Oh, Baby! Study shows music turns toddlers into “team players.”

Study shows bouncing to the beat may induce cooperative behavior in toddlers

Study shows bouncing to the beat may induce cooperative behavior in babies and toddlers

Alright, parents. We’ve all been there. It’s one of those days and you’ve been anticipating the meltdown all afternoon. Sure enough, be it bath time or bed time… critical mass! Now the rest of your evening is filled with pleading and begging the gods for quiet and, quite possibly, your sanity. Fear not! For music may be your salvation!

I’ve posted several times about how music affects the human brain in many different ways. Now, developmental researchers are claiming that bouncing your baby to the beat of your favorite song may significantly increase the infant’s desire/ability to cooperate.

Anyone who’s seen this episode of Friends knows that music makes babies happy…

… but cooperative? According to an article in the New York Times, researchers worked with 48 toddlers and gently bounced them to the beat of The Beatles‘ “Twist And Shout.” Some were bounced on beat and others off beat. The researchers found that the toddlers who were bounced on beat were more willing to “help out” with things like picking up an “accidentally” dropped object than those who were being bounced off beat. So it isn’t just music that’s important, but rhythm, also.

So dance with your babies, parents (though, “Baby Got Back” may not be the most appropriate choice of songs). Laugh with them, sing with them, and let the rhythm move you both. It makes the child happy and could make your life just a little bit easier. You’re welcome! 🙂

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