Newborn infants hospitalized in Neonatal Intensive Care Units directly after labor have increased needs that include the infants’ vital signs and providing a safe environment for them. The above mentioned newborns, mostly preterm infants, are in risk of increased morbidity and mortality. The aim of the present literature review is to present the impact of music and other sounds in the clinical status of newborns hospitalized in Intensive Care Units. The conditions of their hospitalization with the annoying noise, bright lights, absence of parents and frequent medical procedures can cause stress affecting the infants’ development. The use of music and other sounds in the Intensive Care Unit can cover unpleasant noise and has been found to induce stress levels providing calm, less cry and better sleep conditions for preterm newborns. An improvement in their cardiac and respiratory rate, an increase in oxygen saturation and better sucking behaviours were found leading to improved feeding status. Mothers’ presence while singing lullabies or talking to their infants resulted in less side effects such as bradycardia, apnoea, and hypoxia. Parents also benefited as they their stress levels dropped and developed better communication with their infants. As a non-pharmacological method used to reduce pain sometimes had positive effects and sometime not. Furthermore, music is considered to be safe and of low cost intervention.
Keywords: infants, intensive care units, music.