When it comes to sending your little one off to sleep, music and audio stories are some of the best tools you can add to your bedtime routine. Perfect for creating soothing sounds and rhythms to relax their young mind, they are proven to be invaluable when it comes to helping kids and babies recognise that the time to rest has arrived. As such, music can be the perfect addition to your bedtime routine to help your child wind down for a good nights sleep, while soothing audio books help to move the mind away from other distractive thoughts that may otherwise keep small kids awake.
Depending on your child’s age, and their unique tastes, there are a variety of popular wind down music options you might like to incorporate into their bedroom routine.
The Benefits of Using Music and Audio Stories
Research has proven that there are actually a myriad of emotional and physical benefits that are linked to children who listen to music. Some interesting facts we have found include;
- A simple lullaby can help to make your baby calmer because it slows down their heart rate.
- Music inspires emotions, so a gentle, calming sound can help soothe a little one peacefully.
- Ideally music should be soft, soothing and relaxing, creating a calm atmosphere to nurture a baby’s sleeping patterns.
- A familiar tune or music or song becomes like a session of music therapy. Slow, soft, repetitive music will actually slow down the heartbeat and allows for calmer and deeper breathing.
- Music ignites all areas of child development and skills for school readiness, particularly in the areas of language acquisition and reading skills.
- Music is also a powerful tool for children with anxiety. It can help regulate emotions and provide a much-needed break from overstimulation
- Music and audio books work best if they are part of a wind down routine that ends with them finishing prior to you leaving the child and them actually falling asleep. This is because you don’t want them to become reliant on hearing the music in order to fall asleep. Rather, it signals a calming and quieting down period in preparation for rest.
Meditation Music for Kids
You don’t have to put the kids on yoga mats to understand the benefits of meditation music for babies and kids. Many babies and children find relaxation and meditation music to be helpful for bedtime, with great choices being sounds of the ocean or forest, as well as white noise or instructional meditation for older children.
Kids Audio Books
Kids audio books ended up being one of the very best tools for getting our kids when they finally hit the toddler age. We actually purchased a whole set of different fairytale and beloved stories on audio book and set these up for the kids to pick from each night. We found that by incorporating the audio books into their bedtime routine they almost immediately dropped their need to come out of their bed and find us a million times before actually falling asleep. Letting them pick their favourite story to listen to also meant they went quiet quickly so they could hear the story. I found that more often than not, the kids fell asleep before the stories finished each night. If they didn’t, they were extremely close!
There is a whole world of opportunity to bring books to life with literally hundreds of kids books now being converted to audio. All the main retail stores like Kmart and Target now sell them in their children’s book sections. Big W have an amazing range of Book Plus CD Packs, which enable your child to read along with the audio as they look through the book. Our favourites so far include classic fairytales, The Magic Faraway Tree and the entire Roald Dahl Series of Kids Books.
You can find these on EBAY, the Book Depository or even download via Itunes. We also picked up The Treehouse Stories from Andy Griffiths on CD via Dymocks.
Nursery Rhymes and Lullabies
Nursery Rhymes and lullabies have been used for centuries to help calm and ‘lull’ babies to sleep. Although you can now download apps, purchase CDs, and listen to Spotify playlists dedicated to the gentle songs, simply singing them to or with your child is probably the most effective way to help calm them for sleep.
For something a little bit different, many parents and children are embracing the Rockabye Baby series of albums which are lullaby versions of popular musicians and songs, such as Metallica, The Beatles, Green Day, ACDC, U2 and a whole lot of other rock and pop legends. They are also a subtle way of having your kids love your favourite bands too. They are completely instrumental versions of all the songs you love, perfect for sleep time, even as babies.
There are also a lot of popular artists and groups that make easy listening music that is perfect for night time. Some well-known artists, such a Jewel and Enya, have even put out lullaby music. Jewel’s Lullaby was on constant repeat in house for many years. Some of the popular choices include;
- Norah Jones
- Jack Johnson
- Ed Sheeran
If you want to avoid purchasing new music, there are plenty of free online options, such as Pandora radio, iTunes radio, YouTube and phone or tablet based apps, many of which include a children’s sleep playlist perfect for night time. Alternatively, easy listening and classical radio stations are a great option also.
Sing to your babies
Children love the sound of their parents singing to them, even if you think you are an awful singer. Whether it be nursery rhymes, Christmas carols or popular radio songs, this is a great option that requires little to no preparation. And if you can play an instrument, that adds a whole extra option to the bedroom sleep routine.
If you are looking for songs that you can purchase for your baby, check out our list of Music to Buy for your Brisbane Baby.