There’s a well-known line that you’ve probably heard before: “Music hath charms to soothe a savage beast.” Not to compare your little angel to a savage beast, but you just might find some wisdom in this quote. On the nights when you’re up with your baby uncountable times or you can’t get him to settle for an afternoon nap, consider using music to help your child calm down and become ready to snooze. Calm and melodious music can have a settling effect on people, babies and young children included.
A bedtime routine that includes restful music can be beneficial for your baby. Let me set the scene for you. Imagine an evening when bedtime is approaching. After a milk feed and snuggly pyjamas, you retire to the rocking chair for story/cuddle time with your baby to wind down before bed. In a dim room, playing a familiar track or two of music will add to the restfulness of your bedtime routine. While you sit and snuggle your baby with familiar music playing, he will recognize the music and know that bedtime is coming soon. Knowing the bedtime routine, your little one will derive comfort and security from it, which often helps babies sleep more readily. With the soft music playing, he can settle and relax so that he feels secure when you tuck him into bed. A consistent bedtime routine, often including music, may not only help your baby go to sleep more easily, but he might also stay asleep longer, too.
It is important however if you are using music to help soothe your child off to sleep in the evening you leave it playing softly right throughout the night. When your baby rouses between sleep cycles he will hear the familiar tones, he will recognize instantly where he is, feel secure and return to sleep. If you turn the music off once your baby is asleep when your baby rouses later in the night may very well wake as the music isn’t playing.
Music will help drown out the silence for older children who might find a quiet house scary during the night. If there are nights where wind, rain, thunder etc. are a problem, the music will help to soften these sounds out, too.
If your child is used to listening to specific music during the night, when travelling this will make the transition much easier. Although your child will be in an unfamiliar place, when he rouses during the night, he will hear the familiar music and feel like he is at home.
Another hint — don’t underestimate the beauty of your singing, at least to your child. You may not have the clearest soprano voice, but singing a lullaby or two before bedtime is another winning way to woo your baby off to sleep. Singing often helps combat stress, which might be ideal for you, too, if you’re feeling on edge.
Struggling with baby’s sleep issues can be confusing and overwhelming. You may find peace and restoration for both you and your little one in something as simple as music. By connecting music with sleep and rest, you could even instill a lifelong love of music.