Rock my baby to sleep,
Rock my baby to sleep,
Rock my baby to sleep …
Oops! Sorry baby, that’s all I can sing for you, but you please sleep!!!
Is that what you have been singing for your baby in the name of a lullaby? If yes, please do not feel guilty; you aren’t the only one! There are a lot more young and new age moms who are doing just the same these days.
Singing a lullaby – a soothing music to help those tiny toddlers fall asleep is a beautiful practice followed by mothers across the globe since ages. A practice probably as old as the human civilization itself, singing lullabies for babies has always been an integral part of the precious mother-child relationship.
However, unfortunately times are changing and this custom has undergone many changes with time. Motherhood itself is changing drastically with most urban women doing a balancing a fulltime job and the task of childcare. Unlike our mothers who could easily sing those soothing lullabies that would put us to sleep in no time, new age moms are finding the act of putting a child to sleep a tough one. Why? Simply because most of them actually do not know how to sing a lullaby!
While some mothers feel lullabies are too folkish, odd and funny to learn, some others have absolutely no time to learn and recite them for their babies. However, there are a few of them who would like to sing but are unable to learn lullabies for there are no elders at home to teach them; courtesy: loss of joint families!
With most people opting to live in nuclear families, staying away from their veteran parents, the practices of lullaby singing and caring for babies the right way is fading away as well. The aged are in turn leading lonely lives, missing an eventful life unable to spend time with their grand children.
Then how are our new age mothers managing to put their baby to sleep? Thanks to the advancement in technology as well as modern lifestyles, today’s moms have so many things to depend on: Bollywood movie songs, mobile phone ringtones, nursery rhymes and old melodious lullabies’ songs saved on their PCs.
However, those newborns are actually missing out on listening to ‘actual’ lullabies sung by their moms in their own sweet voices. It is sad that so many kids are inculcated in the habit of sleeping with electronic gadgets close by their tiny ears, which can prove hazardous to their tender ear drums.
What’s more, the dependency on these gadgets seems to be increasing over time. A few friends of mine even say “while I do not know to sing a lullaby, I cannot afford to miss out on my sleep by singing some meaningless song endlessly until the baby goes to sleep either. Such sleepless nights will affect my work at office the next day as well. Hence, I put on some melodious ringtone in my mobile and ensure that my little one slowly go to sleep. And now, he even has his favorite ring tones!”
While it is not advisable to put a toddler into this habit of depending on a gadget to fall asleep, it will be lot nicer if they get to sleep listening to some ‘meaningful lullaby’ instead of a movie song from some Hindi, English or a regional language movie. Mothers, who worry about inability to sing a lullaby, can find some solace in a new research about child-mom relationship getting stronger with soulful lullabies. A new research by the University of Western Sydney’s Baby Lab has suggested that babies do not care what their mothers sing or how bad their voices are, as long as they perform it with soul!
So, instead of making your baby get hooked onto the cell phone, mothers can rather listen to age old and meaningful lullabies on their phones and computers themselves, learn, practice and sing them for their babies in their own sweet voices instead. After all, there is nothing that isn’t available on the internet today, right?!
Text & pics: Ambika Nagaraj
– Factfile –