Listening to quiet music at nap time helps children relax and prepare for restorative sleep. In addition to singing a few lullabies, adding some classical music to your daily nap routine can improve the quality and length of your child’s sleep! A good nap means a better day for Mom and Dad too, so if you’re searching for a way to calm your child, music is the place to begin.
It’s never too early to start: Introducing music during infancy helps in “wiring” your baby’s brain for learning. Daniel Levitin, (cognitive psychologist, neuroscientist) elaborates in one of my favorite books, This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession: “Music’s function in the developing child is to help prepare its mind for a number of complex cognitive and social activities, exercising the brain so that it will be ready for the demands placed on it by language and social interaction… Music processing helps infants to prepare for language; it may pave the way to linguistic prosody, even before the child’s developing brain is ready to process phonetics.”
It’s a winning combination- not only does it release the “feel-good” chemical dopamine, soothing and relaxing your baby, but it also engages his or her developing brain!
Here are the Top 10 recommendations of relaxing classical pieces for naptime, including works by great composers like Chopin, Debussy, and Brahms.
NOTE: This is also a great list for expectant mothers. A baby’s auditory system is fully functional within the womb about twenty weeks after conception, so make sure to fill your third trimester with a mix of gorgeous, soothing classical music and your favorite upbeat, feel-good songs. Alexandra Lamont of Keele University in the UK found that, one year after birth, children recognized and preferred the music they heard in the womb!
Carina Zimmerman is one of the co-founders of TLB Music, a children’s music studio and indoor playspace located on the Upper East Side. She is also the author of The Bird Feed NYC, TLB’s blog filled with family-friendly music to share, free printables for kids, NYC history, product recommendations, and nostalgic photo collections.