There is nothing like the sound of the ocean or the wind or of birds calling. There is nothing like the sound of a dump truck gearing down as it passes your house. These things are the same in that they all represent a unique sound. The wind can’t be the ocean can’t be the birds can’t be the dump truck gearing down. There is nothing like those sounds. This holds true to any sounds you hear in the world and any sounds your youngster hears. All sounds are unique.
But all sounds are not natural. More precisely, some sounds are more natural than others. Some sounds are older than others, some sounds are older than humans. So what, you say! What’s the point? The point is take your kid for walks in nature, away from the sounds of dump trucks away from the electronic forest. Doesn’t matter how old, in fact I think babies are sponges from before they’re born. I think the environment does effect them from the moment they are conceived, maybe before (but that’s for another discussion).
I took my kid outside at 5 days, in early April. It was cold. There was wind. And I take him out every chance I get. I lay him on the earth, let him eat a little dirt, grass, sand, let him roll around, let him hear the wind, the birds and the ocean, the sounds of whatever natural orchestra is playing. I think it’s important because I believe we are all connected to something – or at least we are more connected to somethings than to others. There is no primal connection, for me at least, to the dump truck gearing down in front of my house however the oceans waves have been lapping at the beach long before I walked that beach.
It’s not that it’s magic although it’s kind of magic, but it’s more that to have my baby experience sounds that are older than humanity, to me, feels like allowing him to have a deeper experience of the world he exists in. It’s not that I have scientific evidence that natural sounds make you baby healthier or more joyful or more perceptive or alert but I don’t really need any evidence beyond my own experience. What does it mean to bring my baby into the glory of nature? It means from a foundational age he begins to experience what is bigger than him, he experiences where he comes from and where (at least part of him) will return to. A dump truck, an electronic forest will not give that.
So the next time there’s an opportunity to rest your child in the grass, dunk him in the ocean or the lake, plop him in the sand or set him on the rocks – don’t hesitate. Even if you don’t fully recognize the value I think your child will, after all he is in a less affected state than you, he hasn’t developed his layers of protection, his biases and prejudices, so if you can try not to teach him yours and take him outside.