Ways of Providing Music to Your Baby in the NICU
Humming – Holding your baby skin to skin and chest to chest (kangaroo care), hum quietly to your baby. You can hum or ahh, the melody of a song or just vocalizations.
Singing – Sing a lullaby to your baby. A lullaby can be any song that is sung slowly, quietly, and with a steady, unchanging tempo.
Sing their name – Sing quietly your baby’s name while holding them chest to chest.
Record your voice – Make a recording of your voice to play to your baby when you cannot be there with him. Read a story or poem, talk or sing.
Babies in the NICU are going through a crucial time in their lives and its important to be educated about how to handle your child safely.
Guidelines for music in the NICU:
- Music must be played or sung at or below 65 db scale C – 55db scale A; and at 60bpm
- Music should have a constant volume, stable rhythm, and sung in higher vocal ranges
- Music should be sung a cappella or with only one instrument
- Premature infants respond best to lullabies – slow, repetitive, soft, predictable, non-alarming
- Should be provided individually to infant and not to whole NICU; and culturally sensitive
- Should be female or child’s voice, especially that of the mother to promote bonding
- Should be limited to 1 1/2 hours total in a day; 20-25 min segments
Appropriate touch and interaction with your Premie
- Touch should be gentle but firm enough to not tickle.
- Build up tolerance to touch. Follow the appropriate order of touch (multimodal stimulation sequence)
- Sing to your baby quietly and slowly
- Talk gently to your baby saying his/her name
- Avoid abrupt sounds and/or touch which may cause startle
Watch for negative signs of overstimulation
- Sprayed fingers and toes
- Stiff arms
- Arching back
- Dream Angels: Famous Orchestral Lullabies: Adelaide Symphony
- Bedtime Songs For Babies: Blossom
- Bedtime Songs For Babies: Lullaby Baby: John St. John
- Baby’s Best Quiet Time Songs
- The Most Soothing Lullabies in the Universe
- Lullaby: A Collection
- Disney’s Lullaby Album: Fred Mollin
- Rainforest Music: Nature’s Lullabies: Fisher Price
- Lullaby Favorites: Music for Little People
- Transitions: Soothing Music for Crying Infants: Burt and Joe Wolff
- Baby Sleep: Thomas Hampson
- Transitions 2: Music to Help Baby Sleep: Burt and Joe Wolff
- Dream a Little Dream: Burt and Joe Wolff
- Lullaby Suite: Steven Halpern
- Music for Babies: Steven Halpern
- A Perfect Lullaby: Matt Logan, MT-BC
- We Dream Vol 1 and 2: Ryan Judd, MT-BC
- Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
- He’s Got the Whole World
- Hush Little Baby Don’t Say A Word
- Baa, Baa Black Sheep
- All Night, All Day
- Old MacDonald
- You Are My Sunshine
- Kum Ba Yah
- Let Me Call You Sweetheart
- Rock-A-Bye Baby
- Somewhere Over the Rainbow
- What A Wonderful World
- Mary Had A Little Lamb
- All The Pretty Little Horses
- Now The Day Is Over
Lullaby Link: http://www.lullaby-link.com/
My Baby Fingers: http://www.mybabyfingers.com/ (Sign language for infants)
A Perfect Lullaby: http://www.aperfectlullaby.com/cd/
We Dream/Restful Sounds: http://restfulsounds.com (Instrumental guitar lullabies with ocean)
Collins SK, Kuck K. Music therapy in the neonatal intensive care unit. Neonatal Netw. 1991 Mar;9(6):23-6.
Marwick C. Music hath charms for care of preemies. JAMA. 2000 Jan 26;283(4):468-9.
Sagario D. Technology, music therapy give preemies an edge: Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. June 11, 2007. Des Moines
Music Therapy with Premature Infants: Research and Developmental Interventions, Second Edition by Jayne M. Standley, Ph.D., MT-BC; 2010, American Music Therapy Association
In The News:
New musical pacifier helps premature babies get healthy | Science Daily | May 21, 2012
The NBC Nightly News featured the use of Music Therapy in the NICU: http://www.hulu.com/watch/
Sleep Sheep – Plays soothing sounds for better sleep
- Sleep – Mother’s Heartbeat
- Calm – Spring Showers
- Sleep – Ocean Waves
- Relax – Whale Songs
Two sleep-timer options: 23 and 45 minutes
Appropriate for use at home. For use in NICU please consult a Board Certified Music Therapist or talk to your NICU staff about playing Sleep Sheep for 23 minutes at a time 1-2 times a day.