woman playing piano with baby on her lap; baby has hands on keys of piano

You would do anything to help your child develop and thrive. One fun way to encourage development in your baby is with music therapy.

Music therapy has many benefits for adults’ mental health, stress relief, and productivity, but it can support an infant’s cognitive development as well.

Keep reading to learn how music therapy benefits your baby.

baby laughing while holding a small guitar

Supports Brain Development

We mentioned above that music can help your baby’s cognitive development. Now, let’s learn how that works.

Music can stimulate various regions of our brain, including the prefrontal cortex, limbic system, and auditory cortex.

These regions are responsible for our attention, memory, emotional processing, and language skills.

Exposure to music during infancy and childhood can promote the growth of neural connections in these areas of the brain, which can enhance cognitive abilities. This is why sensory stimulation for infants is so important.

Improve Language Skills

Music can improve language skills because it’s a form of communication. Babies have a natural inclination toward music, as it’s one of the earliest and most universal forms of expression.

In fact, babies as young as six months can distinguish between different musical tones and rhythms.

This sensitivity to musical sounds can also translate into a sensitivity to language sounds, which can improve your baby’s language acquisition.

Enhance Emotional Regulation

Additionally, music can have a profound effect on our emotional state. It can evoke a range of emotions, from joy to sadness, and can provide a medium for us to express and process our emotions.

This capacity for music to affect our emotions can also benefit babies, who are starting to develop their emotional regulation skills.

For example, playing calming music during a baby’s bedtime routine can signal to the baby that it’s time to relax and sleep.

Promote Social Interaction

In a music therapy session, babies can participate in musical activities with their caregivers and music therapists, which can promote bonding and attachment.

Music therapy can also facilitate the development of social skills, such as turn-taking, imitation, and joint attention.

For example, playing peek-a-boo with a musical instrument can encourage your baby to participate in the game and respond to your cues.

These interactions can help your baby develop their social-emotional skills and build positive relationships.

Music therapy benefits babies’ cognitive development in various ways, from developing their understanding of language to helping them learn social skills.

You can sign up for music therapy sessions with a professional or start introducing your baby to music at home to reap these benefits.