A study in the journal Pediatrics shows the idea of the calming power of music for newborns has merit. Musical intervention -- including instruments that imitate womb sounds or parents singing simple, meaningful melodies -- can impart benefits for premature infants.
Researchers at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City found that a two-week program of music therapy for babies in the NICU helped with lowered heart rates, improved sleep and sucking behavior, and, for the personalized lullabies, better feeding.
The researchers concluded that "the informed, intentional therapeutic use of live sound and parent-preferred lullabies applied by a certiﬁed music therapist can inﬂuence cardiac and respiratory function."
Premature births have increased since 1990, to nearly 500,000 a year, one of every nine children born in the United States.
Read the study at Pediatrics.