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By: Renee Grant

Preparing for the arrival of a new baby is a busy, often stressful time. Every parent wants their newborn to be healthy, happy, and well cared for, but figuring out the best way to keep your bundle of joy calm and comfy can be hard. The results of new research may make that task a bit easier.

The study of 160 women, conducted by the University of Milan and published in the journal Women and Birth, found that women who sang lullabies to their babies while they were still in the womb and after the babies were born experienced significantly reduced crying time from their newborns.

The group of women was split, with one group told to sing lullabies in the months immediately before and after the birth of their children, while the other group did not. The babies who were sung to cried 18.5% of the time compared to 28.2% of the time in the group who were not sung to.

For babies who had colic (prolonged periods of crying for no apparent reason), those who had been sung to cried for about a quarter of the time compared to babies who hadn’t.

The researchers also measured bonding between mother and child using a method called the Mother-to-Infant Bonding Scale. Crying incidents, bouts with colic, and hours of infant sleep were also monitored. Bonding among the babies who were sung to with their mothers was higher on the scale, 1.96 against 1.28.

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