Have you ever played your favorite jam then noticed your baby waving his hands while kicking his legs with movements that seem to be in sync? Could your baby be dancing? When do babies start dancing? Here is all you need to know.
Well, babies will start kicking and waving to music from as young as 0-6 months. Infants respond to the tempo and rhythm of music and find it more interactive that speech. This explains why when you pick up a crying baby and start singing to them, they will stop wailing.
According to ScienceDaily, babies may have an innate inclination to move in response to music rhythmically. The more a baby can synchronize their movements, the more they will likely feel good about it and smile. Thus, once your little one can walk, they are finally able to control their body and do some real dancing.
When Do Babies Start Dancing On Their Own?
One of the most curious effects of music is that it compels us to move in synchrony with its beat. This behavior includes tapping the fingers, nodding the head or swaying the body. The same case comes naturally to babies.
However, for your little one to be able to sway his waist or tap the feet, he will need to be able to take control of their body. This usually occurs from the age of 14 months. It may be earlier or later, depending on your baby’s milestones.
From 17 to 18 months, your wee one will start to try out some complicated dance moves such as bending all the way down, turning in circles or shaking the waist. As he grows, so will his dance moves improve.
At this age, you should encourage your child by playing different music genres at home and repeating those he seems to like most. Introduce baby-friendly music instruments like a tambourine, maraca, or an egg shaker which will assist him tango to the beat.
There are lots of kid’s music CDs and DVDs. If you want your child to enjoy dancing thoroughly, go for silly children songs. You can also expose your child to music you enjoyed when you were young and see if they too will love it. It’s not wrong to let your child listen to rap, pop, metal or rock music.
However, be careful of the explicit content that you expose them to. If you feel the words in a particular song a too vulgar, that’s your call to press the remote and change it.
You do not want to hear your baby say-out -loud such obscene words. Whatever music you are playing, your child will let you know whether they are enjoying it or not.
How Can A Parent Explore Dance With Their Baby?
If you are a parent that enjoys dancing and music as I do, then it won’t feel so much work to dance with your wee one. I have danced for as long as I can remember, so I can pull some moves. My babies too started dancing when they were in my womb. You know those vigorous kicks! LOL
When it comes to dancing in my family, it’s as easy as putting on some music and getting down to business. We are all dancers! However, this is not always the case for some parents.
For parents with two left feet, dancing may feel uncomfortable, and one may find it hard to enjoy such an activity with their little one.
If that’s you, all hope is not lost. Since your baby will probably enjoy those silly nursery rhymes, simply accompany them with silly moves. DO NOT FOCUS ON PERFECTION; instead, have fun with your baby.
The good thing is that even if you dance totally out of rhythm, your baby will not even realize it. So enjoy while at it. They are only young for a short while.
How Does Dancing Benefit Babies?
There is good reason to encourage your baby to dance. Here are some benefits that your baby will enjoy.
Self-expression and creativity
Dancing encourages babies to express themselves more creatively, an essential skill that will help your little one all through life.
Many dance lessons expose your baby to a strong element of imagination. Kids are usually asked to picture themselves in different places like on the moon, in space or jungle and then make movements that resemble the places while responding to music.
Physical fitness and development
Baby dancing aids in setting the stage for an active childhood. It is never too early to introduce your toddler to physical activities.
When your child learns to associate different types of movement with fun, you are helping them create a great connection between being fit, healthy and feeling good about themselves.
You are helping them learn their bodies and appreciating themselves and how much they are capable of doing at such a young age.
Improves their coordination
Music is not just about the beats. It engages the brain and helps in developing memory. Dance movements that accompany improve a child’s coordination.
Something as simple as a child tapping on their feet helps to improve their coordination skills. Any other accompanying actions that involve different parts of a toddler’s body will improve their coordination skills.
Socialization and appreciating others
Music is naturally a social activity. Noticed how dancing as a group is more fun than dancing solo? The same can be said for toddlers.
They enjoy dancing with their peers which is great for their social awareness. As toddlers become more comfortable dancing with others, so does their ability to socialize improve. They are also able to make new friends.
Should You Enroll Your Baby In Dancing Lessons?
If your child loves to dance, beginning dance lessons is a good outlet for them to burn out some music energy. However, most dance academies will only take kids from 2-3 years old.
The good thing is that dance lessons are usually divided into different age groups, and they are not strict. As your child grows, they are exposed to different dance styles. It’s essential to talk to your child and ask them about the type of dance they are most interested in.
Show them different videos of dance styles and the music that accompanies them to help them choose. If they still are not sure of what they want to dance to, talk to their dance instructor for help.
How To Help Your Baby Become A Better Dancer
Create a dance space for them at home
Creating a dance space at home doesn’t mean you have to assign an entire room to your child for dancing, although if you have space, why not?
Home space is just a specific area in your house where your child can be dancing. This helps to prevent any injuries because you know babies! They like being all over the place.
Listen and empathize with their situation.
Dancing can be exhausting, especially if you have enrolled your child in dance classes. Sometimes, all they want is a listening ear as they air their grievances.
They may want you to listen them talk about how they were taught a difficult dance move, how someone laughed at their clumsy dance style or how simply tired they feel. Listen to your child and when asked for advice, give it. The critical thing is to LISTEN to them.
Always be their number one cheerleader
Your baby needs to know you will always be there for them no matter the circumstances. Be that person who gives your child nothing but compliments when they dance.
They will likely improve and perform better the next time to please you more. Everyone responds positively to good feedback.
Let your child choose their music.
Remember it’s not you dancing. So, give your child priority when it comes to choosing the music they will dance to. If they are too young, pick songs that are cheerful and fun. You can never go wrong with nursery rhymes for infants. Children always seem to enjoy them.
Help to ensure dancing remains a fun activity for them.
Sometimes, especially if your baby is doing dance training, dancing may feel like a chore. They may struggle to overcome a dance plateau or feel disappointed about losing in a dance competition. You need to remind them of the reason they are doing this is to have fun simply.
Still wondering when do babies start dancing? Why not play some music when your infant is on their crib awake and notice how they will begin wiggling their tinny hands and feet while smiling? When a baby actively experiences music, they respond positively.
The best thing about babies dancing is that you can tell whether they are enjoying the music or not. Also, you do not have to invest in an expensive sound system to enjoy dancing with your little one. All you need is you and the baby. Make your own music. Your baby won’t notice your off-key tone and dance like nobody’s watching.