiar voices, sound from toys, faces, songs and other tunes, etc.
  • Concentrating on moving objects and toys with flashing lights
  • Sleeping in a new position
  • Pushing up into a push-up position while holding up neck and looking from side to side
  • Beginning to scoot or army crawl a few inches while on his/her stomach
  • Taking a few short daytime naps and sleeping through the night


  Encouraging Your Baby's Development
           M&M's; round morsels of candy-coated chocolate that are described to melt in your mouth, not in your hand.  Grab a bag if you wish; however, keep those yummy chocolate pieces away from your infant (as they are a choking hazard) and keep reading to unveil the healthy, safe, and educational benefits that Music & Movement (M&M) Time can bring to your baby's development.

       Turn the television off and turn the music on.  You will become more in tune to his needs, feelings, emotions, and likes and dislikes by simply moving and singing together.  Classical music has been linked to improved mathematical and reasoning skills as well as spatial intelligence in children.  Playing classical music and other classic kids' songs will allow his brain to make vital connections as he listens to the rhythm and learns to move to the beat.  Whether you will be actively dancing with your child, entertaining and dancing in front of him, or trying to keep him occupied while you do a few dishes, make music a part of your daily interaction.

       Keep in mind, your infant does not care if you can sing in tune or can dance the funky chicken.  He cares that you are letting your own inhibitions go long enough to provide him with a fun experience that will kick start his development cognitively, physically, and emotionally.  So dance and be silly!  Then grab those candy-coated chocolates, indulge, and pat yourself on the back for a parenting job well done!

       Tips and Tricks
  • Sing and dance to faster tempo songs during the playtime hours of the day and more soothing music during those calming hours before nap or bedtime.
  • Make eye contact and smile during those intimate moments with your baby, as those are the moments when he will feel secure, safe, and the most vulnerable to letting his inhibitions go and submit to the sounds and motions you are providing.
  • Enunciate clearly the words you are singing and sing in the direction of your baby's eyes.  It is vital for language development that he is able to see how you form your mouth as sounds are emitted.
  • Don't twirl, spin, or bounce your baby after a feeding.  Give your baby's food time to digest to help eliminate tummy aches, irritability, and unwanted spit up.
  • Involve other children to follow your actions as you hold your infant in your arms.  Parade around the house in a march, lunge, waddle, sway, small hop, etc.

       Creative Play Ideas

       The following activities are designed to help your baby experience patterns or rhythms of motion which will later be important for skills such as crawling, walking, running, skipping, and even language development.  Always practice safety with your baby while performing these fun and interactive activities.
  1. Dance with your baby.  Place your baby on your hip or straddle him around your waist and begin moving to the music.
  2. Place your baby on his back and roll him from side to side to the beat of the music.
  3. Shake a rattle or other musical instrument in a predictable pattern as you sing and/or play music.
  4. Set your baby on your lap.  Holding on to him, gently bounce to the beat of the music while you sing to him.
  5. Two for one deal!  Place your baby in viewable sight, grab the dusting supplies, and turn on the music.  Your baby will surely love watching you dance around as you dust the room's furniture.  Make eye contact with him as you sing joyfully into your pretend microphone and get the housework done at the same time.
  6. Ask older children to perform plays, magic tricks, or other entertaining pieces in front of the baby.  Often times, older children are able to get the baby giggling more effortlessly than the parent(s).
  7. Place your baby on top of an exercise ball or other bouncy ball.  Holding onto him tightly, bounce him up and down to the music's beat.  For a slight variation, place him on his tummy on top of the ball and roll the ball gently back and forth and side to side.
  8. During a midday bottle feeding, cradle your baby and play some soothing music.  While he is eating, try tapping on his toes or bottom, shaking a rattle with your available hand, or snapping your fingers to the beat of the music.  Remember to smile, nod your head, and make eye contact.  He will love the bonding time you create.
  9. Create music using your body as an instrument.  Clap your hands, click your tongue, stamp your feet, smack your lips, etc.  These body movements will help your baby learn more about how his own body is able to move and make noise.


  From a Parent's Perspective
           I was not blessed with the ability to charm others with my singing talent, nor was I nicknamed graceful as a young child.  It wasn't until I became a mother that I was forced to venture out of my comfort zone and let go of those inhibitions.  When my oldest child was an infant, I had felt guilty that I was not able to recall many nursery rhymes or children's lullabies to recite to him.  Three children and almost seven years later I am proud to announce that I can successfully transform a classic children's song into a new song on a whim.  My children and I dance and sing around the house as we clean, cook, and play games.

       I even make up new words to familiar tunes when I need to put my foot down.  For example, when my son was on the verge of misbehaving, I would sing to the tune of "Little Jack Horner": Little (child's name) will be sent to timeout to think about what he is doing.  This was his cue to stop and assess his actions.  It worked very well, and when it didn't, he knew what the consequence was going to be.  Then all I needed to do was shrug my shoulders and point, and he knew he needed to make his way to sit on the stairs.  In situations like this, nonverbal communication eliminated unnecessary emotional stress, yelling, and unsightly social scenes.  When my two-year-old daughter begins to cry because she wants something she can't have, I use song to redirect her emotions and negativity.  As she cries, I softly begin to smile and sing "Hide that smile, don't look at me.  Hide that smile, don't let me see.  I'll leave her alone, so she can be.  I think she will smile when she's ready."  Typically, I get halfway through and she's broken the stream of tears with enough of a smile that I can redirect her attention.  So use songs in a variety of predictable and unpredictable ways.  Through song, you and your child will learn to understand one another on a whole new level.

       So what does this mean for your infant?  M&M Time with your baby will help you raise a baby who feels comfortable trying new gross motor skills, understands the rhythm of language, and feels a deep connection with you and your expectations.  Showing your baby how to sing and move early on will help pave the way for future interactions both silly and serious!


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