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The natural connection between music and babies goes largely unnoticed by the majority of new and recent parents. With so many things to know and worry about, things like music get overshadowed.
A good amount of blame lies with both the emergence of technology and the media's desire to cover "new" instead of "need." As a society, we need to refocus the way we help our babies develop, grow and learn. There is no magic pill.
In order to help parents better understand the underlying importance of integrating music into their babies' lives, we have created an essential FAQ that will help achieve this.
What role does music play in early development?
Music has the ability to communicate in a way that goes far beyond our imagination. It can transfer a musical language containing all kinds of emotional and educational messages which can be understood unconciously by all babies worldwide, regardless of race or ethnic background. By presenting your baby the right mix of styles, melody, harmony and rhythm, Raimond Lap believes the brain is stimulated into creating more connections, providing your baby a head start in life in various ways.
Are certain types of music better for my baby to listen to than others?
Yes. It is very important to choose the right music to play for your baby. Choosing the wrong music can have negative effects. Contrary to what most people believe, you should not play classical music for babies, as it was originally intended for grownups. Most recordings are too fast and too intense to be absorbed by a baby in a good way. However, by changing the orchestration and tempo, classical music can be successfully adapted for babies, offering wonderful benefits. As a parent, you need to avoid recordings that give no consideration to how babies will respond to the music. Stick to recordings from companies that truly care about what they are creating.
What are the most important qualities I should look for when choosing music for my baby?
Good baby music is created with the right knowledge of how a baby interprets musical information and how it responds. It must have the right tempo, soft and tender orchestrations, and feature carefully composed melodies with the right use of rhythm.
When should I start playing music for my baby?
A fetus can hear at approximately six months of development. Therefore, we recommend you begin playing music at this time for short periods, on a daily basis. You will notice your baby becomes more relaxed when the music is played. You, too, will benefit from music at this time, as it will help reduce the mental and physical stress you are experiencing due to your pregnancy. Reducing your stress also reduces your baby's stress, which makes for a healthier birth.
Even more fascinating, after the birth, when you play the same music, your baby will recognize it from before birth. This pleasant association 'brings the baby back' to the safe period inside the womb. The music therefore will relax and comfort your baby.
Is there a right and a wrong way to play music for my baby?
The RIGHT way: Try to play the music at home, not too loud, and with no other distractions, if possible. Always try to have at least one parent present during this 'special' time, in order to see your baby's reactions to the music and for you to respond to, and interact with, your baby. This is a precious bonding opportunity. Limit this time to no more than 20-30 minutes each time, and a maximum of one hour per day.
The WRONG way: Avoid fast, loud and intense music, as you will over-stimulate your baby, who may also associate music with feeling uncomfortable or stressed. If you play the radio for your baby, do not play it all day. Keep time limits. Too much exposure will give your baby too much 'information' to process. Constant exposure to music could ultimately make your baby see music as an unimportant sound.
How can I tell if music is helping my baby?
First, look into your baby's eyes to see if a 'connection' has been made with the music. Music should be captivating and put your baby in a good mood. Your baby should also interact with the music and be engaged when the song you are playing is active and stimulating.
Can music help my baby in crisis situations, such as colic, uncontrolled crying or not sleeping?
Absolutely. But...you must first determine why your baby is experiencing discomfort, pain, etc., and come up with a solution to correct it. Our music can certainly help calm your baby down and help achieve a relaxed mental state to help fall asleep. But never use music to just mask the larger problem. We have often seen crying babies become relaxed and actually stop crying when listening to certain Lovely Baby songs. These songs will act as a distraction, and your baby will forget about the pain it may have, and stop crying. Many parents have thanked us for these 'moments of rest'.
Why do you only specialize in music, and not video?
Other than the human voice, music is the original interactive medium. In addition to its developmental benefits, music evokes myriad positive emotions and responses. It is also the best way for you and your child to interact and bond. With music, even if you are tone deaf, you can still sing and hum to your baby, and act as silly as you want. It is all good! Compare music with a book. When you read a book, you experience much more brain activity than when watching a movie. The book triggers your imagination, while the movie leaves you no space to imagine.
We share the opinion of the American Academy of Pediatrics that babies under the age of two should not experience screen time. This is not the venue to argue for, or against, TV/DVDs/videos. Simply stated, babies are hard-wired to watch these things, and they will. You may think they are enjoying it, but they don't really know any better. And there is very little interaction with videos. We hear supposed experts tell parents to talk along with them and reinforce what is on the screen to their babies. We simply don't buy that and we do not believe you will be doing your baby any favors by doing so.
