The scariest character from Star Wars will help your baby to sleep. Science says so.
“Hello Baby. I… Am… Your… Faaaaaarrrrrrrr-therrrrr.”
This has been the most commonly uttered phrase in our house since around the six month mark of my pregnancy. From the moment the pregnancy books told my husband and I that our unborn child could hear what was happening outside the womb, poor baby has been subjected to not-very-accurate and oft repeated Darth Vader impressions.
But what began as a joke has actually evolved into the saviour of my sleep. The low reverberations of my husband’s ‘bad guy’ voice are the only thing that calms our baby down when there’s a kicking and punching fit, which would otherwise send me running to the toilet every few minutes or possibly dislodge one of my ribs.
It sounds completely ridiculous but it’s true: Darth Vader’s voice is an all-natural baby relaxant.
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I’ve since discovered that The Force is potentially a baby-whispering piece of creative genius, not just for me but for parents and parents-to-be everywhere.
Take a look at this guy getting his newborn to sleep with some heavy Star Wars breathing:
WHAT IS THIS WIZARDRY?
You’ll be shocked to learn that it’s not actually the Star Wars franchise that deserves credit for soundly sleeping babies across the movie-watching world.
British publication, The Independent, spoke to Dr Andrew Mayers who is child sleep specialist, who confirmed that babies do recognise their non-carrying parent’s voice from the time they’re in the womb and generally find it comforting.
“We know that similar sounds [to those played in the womb] played later make the child respond. Maybe what has happened here is that the baby is recognising the father’s voice, and is finding it very soothing,” he says.
In the case of the Darth Vader heavy breathing, there’s an additional scientific reason babies might be calmed by the noise.
“In the womb a foetus hears the mother’s heartbeat and the rushing of the blood, which sounds very similar to the sea and that’s a very comforting for the baby,” Dr Mayers explains.
I’ll tell you a secret – I’ve never actually bothered to watch Star Wars. But I am indebted to the franchise for the beautiful uninterrupted five hours of sleep I finally got last night.
Cheers, Darth Vader.
Did you try playing particular music to your children while in the womb? Did they recognise the sounds after birth? How did you get your baby to sleep?