This blog post is a bit more casual and personal than some of our other posts – because I felt I HAD to share this treasure quickly with others, without getting too scientific.
The other day, I was reading my regular daily subscription a few days ago of Scientific and Psychology articles – and came across this gem: A Song That ACTUALLY Makes Babies…HAPPY!
The song was created by an award-winning composer (Imogen Heap) and two scientists – Caspar Caspar Addyman, a developmental psychology professor specializing in baby laughter from the University of London, and music psychologist Lauren Stewart. The task at hand, was to create a song that was scientifically proven to make infants happy.
The initial step was to put together all the known music and sounds that make babies happy. The song needed to be in a major key, with a repetitive and simple melody, key changes, and rising pitches to create surprise and anticipation. Babies also prefer beats that are faster than adults – where 163 beats per minute the optimal number. The last element, is an energetic female voice, which in ideal circumstances is recorded with an actual baby present. Next, the scientists polled 2500 parents to come up with a list of noises and words that make children happy. Top words included “Boo!” sneezing, animal sounds, sneezing, and laughter from other babies. For more information on how the song was created and the science behind it, check out this video.
So, I bet you are wondering, “Does it Actually Work?” Well – it depends on what you define “a happy baby.” I used the criteria for my trials with our son that a happy baby = an absence of crying. I used the song several times from gentle cries to full blown wailing in the car. And it WORKED 95% of the time. I couldn’t believe it. And the second best part is…. the song is actually catchy and makes us parents happy too! The only downside is, that often when the song is over, or you stop playing it on repeat, the crying will start again.
If you are wondering where you can get the song – you can find it on iTunes, Apple Music, or follow this link to SoundCloud.
So for those of you who don’t have children in your life to test it on, or want to see it in action first, I have attached a video of it from our house. I hope you have fun with this fun song, and maybe the composers will make an adult version soon.
And if you hear this song on repeat as you pull up to a car…chances are it is me!