Newborn babies need to learn a lot of stuff, including how to sleep. It is in the best interest of the parents and babies overall health to have a good sleep cycle. Some newborns respond well to baby sleep music. It becomes a critical part of a child’s sleeping ritual. Therefore, it is important to choose baby sleep music carefully. The wrong kind of music can create more challenges. It is meant to be a tool and not something the baby enjoys. Else, it would create an unhealthy dependency. This is problematic for both parents and babies.
Dr. Lynelle Schneeberg is a licensed clinical psychologist, a clinical professor at Yale School of Medicine, and the director of the Behavioral Sleep Program at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. In her experience, leaving babies to drift off to the wrong kind of music, can work against parents. “I actually think that music is not so useful to help a baby sleep,” explains Schneeberg. “Music, if used every night, will become a ‘sleep-onset association’ for the baby, and then the baby comes to depend on this music for the transition into sleep. Then, no matter where the baby sleeps – at his or her grandmother’s, at daycare, at a hotel, and so on – he or she may need it there, too, so it has to be available all the time.”
What is Baby Sleep Music?
- Music can become a crutch – Music can help a baby fall asleep. But there should be a variety in the routine so the baby is not dependent on the same routine. This way the baby can sleep in places away from home.
- Robust sleepers are sound sleepers – it’s possible to train a baby to sleep under a variety of conditions. A typical ambient noise and with very few sleep crutches.
- Sleep rituals can incorporate music – sleep rituals help signal to a baby that bedtime is here. Create an environment with lowered lights and typical ambient music to be used as limited crutches.
- Easy Paced Music is preferrable – The choice of music should not arouse the senses. Dynamic music arouses the senses by design. Elevator music or equivalents like lullabies are ideal as they maintain a certain soft tone.
- White noise blocks sound better – if the ambient noise is too distracting to a baby, parents can block it out with a sound machine. One that runs continuously is a better option than one that runs on a timer.
A newborn child will inevitably create a sleep-onset association with elements in its environment. You can definitely reduce them. The aim should be to have the baby develop sleep onset associations that can be replicated in different environments. These help the baby relax. Schneeberg advocates instead for teaching a baby to be a robust sleeper, able to sleep under a variety of conditions with typical ambient noise, and with very few sleep crutches.
Challenges in choosing baby sleep music
That doesn’t mean the music has no place at bedtime. Bedtime rituals are still important and they should incorporate music. “Some parents use music and lowered lights, for example, to mark the transition from family after-dinner time to bedtime-routine time,” Schneeberg says. Though the wrong choice of music can stimulate a baby to wakefulness. This makes bedtime harder instead of easier.
“I’d recommend soft music with few or no changes in volume and tempo since any change might trigger an awakening,” she explains. “I think some kind of soft lullabies, or classical music, or ‘spa-type’ music would be just fine as part of the bedtime routine or ritual and then, ideally, turned off.”
Ambient noise in a house can be difficult for a baby to cope with. Parents should consider creating a different ambient noise using a white noise machine to block regular household sounds.
“If music is being used to block sound, I think a sound machine is probably a better choice since the sound provided by this machine is so consistent,” recommends Schneeberg. A sound machine that clicks off after a set period of time may also trigger an awakening, and if the baby is dependent open it to fall asleep, it may become another sleep crutch that keeps them awake in the middle of the night. So if a white noise machine is necessary, it should run continuously.
Choosing the appropriate baby sleep music can be very critical for a newborn baby. The study by Dr. Schneeberg highlights various pitfalls that new parents should take note of. This phase is the phase for baby brain development. Look over some scientifically chose baby brain development music. This should be a nice addition to the baby’s sleep routine.