You know that feeling you get when your iTunes shuffle pulls up exactly the right song (Rihanna's "SOS") at exactly the right time (mid-jog and coming off of a caffeine high)? It's a cross between delirious excitement and overwhelming gratitude to the big brother geniuses at Apple for knowing you so well.
It turns out your baby is just as jazzed when he hears a song he loves, a fact recorded on countless YouTube videos: Here's the fussy girl who only stops screaming for Beyonce's "Love on Top." Or the pint-sized Katy Perry fan who bursts into the biggest smile when "Dark Horse" comes on. Or the sweet baby who cries the second Notorious B.I.G.'s "Hypnotize" is turned off. (I've seen the power of music in my home, too. My son's fave calm-down song was Earth Wind & Fire's "September." Worked like a charm every single time.)
Sure, your baby could be a musical prodigy or just have insanely advanced taste in music, but it's more likely that he's responding to songs he heard in utero, as Lisa Huisman Koops, associate professor of music education at Case Western Reserve University, explains to MTV.com. And there's some science to back her up. "Studies have shown that infants recognize and prefer music they heard while in the womb as compared to unfamiliar music," she says. Another reason your tot goes bananas over Bey (or 2 Chainz or Rod Stewart)? The beat of the music may mirror baby's "natural jumping rhythm," while a heavy bass could remind her of hearing your heartbeat in utero, Koops explains.
But don't worry if your baby isn't comforted by something from the Top 40. A child's tastes, ability to be soothed, and regular schedule can all dictate which songs -- if any -- will turn her frown upside down. Still, Koops points out it's important to expose your kiddos to as many types of music as possible while they're young. "The more we can open kids' ears early on, the more they will be able to enjoy and understand as they grow," she writes. And since Koops says she has yet to find one type of music that soothes babies better than another, feel free to sub in Sir Mix-A-Lot's "Baby Got Back" when you're done with singing "Rock-a-bye Baby."
Tell us: What go-to song calms down your baby?
Playing With Baby: Let the Music Play
Image of Beyonce courtesy of Shutterstock