SONGS FOR BABY: OLD MCDONALD HAD A FARM

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A BABY SONG FOR RIDING IN THE CAR

Parents often ask me what to do when their baby cries in the car.  It is quite unbearable to hear baby wailing in the backseat while one is sitting in the front behind the wheel.  Baby is also facing the back of the car so she can not see her mother or father.  I encourage parents to sing while driving in the car in order to maintain the connection with baby (always keeping your eyes on the road, of course).  Old McDonald Had a Farm is a favorite for driving in the car because you can keep naming different animals to make the song longer: cow, pig, sheep, chicken, horse, dog, cat, etc.  Babies also enjoy hearing the sounds the animals make such as “Oink, Oink,” or “Bow-Wow.”  For a reminder of the tune, listen to the children sing “Old McDonald Had a Farm” in the above video from lothdur’s youtube channel.  With frequent repetition of the song baby will become familiar with it and may try and sing along in her babytalk.

A BABY SONG FOR SPEECH DEVELOPMENT

Babies learn to talk by watching you talk and sing.  Singing is very important because it groups words together in the same way each time she hears them.  This makes them familiar and easier for her to learn to repeat.  Before repeating words, baby must learn to repeat sounds.  Old McDonald Had A Farm is an excellent to teach baby the “O” sound.  When you sing the song, exaggerate the “O” sound by making a large “O” shape with you mouth and by increasing the volume of the sound.  You can emphasize the “O” sound in “Old McDonald” and in “E-I-E-I-O.” This helps baby to see how you make the “O” sound as well as hear it as a distinct sound on its own.  One day she will surprise you and sing along with “Blah, blah blah blah O, blah blah O, blah blah O.”  This is the beginning of speech development.

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