A new study has revealed that mothers who sing lullabies can promote infant development. Infant-directed singing helps babies learn to regulate their emotions, which allows them to later navigate socialisation, school, and the professional world, according to de l’Etoile, who has spent her career studying the habit. “If a mother can sing in a way that captures the infant’s attention, it can help them tap into those brain structures that they need to develop for self-regulation,” said de l’Etoile, a board-certified music therapist and associate dean of graduate studies at the University of Miami Frost School of Music. Yet, while singing to infants is something most mothers do naturally–without even realising the benefits–for those in difficult circumstances, infant-directed singing may not be as instinctive, de l’Etoile observed. She has noticed that mothers impacted by depression, domestic violence, or substance exposure may need encouragement and guidance to provide this unique form of caregiving.