A lullaby really can soothe a fractious baby and help reduce their pain, according to Canadian research published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.
‘There is preliminary evidence to suggest that music may have beneficial effects in terms of physiological parameters, behavioural states and pain reduction during painful medical procedures,’ say the researchers.
‘Additional methodologically and rigorous, randomised controlled trials are warranted to confirm and to further elucidate the benefits of music for neonates before any specific recommendation for the use of music can be made in the neonatal population.’
Nine clinical trials found that music appears to lessen pain when premature babies have their heels pricked for blood tests and undergo operations such as circumcision.
Some of the trials published between 1989 and 2006, which also note heart rate, oxygen saturation and pain levels, also indicate that music can help premature babies who struggle with feeding.
The music played included live music, classical, female vocalists, recorded lullabies and recorded nursery rhymes.