Want to see colors, animals and shapes? Please take your baby outside. Like the song says – ain't nothing like the real thing, baby.
What is Lovely Baby Music and how did it come about?
Lovely Baby is the first and only original music series in the world specifically created for babies, ages prenatal to 48 months. Our music helps with emotional, intellectual and physical development.
Created by Dutch composer and international baby music expert, Raimond Lap, it was borne out of a desire for Raimond to offer quality music, with the right amount of educational elements, to his own children. Because he found no other music that met his rigid standards, he decided to create his own.
Some seventeen years and millions of babies later, Lovely Baby CDs are recognized around the world as the best baby music available.
Other baby CDs are less expensive than yours. How come?
You've heard it a million times before - you get what you pay for. Lovely Baby CDs are the highest-quality music available in the world. Not our words, but those of our loyal customers and many consumer products companies that use our music to help promote their brands. But don't take our word for it, because well - it's our music. Let your ears, or even better - your baby's ears - decide for you.
Just listen. Listen to our music, and listen to the others. You will be able to tell the difference immediately. There's a reason we offer samples of every song from every CD on our web site. Unlike most of the other companies, we WANT you to listen before you buy. We will not accept nor tolerate disappointment from you or your baby.
iTunes is also a great place to listen to samples of other baby CDs. There, you can compare all of them with Lovely Baby Music.
Aren't all baby CDs the same?
No. The majority of music on the market today being marketed as 'baby music' consists mostly of low-budget, public domain recordings slapped together using the names of the big name composers. Largely misunderstood, the so-called 'Mozart Theory' spurred an entire new indusry catering to those parents wishing to give their babies a head start in life. While well-intentioned, many parents never consider what is actually on the CD, basing their purchases solely on the artwork and names like Mozart, Bach and Beethoven. This is such a pitty.
Many retailers are also guilty of this. Very few choose what to sell based on quality or what is best for their customers. Instead, as with most big business, they stick with what offers the best mark-up and the fastest sales patterns. While this is often a necessary evil, at some point, these stores need to step up and help their customers make the best choices.
As a parent, we encourage you to make the most informed choice possible when it comes to music for your baby. That is why we offer previews of all of our music, so you can test it out first. We strongly recommend you sit your baby in your lap while listening to our music samples. You will see, first hand, how great babies respond to our music, even with clips of one minute or less. It's that good!
I notice your music includes lots of baby, toy and nature sounds. What's up with that?
First, the sounds are to get the babies' attention. If you listen carefully, you will notice that they are also well timed within the music, providing different functions. All babies are born without language. The baby sounds are a way of communicating with your baby. Babies are unconsciously invited to join in responding with their own sounds. This will result in a better development of language skills and social behavior. It is very important for your baby to practice responding to these sounds. The most beautiful thing is that this Baby Language is universal. It truly communicates with each baby worldwide.
Have you tested your music on babies, to know what works and what doesn't?
Yes, of course. Raimond used a test group of 50 babies while developing his Lovely Baby CDs. Tests were conducted in each baby's home. Parents tracked their baby's responses and kept a written diary. Raimond then evaluated these responses to determine which songs, styles, rhythms, etc. evoked the most positive responses. These tests proved invaluable, and the success of this music worldwide today is a testament of this work.
Are Lovely Baby CDs used professionally?
Yes. Many in the early childhood development and early literacy communities have embraced our music. We are also extremely proud of the many early infant education programs around the world that have incorporated our music into their curriculums, including those of the U.S. military. A vast number of public libraries have also made Lovely Baby a part of their music collections for young ones.
You call Lovely Baby 'music for the next generation.' How do you think your music can change the world?
To best answer this, we asked Raimond Lap himself, how he views he music he creates:
I honestly believe we can make this world more harmonious, more peaceful if each baby in the world would grow up with my music. The next generation would grow up with the love of music and would experience all the benefits my music provides. Besides that, it will give the whole family a nice and sweet feeling.
This also brings me to a very important matter: My baby music also has a positive influence on the whole family. Parents and other children also become relax and amused. This will lead to a more harmonious family. I believe all these factors will result in a more peaceful and better world, with less violence. It is my goal to help parents become aware of this. As we all know, the family is the cornerstone of society.