The bond between caregiver and infant is one of the most critical factors in positive whole-child development, and the keyword is secure attachment.
Secure attachment doesn’t mean constant baby-wearing or helicopter parenting—it does mean a consistent series of positive and nurturing interactions between caregivers and infants that form the foundation for healthy social-emotional and cognitive growth.
So, how do you know if you’re making these connections happen? Singing can help.
It can all begin in utero. Prenatal and postnatal singing is one of the easiest ways to jumpstart secure attachment.
Let’s take a look at the facts.
How Prenatal Singing Supports Secure Attachment
Did you know fetuses begin to form a connection with their mother’s voice around the 4th month of pregnancy? Though it’s still subconscious at that stage, that is baby’s first introduction to outside stimuli, and it’s just the beginning.
By the third trimester, they can even pick up on singing patterns and may recognize the tunes after they’re born. So, start picking out those lullabies early to make bedtime routines easier later!
And for mothers, singing while pregnant is a fast-acting way to lower stress. Naturally, baby responds to that lower stress level, both by hearing mom’s voice and feeling her biological response to reduced anxiety.
All of these positive interactions create a safe environment for little ones even before they’re born, and let baby know they have someone to count on.
How Postnatal Singing Supports Secure Attachment
Once the baby is born, the road to secure attachment continues through the power of song.
Postnatal singing—especially lullabies and soothing tunes—maintains babies’ attention and stimulates emotional responses (like smiling) more than speaking. Plus, it keeps them calm for twice as long!
Singing helps grownups self-regulate, too, and we know that it’s critical for our social-emotional health to be in check first before we try to help little ones regulate their emotions.
We love “May There Always Be Sunshine” as a calming song for both grownup and baby. You can listen to it on our free app!
It’s all about reinforcing those short-term connections to shape long-term emotional bonds.
So, when baby is ready for their first day at a childcare center or an overnight with grandma, they’ll know—even if they cry when you leave (and they probably will!)—their special grownup(s) are coming back. When they throw their first major toddler meltdown, they’ll seek solace with you because you’re their safe space. And the same when they experience their first fail in sports or the arts. Their first heartbreak. The list goes on.
They know they can count on you. And it all started with singing.