A few people have asked me what my favourite songs or lullabies are to soothe my children to sleep and this question always makes me laugh because the lullabies I sing to my twins are not your typical lullabies! Last year all they wanted to hear was “Jingle Bells”, even through the summer months. Lately their favourite bedtime lullaby is “The ABC Song” or “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”. So while the idea of a nice soothing, traditional lullaby before bed is a good one, you can really sing anything to soothe a child to sleep!
I definitely like the idea of singing something during your bedtime routine; singing has a way of calming both baby and caregiver. Its very difficult to remain anxious, upset or frightened when singing, so if you’ve had a hard day, or your toddler has given you the runaround at bedtime, singing can help you both relax before they drift off to sleep. If you are feeling less anxious and more relaxed, your child will feed off that and be more relaxed as well. Singing is also a great comfort to children, and it can make bedtime more enjoyable. What better way to prepare for sleep!
Incorporating a song or lullaby into your bedtime routine is a great opportunity to help them learn as well. They learn how to talk from listening to us speak or sing, and some children will even sing before they start talking. Songs help children learn about themselves and the world around them. They tend to learn more easily from singing, especially if they hear the same songs over and over again. My twins learned the ABCs fairly quickly as a result of singing it every night.
I often recommend singing a lullaby as one of the steps in the bedtime and naptime routine because it’s something both you and your child can look forward to. Just like any other part of the routine, it helps them understand that sleep is coming and helps their bodies wind-down. My husband, who doesn’t normally sing, is even happy to sing the kids their bedtime song, which puts us all in a good mood.