What is soundtracking? You know how in movies there’s a song that goes along with what’s going on? It may be in the background and instrumental but it subconsciously tells your brain something about what’s going on. Or it may be a full-on musical and they’re signing about what is going on.
You can do this with your own life to teach your baby to respond to the music you play or sing!
Get them used to a daily routine
Start singing certain songs during your baby’s daily routine as soon as you can to get them used to everyday chores like diaper changes and bath time. There’s a reason why Barney’s clean up song is so popular. It works. It’s like a Pavlovian response for kids!
Sing a different song for each part of your routine. They don’t even have to make sense with what you’re doing. It does help you remember which song is which if it does make sense, though. So Rubber Ducky for bathtime would make sense, but when Toot gets her diaper changed we sing Old McDonald.
The important thing is to choose a song to signify each individual activity. They’ll get used to their soundtrack and routine and stick with it. It will carry on into toddlerhood which is when it’s most important.
Give them an idea of what is coming up next
Babies and toddlers have little they can control so they’re always just going along with what we make them do. It’s nice to give your little one a sense of what is about to happen so they can mentally prepare.
It’s the same as giving an older child five more minutes before bedtime. But babies don’t understand the concept of time so you need to start talking about going night-night or start singing your bedtime song a few minutes before you actually want them to go to bed.
We use the Goodnight Daniel Tiger song but substitute her name in for Daniel’s. She has a Goodnight Daniel toy that sings the song for us if we don’t feel like singing.
There’ll be less fighting when they’re older
If you start soundtracking as a baby, they’re less likely to put up a fight over a diaper change or going to bed as a toddler. My child will sometimes tell me she wants to go night-night at 6:30 or 7:00. She also sings EIEIO when she needs a diaper change because she doesn’t have the vocabulary yet to say “diaper change,” but she knows we sing Old McDonald when the poop goes away.
Once we get to potty training, I’m sure this will come in handy.
It makes the daily routine fun and enjoyable
Chores suck because they’re chores. But I know if I add music and dance, suddenly my house is clean! We as adults add music to mundane things all the time to make them more enjoyable. Driving is the most boring thing ever, and someone was a genius when they added radios to cars.
Babies and toddlers are no different. They crave fun probably more than we do. Adding a song to your diaper change makes the poop more bearable, and your baby will associate good things and fun with daily tasks rather than just cry and expect the worst.
Activities to soundtrack
- Getting dressed
- Diaper changes
- Meal times
- Bedtime / Nap time
- Getting into the car / going bye-bye
- Cleaning up toys
- Bath time
- Doctor’s visits
- Potty training
Songs to use and avoid
Use songs you know all the words to or something you made up that you can easily remember. You’re probably going to be half asleep, out of energy, or completely distracted by what you’re doing so you want something that you could sing in your sleep.
Avoid using any songs you know you’ll get sick of quickly. You’ll be singing them a lot.
When potty training and using a song to get them to pee, avoid using something they may hear when you don’t want them to pee. Don’t use that Justin Timberlake song that plays every 10 minutes otherwise, you’re going to have quite a mess to clean up.
Do you soundtrack your baby’s life?
Let me know in the comments below! I’d love to know what songs you use!
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