According to the National Sleep Foundation, music is essentially sleep-aid magic! Many people just assumed that music helps aid sleep because we've all been taught lullabies our whole lives - even recommended to use sound machines to mimic calming sounds to help us get to bed. But it's scientifically proven that calming music (slower tunes with 60-80 beats per minute) prepares the body to relax, lowering your blood pressure, breathing and heart rate. These changes within your body are a mirror of what your body does while it's actually asleep, so adding a little quiet music to your bedtime routine can only help ensure a restorative sleep experience once you drift off into shuteye.
So what about babies?
Plain and simple: if you start to incorporate a musical bedtime routine with just 1-3 songs that you sing each night to your little one(s), you will soon find that they respond to these songs as cues to tell them it's bed time. This will ultimately be a wonderful tool you can use during sleep training and beyond, to help signal to your child that they should close their eyes, rest their body, and prepare to sleep. This soundtrack of your life that you share with your sweet baby can carry through their childhood and even into adulthood, bringing back nostalgia and special memories between a parent and child. Don't underestimate this concept! Nervous that you don't have a great singing voice? Your baby doesn't care. Once they start to talk and sing, they'll be leading the evening song session before your eyes.
Here are just a few of our family favorites. Let us know if any of them are on your list, and feel free to drop some new ideas in the comments below.
You Are My Sunshine by Johnny Cash
Sing (a song) by Elmo
Skidamarink by Sharon, Lois and Bram
You Can Close Your Eyes by James Taylor
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star by Jane Taylor / Mozart
Do Re Mi from The Sound of Music
My Favorite Things from The Sound of Music
Blackbird by The Beatles
All My Lovin' by The Beatles (sung slowly)
I Will by The Beatles