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Why parents might want to practice their singing skills to keep kids calm
Researchers at the University of Montreal found that singing or turning music on keeps infants calm twice as long as speaking. - photo by Payton Davis
Parents-to-be might want to put their pipes into practice because babies stay calm twice as long when sung to as when spoken to, according to a new study.

Researchers at the University of Montreal observed 30 babies between 6-9 months old to see whether "baby talk" or music kept them in a peaceful state for longer, Kate Bratskeir wrote for The Huffington Post.

The researchers used Turkish recordings to "remove the bias of familiarity," according to The Huffington Post. The babies' parents sat out of view, and the recordings of song and speech played until the infants showed a "cry face."

Crooning kept babies calm for nine minutes compared with four for speech, Sophie Freeman wrote for Daily Mail.

What's the takeaway?

Music moves babies, according to Daily Mail.

"The study shows babies get 'carried away' by music, suggesting they have the mental capacity to be enthralled by it like adults," Daily Mail's report read.

Senior study author Isabelle Peretz said the university's research isn't the first study about how infants react to music, but this one features findings parents can apply, Ed Cara wrote for Medical Daily.

Peretz and her team's research "may point to a teachable child-rearing strategy for new moms that may be having difficulties," according to Medical Daily.

Ultimately, Peretz said the data could combat rates of neglect or abuse.

Although infant distress signals typically prompt parental comforting interventions, they induce frustration and anger in some at-risk parents, leading to insensitive responding and, in the worst cases, to infant neglect or abuse," Medical Daily quoted Peretz as saying. "At-risk parents within the purview of social service agencies could be encouraged to play vocal music to infants and, better still, to sing to them."

The study also confirms lullabies have a purpose, according to NDTV. Those traditional tunes can keep infant children peaceful long term.

"Our findings leave little doubt about the efficacy of singing nursery rhymes for maintaining infants' composure for extended periods," Peretz said, according to NDTV.

Parents have a slew of choices when deciding what to sing to their youngsters, a piece indicated: "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star," "Hush Little Baby" and numerous songs by The Beatles all made the site's list.

The Fab Four, notably, keep infants cool and captivated.

"Considered one of the best bands of all time, this 1960s group's musical legacy extends into the nursery, where parents said they sing tunes like 'All My Loving' and 'Golden Slumbers,'" according to's list.
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