I can bask in the glow of, “good mama status” envisioning my sweet littles soaking up every beautiful moment of the day with Santa, Elsa, Anna and all of the delightful characters that are scheduled to appear, in total peace and contentment.
I can do this right now because my toddler is NAPPING. Yep-the ever coveted and loved by mothers worldwide nap is in full swing right now.
If I had attempted this just a few short months ago, I wouldn’t have been able to make it through reading the event description. Ya know what I mean?
No, a few months ago I would have been barely holding it together, scrambling around my house trying to appease a very cranky and exhausted baby who just would never sleep. My first two kids slept great, so it was a rough few months as I tried to figure out what was going on.
Not now though, oh no, now I get to sit here, feet propped up, hot coffee in hand, booking our November 26th date for brunch with Santa and I am loving every blissful minute of it.
I don’t consider myself to be a subject matter expert on many things- I know more than any reasonable person should about Britney Spears, obscure Alt-Rock bands, and I am your go-to for everything kids mess related. How many baby wipes do you need for THAT mess? Ask me, I know!
That’s about where my claim to “expert status” ends. I have learned the ropes of life with five children ages twelve and under through trial and error, or Baptism by fire if you will. I’m currently in the throes of that challenging stage of life with my fifth baby; you know the stage between birth and eighteen years old.
The Sleep Struggle
Nap time is a nightmare, bedtime is torture, and some days I’d feel like Bill Murray in the film “Groundhogs Day.” I would wake up to repeat the same screaming nightmare that I just lived the day before with no end in sight. After having four babies you’d think my fifth would be a breeze, I’m here to tell you it is not.
I’m just a mom staring at my baby pleading with him to nap so that I can have a few moments to shower or drink a cup of hot, not cold coffee. Just a few minutes of solitude, that’s all I ask.
A few months ago in a moment of total desperation, I did the thing we all secretly hate to do, that we always do anyway. What did I do? I called my mom, and I asked for her advice.
In between my sobbing and the screaming child in the background, my mother, bless her, had some mighty advice for her clearly desperate daughter. “Put on some lullabies, play the baby some music, snuggle him close and breathe.”
And there it was, the one thing I hadn’t done, the one thing I had forgotten somehow to try, MUSIC. How had I skipped over the tried and true method of a sweet lullaby playing gently in the background while your baby drifts off to sleep?
Music is therapy for the soul
Music is universally recognized to be one of the best soothing and healing mediums. It’s used in therapies, to get over bad breakups, to convey pain and sorrow, and to inspire people to take action- so why was I not using it as a tool to help soothe my very upset baby?
I even remember playing lullabies for my other children- I would lie them down for a nap daily to the sweet tunes of “Rock-A-Bye Baby” or “Hush Little Baby, ” and they would peacefully drift off to Neverland, and all was right in the world.
I took my Mother’s advice and spent about a month trying out lullabies that I thought my little guy would love. I’ve compiled a short list of my top five favorite lullabies, and I hope you can find something that works for you and your little one. Regardless of where you are at in your parenting (or grandparenting!) journey, there is something genuinely invaluable about having a few go-to lullabies at your disposal.
1.Hush Little Baby– I mean, of course, this is number one. This post is driven by the fact that I could not get my sweet boy to stop screaming long enough for me to breathe. I would have bought anything for him, mockingbird, diamond ring, entire zoo, anything to get him to stop screaming. It’s only fitting that this makes the top of my list.
2.Twinkle Twinkle– Another fantastic classic that every child learns and sings at some point in their life. My little buddy loves this one in the evenings when he can curl up with me for a few minutes and watch the gentle and comforting Star and Owl duo dance around for a few minutes. It’s almost always a guarantee that he will be “lights out” fairly quickly.
3.The Ants Go Marching– This is my go to when dealing with a toddler temper tantrum. There is something about the beat and the overall tone of this song that grabs my little guy’s attention. He quickly goes from utterly unhinged toddler terror to a happy clapping, foot stomping delight of a guy in no time.
4.Rock-a-bye- Baby– My mother’s voice rings in my ears each time I reach for this lullaby. “Put on some lullabies, play the baby some music, snuggle him close and breathe.” There it was, snuggle him close. Yes, yes I can do that. It’s not only good for his soul; it’s just as good for mine.
5.My Bonnie-Last but not least the ever-compelling, “My Bonnie.” This is our favorite to use during nap time. This hypnotic tune soothes him in a way that nothing else ever has. One or two listens to this classic gem, and he is out like a light. It’s a miracle.
I have tested and retested, studied the data, plotted the charts, and am confident in saying that it doesn’t take a parenting expert to realize my little guy benefits tremendously from hearing these lullabies.
Now that I’ve shared my favorite lullabies I’d love to hear from you. What tunes did you find yourself most drawn to, and what were your children or grandchildren’s most requested lullabies?