There are many things you can do to help your newborn go to sleep. You can try having a consistent bedtime, try putting your baby’s crib in a dark and quiet room, try fussing about with arcane bedtime rituals and…sometimes following all the rules just doesn’t seem to work. A lot depends on your kid’s personality.
My firstborn slept only four hours at a time…for two full years. Now, I’m sure you won’t have that problem. My first daughter had an unusual temperament from day one, but I want to tell you what worked for me.
Baby Music for Sleep
For your first baby, you will probably have all kinds of fancy gadgets. And, that was how I started out.
My kids are now in their mid-to-late twenties. And, back in the day, the fanciest, hippest sleep gadget of all had the sound of a heartbeat. All I can say is that it didn’t work. And, sappy, tinkling mobiles didn’t work, either.
What did work (sometimes) was relaxing music. Of course, there are all kinds of cutesy, kiddie CDs out there that might lull your infant to sleep. But, be sure to listen to samples of any CD before plunking down your credit card, because some songs sound kind of tinny and irritating (to me, anyway).
Classical Music for Babies
In my humble, grandmotherly opinion, your little kidlet is better off listening to soothing classical music rather than repellent kiddie-directed songs. I promise that you will get your fill of singing “Five Little Monkeys” when your child is a preschooler, so why not give your tot a tranquilizing appreciation of the arts before he/she is old enough to learn to say, “No”?
Classical lullabies have been used for years by parents trying to get their diminutive offspring to settle down. Unfortunately, I know very little about classical music, so I will tell you what I know in non-technical language.
Your Classical Music Playlist
Here are qualities to look for in a classical playlist.
- All music should stay at a consistent sound level: You don’t want music that starts off pastorale (calm and quiet), but later includes loud tympani drums to musically symbolize lightning strikes out in the meadow. Instead, find simple, repetitive, predictable music.
- The best, calming baby tunes drone on without sharp, staccato noises, especially notes of a high, jolting pitch. You don’t want music that’s too complex or stimulating.
Some parents like their playlists to continue the same theme from song to song. For example, you may want a CD where every piece is performed by an orchestra, strummed on a guitar, or played on a harp. This is not always necessary, but my daughter’s preference was the piano. (Chopin’s Polonaise in A-flat major, Op. 53 by Horowitz, to be exact.)
Soothing Classical or Baroque Song List
Choose tunes that make you feel relaxed or sleepy. One good genre to check out is baroque music. Click on examples to hear pieces that are calming and soothing.
- Chopin: Piano Concerto No.1 Romance-Larghetto
- de Boismortier: Rondeau A-Minor
- Mozart: Clarinet Concerto – II. Adagio
- Chopin: “Raindrop” Prelude in D flat Major, Op.28 No.15
- Beethoven: Moonlight Sonata
Hypnotic Music Used for Meditation
Classical music from India is often used for meditation. If grandma was a hippie, you may have grown up around the music of Ravi Shankar (who taught Beatle George Harrison to play the sitar).
When my husband turns the TV’s volume too loud, I use Gregorian Chants as white noise. There are many styles, so listen to a few until you find a style you like.
Some parents prefer New Age.
- Echoes of the Moon by Sean Beeson
- Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin played on harp — I put this in to prove there is a lullaby to please anyone.
There are so many great classical pieces that I want to add, but it’s just not possible to give you more than a taste. However, I think your precious baby (and yourself!) deserves music that is elegant and beautiful.