The best in baby sleeping music

April 24, 2015

Finding great baby sleeping music can be overwhelming with so many options on the market. You'll find everything from classic lullaby albums and collections inspired by today's artists to sound machines that promise a good night's sleep.

Certain sounds are conducive to sleep, says Kim West, a licensed clinical social worker known as the Sleep Lady and the author of "The Sleep Lady's Good Night, Sleep Tight." "Researchers have identified some specific sounds that babies find especially comforting," she says. "A relaxed baby is a baby who's able to drift off."

"Music or singing at bedtime is a tradition that has been passed down since ancient times, across many cultures," says Lisa Roth, founder of Rockabye Baby, a Los Angeles music company specializing in lullaby renditions of rock music. So what should you look for when choosing baby sleeping music and comforting sounds to play in the nursery?

In addition to white noise and heartbeat sounds, West suggests trying any tune with 60 or less beats per minute. "They aren't called lull-abies for nothing!" she says. "On iTunes, you can listen to a preview of a song for free, counting the beats as you go." She also recommends logging on to parenting forums to find albums parents are having success with, as well as reading reviews on sites like Amazon.

Great albums with baby sleeping music can be found almost everywhere. Here are 10 chosen by our experts:

1. Rainforest Music: Nature's Lullabies 

A gentle mix of nature sounds and soothing lullabies.

2. Daddy Plays: Acoustic Rock Lullabies

Combines classic rock songs and their history into soothing melodies for bedtime.

3. Bedtime Mozart: Classical Lullabies

A tranquil compilation that includes favorites like "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" and "Rock-a-Bye Baby."

4. Comfort Zone: Music for Inner Peace & Well-Being 

Beautiful music that's used in hypnobirthing and relaxation massage, as well as for infant sleep.

5. The Most Soothing Lullabies in the Universe

As the title suggests, this double-disc collection is soothing and even helpful during long car rides.

6. Lullaby Renditions of Van Halen 

Roth admits an affinity for this one. "Not just because the lead singer is my big brother but because it's really cute," she says.

7. Soundsleeper App

From white noise to real sounds of nature and the city, this app can be customized to create your own baby sleeping music.

8. Nighty Night Owl

 

Rain, womb sounds and ocean waves on a timer.  If your baby wakes up crying, the sound triggers the sensor on the Nighty Night Owl to restart its soundtrack.

9. Classical Music for Babies

The gentle beauty of this collection mixes cello, guitar, piano and other soothing instruments for lull your baby to sleep.

10. Nature Sounds With Music

A compilation pairing nature sounds with soothing music for deep sleep, relaxation and meditation.

As you select the perfect baby sleeping music for your nursery, Roth suggests a few things to keep in mind: "Is the instrumentation harsh and loud or is it something sweeter and gentler on a baby's ears? If there are lyrics, are they appropriate? Is it stimulating or soothing?" Don't forget to consider whether you, too, will enjoy the album because chances are you'll be listening to it a lot. She adds, "Music is a wonderful way to communicate an emotion, a story or a way for parents to share their love for and taste in music with their little ones."

Also consider using a heartbeat tone or choosing music with a consistent beat. It will remind baby of the sound heard consistently for those nine plus months while you were pregnant. Those familiar sounds can make the world of difference in your baby's sleep routine. "Music is a wonderful part of establishing a satisfying sleep routine. It facilitates bonding time between baby and parent, and soft lullaby music has been shown to calm and soothe both adults and babies," says Roth.

Shannon Moyer-Szemenyei is a certified birth and postpartum doula, a mother of two busy boys (Owen, 4, and Graeme, 7 months) and the writer at Sweet Stella's

Tips and stories from parents and caregivers who’ve been there.

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