Using the Puccini Effect™ to sing to your baby with calming voice sounds can help your baby to listen better to you.
Here are three activities you easily do starting today:
Silly Spinning Siren
For Newborns and Infants
Smile and keep your lips closed and relaxed as you pretend you’re a “silly spinning siren” by gently making your voice go up and down softly with an “em” sound (you should feel a vibration when you touch the bridge of your nose). Go as high and low with your voice as you comfortably can. Repeat several times. There are no rules, so just play!
For Toddlers and Preschoolers
This doesn’t take much effort and can become part of your daily routine or can be used whenever you feel like things are getting out of hand. Make it a game. Start with a soft, low siren sound on the “m” consonant, keeping your mouth closed and making the sound go up and down slowly. Tell them that the game is to see how soft they can hum without opening their mouths. Do it with them. Then make exaggerated funny faces while you’re all humming. Move your lips, cheeks, eyes and jaw, but keep humming softly and slowly with your mouth closed. Get them to play with you. You control the speed, not them. They need to follow you at first so they can also learn that it’s a privilege to lead. When their attention wanes, lie down on your back and get them to join you there while you hum and look up at the ceiling. Then look from the ceiling to them and back and forth several times, still humming. When they begin to lose interest, get up and tiptoe around the house, using hand signals beckoning them to join you. But keep humming the slow siren sound with your mouth closed. Move freely up and down stairways, under tables, in and out of closets or any place at all. Pretty soon you’ll all want to hum a real tune, so pick one that’s gentle and sing it softly with them, perhaps joining hands and moving in a circle. Remember…it’s a mesmerizing game. After this activity becomes familiar to them, let them take turns being the leader.
Long Legged Mommy
Same as above, but with “Mmmmmaaaaaaaawmmy” (elongated mommy) instead of “em.” Stretch the first consonant and vowel sounds as you spin your voice up and down. Repeat several times.
Mama (Maw Maw)
Pick a note and softly sing “Maaaw-maaaw-maaaw.” Keep a steady beat and gently touch your baby’s nose, chin or hand while singing. Repeat several times, taking a breath when necessary. Sing it on other pitches too or use a familiar nursery song and substitute “maw” for all the words, e.g., sing “row, row, row your boat” like “maw, maw, maw, maw, maw.”
SingBabySing® also recommends classical music for calming you and your newborn, toddler or older children.