Though my daughter is now a teen, I am still at times a member of the #zombiemom club. The reasons for the lack of sleep are now a little different but it helps me relate to the postings of the new #zoombiemoms. Their posts help me recall my experiences as a new mom. A recent Huffington post article by Melissa Sher titled “23 Things I Think New Parents Should Know” was great fun to read. (If you haven’t already done so, take a moment to check it out.)
I think I experienced a lot of these when my daughter was an infant especially: #2 (wakened by quit sounds), #11/12 (poop), #15 (we had a pup & a baby, so lots of friendly faces), and #20 (naps were way to brief).
We as new parents used lots of (#23) music with our crying infant. Much of this came from our backgrounds as a band director/composer (my husband) and a music therapist (me). It also happened with a little knowledge on our side.
Rocking and lullabies are universal. Because of their pace and the contour of the melodies, lullabies and the rocking that seems to accompany them, entrain the child and the singer/rocker to slow down.
Crying uses many elements of music. Pitch, volume, tone differ according to the type of cry. Once you get to know your child begin to learn to listen for difference that tell you : I’m hungry; I’m wet; I hurt; I’m frustrated; I’m tired. These cry tell us how to respond.
There are times we don’t know why they are crying. We just fed and changed them. We can’t find a cause for discomfort. It is those times you wish the infant could talk and tell you what’s up. With a little luck, they’ll be doing that in a few years. In the mean time, we listen test a hunch and try what worked in the past.
Drumming was a biggy in our house. Not only had our daughter heard my heart beat. She had grown hearing my playing drums with those in senior living communities. She had heard the drum line of the marching band at the football games. My husband loved to sing percussion cadences while patting her back during the fussy moments as we prepared her for bed at night.
Starting at her level of agitation and leading to lullabies seemed to work best for her. She needed us to help her transition her pace. (Wish it was easier to do with a teen.)
Relaxation is something we all need. Our daughter seemed to have lots of gas as an infant. I learned a few simple infant massage techniques. Both the touch and helping work the gas in her tummy while singing and interacting with her seemed to bring a relaxation response (at least some days…)
Remember though muffled, your child heard the music you listen to while in utero. This music may still be familiar to them. So enjoy your music. Move to your music to help decrease your stress. Chances are your child may become aware of your decreased stress and begin to settle down. And as Melissa Sher stated “Even if the crying doesn’t stop, at least you’ll enjoy yourself.”
So, zoombiemom turn on some of your music. Sing, dance, relax for yourself. Chances are your child will respond to your state. If you relax, they are more likely to do the same. If you need music to pick up your energy after waking for several feedings during the night, chances are you’ll respond better to her child if you have something playing that brightens your mood. And, you’ll be sharing your musical preferences with your child.
What music do you play and how do you use it when you feel like a #zoombiemom?