From The Guardian, October 2018, an article by Amelia Hill, entitled,

Singing to children may help development of language skills

. . . singing to and, later, with a child is the most effective way to transform their ability to communicate.

“Children’s response to live music is different from recorded music,” she said. “Babies are particularly responsive when the music comes directly from the parent. Singing along with a parent is for the development of reciprocal communication.”

When Andrew, our oldest son, was a tiny baby, I nursed him to sleep.  But a time came, when he was a few months old, that he did not always fall asleep after nursing.

The wisdom of that era (1979) was that parents should put their children to bed and let them cry themselves to sleep.  That way, we were told, they would learn to “self-soothe.”

We tried that with Andrew without success.  I’d lay him in his crib, pat him, tell him good-night and then walk away.  And he would cry.  The longer we let him cry, the louder and more distraught he sounded.  Forty-five minutes.  Then an hour.  With no “soothing” going on for our baby or his parents.

Our Fourth child as a newborn

The third night, I lay in bed, almost in tears, listening to Andrew cry.  He seemed to be saying, “Is anyone there?  Anyone?  Am I alone in the universe?”

So I prayed.  “Lord, Is this the right approach?  It feels so wrong. What should I do?”

And God whispered, “Sing.”

So I got out of bed, picked up my precious baby, rocked him and began to sing. “Great is thy faithfulness, O God my father.  There is no shadow of turning with thee.  Thou changeth not, thy compassions they fail not. As thou has been, thou forever will be.”  

Then A Mighty Fortress is Our God.  Then And Can it Be?

Ten to fifteen minutes of singing and Andrew was back to sleep. And Gregg and I could get back to sleep.

Let’s see: Forty-five minutes to an hour of listening to a baby scream?  OR, 10 minutes of rocking him and singing? That choice seemed clear.

And that one small decision — at least it seemed small at the time — started me as a mother down a path of gaining confidence in myself and my instincts as a mom. See next post. . .