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There's no reason to stick with only kiddie standards. In fact, your baby might be better at recognizing complex rhythms than you are. For example, the music of certain cultures such as India, Turkey, and Bulgaria contains irregular patterns not heard in Western music. Researchers from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, discovered that adults have a tough time detecting skipped beats in such complex tunes but that infants from 6 months to 1 year old could easily pick them out.

The fact that babies can track complex rhythms during this six-month window shows that they learn to narrow their focus as they mature, according to study author Erin Hannon, Ph.D., a child psychologist. "This is consistent with other findings in studies of language and face recognition," she says. "We're born with so much potential, but it's not actually useful to pay attention to every single sound we hear. If we did, we'd be completely overwhelmed."

Help your baby benefit

Take advantage of your baby's superior listening skills and get him grooving early on to genres you love, whether they're classics from your family's ethnic background or top playlists from your iTunes library.

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