When I think back to my daughter's first few years, I am almost immediately taken back to the quiet nights when I rocked her to sleep while singing her special lullaby.
We had some weekend visitors stay at our house not too long ago and they brought their sweet 18-month old. He was sick, missed a nap and was overstimulated after a long day in the sun. Predictably, he had a rough time calming down for a nap. Before long, it escalated to him being completely inconsolable. Within minutes, he was fast asleep. The method I used is something I've used time and time again with music therapy clients and my own daughter.
Imagine for a moment... it's Saturday morning. The house is dark and quiet and you've miraculously been able to sleep in until 9am.
(I'll let you stay in that dreamland for a moment.)
It's time to wake up. Music comes on and gently wakes you. It starts very quiet-- so quiet you can barely hear it-- and it gradually gets louder, coaxing you awake. It's music you love. What's your mood?
Now, imagine for a moment... the same scenario. It's Saturday morning in a dark, quiet house and you're blissfully able to sleep until 9am.
It's time to wake up. Then, as if there's a speaker right by your ear, IMMEDIATELY LOUD heavy metal music plays and shocks you out of bed. What's your mood now?
I'd like to think that the first 6 months of my daughter's life were only blissful and carefree... uh, nope. It was HARD. She was a preemie with sensory issues that she (mostly) outgrew, but the sight of a ceiling fan could send her into an I-WILL-SCREAM-AND-NOTHING-WILL-CALM-ME meltdown that would simultaneously send me into my own special kind of meltdown.
It's no coincidence that I am so passionate about helping parents and educators find the right music that can help kids through life's (inevitable) challenges. Being a music therapist who worked with kids with sensory needs set me up to be the ideal parent for my own daughter. The process was FAR from perfect, but we learned a lot together.
Something I didn't expect??? Music helped ME in a miraculous kind of way.
Music is not one-size-fits-all and every child is going to react differently. In this list, you'll find music that could work for sleep/rest, music for play time, music for learning, etc. We could get really complicated here, but we're not going to! Plain and simple: these are my all-time favorite songs for babies.