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.
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.
I have always loved lullabies. They're my absolute favorite to sing, write and play. I recommend picking one special lullaby to sing to your child over and over again throughout their childhood (recordings are okay, too, but live singing from a parent is the very best, according to music therapy research). For my daughter, that lullaby was a version of "Stay Awake" from Mary Poppins. My daughter was so used to that song as a "cue" for sleep that to this day, she yawns right when I sing the first few notes.