By Philippa Murphy
Scientists have long known the positive effects of vibrational sound on the human body. They know that sound travels efficiently through water and since an adults body holds 50-75% water, and newborns typically has around 75-78% water,1 humans are a fantastic conductor for sound and vibration. Research also shows us that the effects of sound can evoke a multitude of emotions, lessening the release of our stress chemicals in the brain, namely cortisol and adrenaline, which in turn can impact the development of neural pathways.
The sound of speech alone has an important effect on a newborns developing brain. According to The Child Welfare Information Gateway the more speech newborns are exposed to, the stronger the pathways become. So chatting to your baby about the awful night sleep they have just given you, or how you wish they would just go to sleep, could have a highly beneficial response on their brain development, providing that you always use a soothing tone when doing so, helping your own stress levels in the process.
The sound of humming has the same effect on our bodies. After teaching the ‘Hum Baby’ method of enabling calm to many newborns throughout my years, I was fortunate enough to know the highly beneficial effects that this would provide for my son and I. So whilst pregnant, and to this day (he’s now two years old) all I have to do is the ‘Hum Baby’ and he almost instantly responds with a more peaceful disposition and we feel our oneness again – it’s so precious. I have always found it to be an easy and positively relaxing way of melding into each other, and I’m loving that I can now share this with you so you can feel this oneness with your baby.
The Hum Baby technique can either be performed when you are away from your baby, or while you are holding them, bringing your mouth close to their ear. In either position, begin by humming at a higher pitch (not louder) than your baby’s cry, working your way down through the octaves, repeating if necessary. Once the crying has stopped or calmed down a little, keep your hum at the lowest tone you can. Newborns LOVE low tones. If you are offering the Hum Baby during pregnancy then a consistent low hum in one tone can be a good place to start.
The therapeutic advantages of using the Hum Baby range from:
- increasing the metabolism
- balancing hormones
- regulates blood circulation which lowers blood pressure
- reduces adrenaline and cortisol levels which helps stimulate the parasympathetic system in the body promoting relaxation, contentment, healing and regeneration within digestion and eliminating toxins
- it produces nitric oxide in the sinus cavities which helps dilate capillaries and increased blood flow reducing the incidence of respiratory infections. 2
So enjoy your humming everyone! May your tone bring peace.
Philippa Murphy is the founder of the worldwide parenting practice BabyCues, Nurture with Nature. As an international postnatal educator she specialises in the prevention and remedy of Digestive Overload for newborns, and with her passion for prevention, Philippa is also the founder of the non-profit organisation, ‘The Pudding Club’ – teaching parent’s postnatal education in the antenatal stages.
Along with being a regular speaker, Philippa is the bestselling author of ‘BabyCues, Nurture with Nature, Prevent and Remedy Colic, Reflux, Lactose and Dairy Overload, Nature’s Logical Answers’ and ‘BabyCues, Nurture with Nature, Living with Colic and Reflux, Parent Experiences.’ Philippa is a mother to Elijah, 2 years old, and step mum to nine year old Lachie.