Benefits of Music Therapy in the NICU

In the NICU, it’s a premature infant’s job to rest and grow. However, some sensory stimulation is important for the baby’s development. Neonatal intensive care music therapy is the use of music to enhance developmental care and promote growth of preterm infants. Research has shown, there are many benefits for your baby: – Promote relaxation... Read more »
Jessie Habluetzel is a Neonatal Intensive Care Music Therapist at Nebraska Medicine.

Jessie Habluetzel is a Neonatal Intensive Care Music Therapist at Nebraska Medicine.

In the NICU, it’s a premature infant’s job to rest and grow. However, some sensory stimulation is important for the baby’s development. Neonatal intensive care music therapy is the use of music to enhance developmental care and promote growth of preterm infants.

Research has shown, there are many benefits for your baby:

– Promote relaxation and sleep

– Promote increased oxygen saturation

– Help minimize environmental stress (ex: mask harsh sounds)

– Increase tolerance for stimuli

– Help the infant learn to self soothe

– Provide appropriate developmental stimuli (ex: increased opportunity for language input)

– Promote caregiver/infant bonding

Jessie will often record songs for the infants and give the parents a CD they can play in the NICU.

Jessie will often record songs for the infants and give the parents a CD they can play in the NICU.

What exactly happens during music therapy? It depends on your child’s gestational age, medical stability and response to music. Sessions will typically last 20-30 minutes and may include:

– Sustained music using humming, singing and/or guitar

– Live singing combined with soothing touch and rocking

– Parent training in using music with their infant (Parents are always encouraged to be a part of the sessions. Your child will respond best and receive the most benefit with YOU present!) 

Owen

It’s important to select music that’s appropriate for premature infant development.

What kind of music will be used?

– Lullaby style: quiet, slow, constant, stable (ex: Twinkle Little Star, Itsy Bitsy Spider)

– No more than voice and one instrument, such as guitar or piano

For more information on scheduling a music therapy session, talk with your child’s Nebraska Medicine nursing staff or give me a call at (402) 559-6676.

Research has shown music therapy to promote relaxation, sleep and increased oxygen saturation.

Research has shown music therapy to promote relaxation, sleep and increased oxygen saturation.

 

Jessie Habluetzel, MT-BC

Neonatal Intensive Care Music Therapist

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