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Singing with your baby

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Singing

Duration/age

Duration: 
Suitable for children: 
Location: 
Skills this activity improves: 
Mother singing with her baby in her lap

It is never too early to begin singing to your baby. You can even start before they are born.

Sing songs that you know. Your baby won’t mind if you are not a great singer. You can sing about what you are doing or looking at. At bath time you could sing:

Five little ducks
Went out one day
Over the hill and far away

You could make up songs or add your baby’s name to the song.

Little Maggie had a farm
Ee i ee i oh! Ee-i-ee-i-o!

You can also sing lullabies to help your baby sleep or settle.

Rock-a-bye baby
In the tree top.

Last of all, when looking at the night sky you could sing:

Twinkle, twinkle little star
How I wonder what you are...

Materials you will need

  • Your baby
  • Your voice

Alternative tools

  • Songbooks or song sheets
  • CDs to sing along with

Why does this matter?

Singing helps your baby’s language development. As they hear you singing they will be learning the sounds and words which make up their language. The more often they hear them the easier it will be for them to learn to talk. Songs help babies to recognise rhymes and rhythms. Babies recognise the songs they heard frequently while they were in the womb.

What does this lead to?

Having lots of experience with hearing words and sounds will help your baby’s  language development. This in turn helps communication.

Recognising rhythms helps babies to understand about patterns, which is an important maths skill. Recognising songs helps babies learn to think in words.

Language to use

Questions to use

  • Baa, baa, black sheep
    Have you any wool?

Useful tips

  1. You might enjoy the Raising Children Network’s Baby Karaoke. You can learn new songs and hear some old favourites.
  2. You might also like to take a look at the Little Big Book Club’s nursery rhymes.
  3. Babies’ ears are delicate. For safety information about hearing, see Child and Youth Health’s Noise and hearing and Ears - keeping your ears safe from noise.
  4. Remember to sing to your child in your home language.

More ideas

Use finger and hand movements as you sing. As your baby gets a little older they will start to copy these.

Variation by age

Birth to two year olds

  • If you have older children they might like to sing with your baby too.