Sleep. It’s such a simple word. And, yet, for parents with young children—or early childhood educators with a classroom full of wiggling and giggling little ones at naptime—sleep can seem like a mirage that teases and tricks and lingers just out of reach. Or, it can leave us driving around willing all the lights to stay green so our little ones will stay asleep just a little bit longer.
While this lack of sleep bonds us together, it also isolates us in our individual struggles to lull our little ones to sleep. No need to call a Sleep Nanny just yet. Try these musical solutions to help solve childhood sleep woes.
4 musical ideas that puts children to sleep (literally)
- Listen to lullabies. Lullabies can lower the heart rate of children and help grown-ups to relax as well.
- Use soft, quiet music the same time each evening to signal that sleep time is near. Routines and rituals help young children make sense of their world and predict what comes next. Listening to the same music at the end of the day tells children that it is time to get ready for bed. This can mean bath time, cozy pajamas, a story, and then a final snuggle before lights out.
- Be consistent with musical selections. Familiar tunes work best to signal to a child that bedtime is near.
- Teach children their own soothing lullaby. Children learn through repetition. So, by singing a favorite song night after night, children will not only learn the song by heart, but they will learn a musical self-soothing technique. Bonus: That same tune can help calm children under stressful situations, like a skinned knee or a visit to the doctor’s office.
We know there is power in early childhood music. Whether used as part of a toddler curriculum to teach early literacy and language skills, played in the background at toddler play groups, or even used in the middle of the night to lull an infant to sleep, music puts a soundtrack to childhood. And, music and learning go hand in hand!
Looking for musical solutions to other parenting challenges? Visit a Kindermusik class to connect with other families where you can discover more about the benefits of early childhood music. Find a local Kindermusik educator today!