From the soothing tones of a simple lullaby to today's hi-tech''sound and light show' projector over the cot, parents have always used music to help get their babies off to sleep. If your little one is having problems nodding off, you might like to consider these parents' experiences to help you make music as part of the soothing and settling process:
"We always sang a special 'bedtime' song to each of our children. From being a few days old, Rose 'enjoyed' her dad and I singing repeatedly an old music hall song called "Rose, Rose I love you" while Archie's song was always "You are my sunshine". We found that singing to them - even if it did sometimes become rather strained! - helped them sleep and was a way of communicating when they are still at the baby stage and talking can get a bit repetitive. It was our way of saying 'we're with you' when they were really upset and couldn't tell us what was wrong."
"Gabriel always seemed to startle and get upset if I put him down to sleep when he was still awake, but I didn't want him to get into the habit of having to be rocked to sleep every time. So I bought a wind-up musical toy to put near his bed. The music lasts for about three minutes, and it gives me cover to sneak out of the room when he's just nodding off, while giving him something to focus on. Also if we're away from home, the music is a good constant feature in his bedtime routine."
Maria, mum to Gabriel, nine months
"I bought a CD from NCT Maternity Sales in desperation when Callum was still barely sleeping at night after four months. I didn't think it would work but it did! The entire side can play and that's usually enough to send him off to sleep - unlike some other things we tried which always seemed to come to an abrupt halt just as he was nodding off. The music is Baroque - Bach, Handel and so on - and the theory is that it has the same beats per minute as the mother's heartbeat that the baby can hear so strongly in the womb, so it is soothing to very young babies. It's also quite relaxing for me too!"
Nicky, mum to Callum, six months