The Mozart effect: Music benefits premature babies

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Like many other parents, when my son was born my husband and I bought the Baby Einstein-Mozart CD. We weren't sure it really did anything beneficial for our baby, but assumed it couldn't hurt to try!

Can classical music really help babies?

Recent research suggests that it can - especially if your baby was premature!

Playing Mozart to premature babies has been shown to reduce infants' stress and decrease resting heart rate. In addition, Mozart has been shown to increase oxygen saturation, nonnutritive sucking, and weight gain in premature infants.  Findings from a recent study published in the journal Pediatrics suggests that some of the weight gain benefits experienced by these babies may be due to a decrease in resting energy expenditure (the amount of calories burned during non-active periods) during Mozart exposure. Note that some of the best baby monitors and infant sound machines on the market can play classical lullabies to your baby to help them fall asleep.

1Arnon, S., Shapsa, A., Forman, L., et al. (2006). Live music is beneficial to preterm infants in neonatal intensive care environment. Birth, 33, 131-136.

4Lubetzky, R., Mimouni, F. B., Dollberg, S., et al. (2010). Effect of music by Mozart on energy expenditure in growing preterm infants. Pediatrics, 125, e24-e28.

2Standley, J. M.(1998). The effect of music and multimodal stimulation on responses of premature infants in neonatal intensive care. Pediatric Nursing, 24, 532-538.

3Standley, J. M. (2002). A meta-analysis of the efficacy of music therapy for premature infants. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 17, 107-113.

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