This post is brought to you by Universal Music Group and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.
Just in time for Mother’s Day, I’m sharing a super sweet new baby lullaby cd you are going to want for all the mamas in your life! Read on for more details and a little on why singing lullabies to babies is so important!
Do you ever hear a string of notes or a strand of music that instantly transports you to another time and place? Perhaps you don’t even know where it came from, or what song it is, but your heartstrings are pulled and you feel at home? Deep in my heart, I feel the power of lullabies, and without even realizing it, have found myself wrapped in the joy and promise they bring.
For me, there is something about a song my Gramma used to hum that stops me in my tracks. I couldn’t hum it if I tried, but there have been a few times in my life where I have heard the exact notes, the same pitch, and a cadence that fills my soul. I am instantly brought back to early childhood and can feel the weight of a well-loved canary yellow french terry dressing robe that served as the official opening to a sleepover at her house.
She hummed these notes while cooking, while pitter-pattering around the house, and most importantly while tucking me in at night during those sleepovers. They brought a calm reassurance while I gained the confidence to stay alone in her guest room (a strange feat for someone who shared a room since birth).
The Power of Lullabies (and of singing a lullaby to baby)
There is power in lullabies—with and without words.
As I grew up and spread my wings, moving across the country and, at times, the world, I found comfort in the soothing notes and gentle words of songs that pulled on the heart and were uplifting for the soul. Often these were lullabies, whether classical, foreign, or easy listening soundtracks. Musical theatre played a huge role in my life growing up, and there just is no easy way to explain how a song can deliver a story in a way as powerful as it does on stage.
But it was becoming a mom, and even earlier as a mom-to-be, that connected the dots between music and the heart—or more simply—love.
It seems cliche to hear new moms try to describe their new found love for their children. Phrases like “It is indescribable” and “you have to experience it to understand” seem to roll easily off the tongue. But the truth is, perhaps we resort to those sayings because our brains are just not wired to always be able to express the depth and the power of our love—something as new to us as is the baby in our arms.
As I stood there with a newborn baby girl those first few weeks, in between the moments of sheer exhaustion and desperation for some sort of acknowledgment from her that I was doing it right, I realized how often I was left alone to my thoughts and emotions while nursing or rocking her to sleep.
It was during those moments that music seemed to be the only answer that could portray my feelings and thoughts. Sometimes it was my words, sometimes just humming a tune, and sometimes it was the words of others that I was able to connect to my storyline.
Singing a bedtime lullaby to a baby (or other ways to use lullaby songs for babies)
I remember making up haphazard lullabies to try to convince her to go to sleep, willing the notes to drape her in comfort and give her the ability to relax. And how I spent about a month convinced that only certain lullabies on her sound machine would result in sleep and had to skip over ones that might cause her to stir.
The things we do as moms.
Or the lighthearted songs I made up to go with games or activities we played on the floor. Some to make her laugh, some to distract her from a fall. Filling the time, and filling the space with music. Not overly complex, just simple expressions of life at that moment—which is what lullabies basically boil down to.
As Charlie grew older, she became obsessed with rocking her baby dolls to sleep. Her favorite lullaby to sing (and to be sung) is Rockabye Baby, which sounds more like “Rock a Baby, seesaw (treetops)” when she sings it. It makes me melt every time.
And while I can’t claim to be responsible for her sweet soul and caring spirit, I like to think she has found a place in her heart for music. And I am just as excited to try to spread that love to our next daughter, who is expected to arrive in July.
I found it interesting to learn that studies have shown that singing to children helps promote development and strengthens the bond between parent and child. So that urge to sing, no matter how silly you may feel, should not be suppressed—no matter how tone deaf you may believe yourself to be! (Trust me, I am far from a good singer myself).
Thank goodness babies aren’t discerning concert goers! And it is nice to hear that other parents sing similar simple lullabies to their children as well.
A New Baby Lullaby CD Written by Moms
One of my favorite finds that confirms that others find the same power in lullabies is the new album Hopes and Dreams: The Lullaby Project. It features songs written by real NYC mothers and performed by celebrity singers from a wide span of musical genres, made possible through Carnegie Hall’s Lullaby Project.
The voices of Natalie Merchant, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Rhiannon Giddens, Fiona Apple, and Patti Lapone (just to name a few) breathe life into the mothers’ words, and many of the sentiments are the same that I find myself wishing for my daughters as well—the anticipation of meeting an unborn child, a soothing verse to woo them to sleep, or a heartfelt statement of my hopes and dreams for their future.
There is so much that resonates through the words of these songs.
Take a sneak peek at one of the lullabies:
And one more because it is so cute and is upbeat:
The Lullaby Project is both a great collection of lullabies to play for baby and a gift for Mother’s Day (for yourself or someone you love!) and all proceeds go to support the Lullaby Project and Carnegie Hall’s other education and social impact programs and nonprofit charitable mission.
Be sure to go check it out! You can purchase it here.
Do you sing lullabies to your baby? Which ones are your favorites? Have you ever thought of creating one of your own? Let me know below!