Three key tips to offer relief to anxious parents and contentment to babies –

The internet and social media is rife with advice for anxious parents about the perfect hypnotic lullabies you must sing to soothe your baby to sleep.  Whether it’s top 10 tunes or the magic and science behind lullabies, there is a plethora of information for overwhelmed parents.  But when these tips don’t work, it can add to an already stressful situation.

Here’s some liberating news from music teacher and founder of Mini Mozart, Clare Shaw, “The best lullaby is literally any song sung by you. Forget the must-sing lists, your voice is what your child loves and responds to most.”

The NHS states that while newborns average anywhere from eight up to 16-18 hours of sleep a day during the first two weeks, they wake up frequently and rarely sleep for more than four hours at a stretch, even at night. As your baby grows, they will be able to sleep for longer. Of course, these figures are based on averages, your baby will have their own pattern of waking and sleeping and it’s unlikely to be the same as other babies you know.

Clare an ex presenter for BBC Young Musician of The Year and The Proms offers three tips on how to help to calm, soothe and put your baby to sleep:

Personal touch: It’s not the song itself, but the sound of your voice that envelops your little one in comfort and calm. Whether it’s a chart-topper or a simple hum, if it’s sung by you, it’s perfect. Your voice carries a unique soothing power that no one else’s does. Your baby thinks that you are a star, they want to hear your voice more than anyone else, it gives them a sense of contentment.

Consistency over specifics: The soothing nature of bedtime songs has more to do with consistency than any specific tune. Singing the same melodies nightly creates a reassuring routine, signalling that it’s time for sleep. This regularity is soothing, helping your child understand that bedtime is near. If you start now, your baby will soon be yawning at the sound of your melody.

Emotional assurance: As you sing, your focussed presence—steady breathing, relaxed posture, and calm demeanour—transmits contentment and security to your child. They don’t just hear the lullaby; they feel your reassurance, making the bedtime experience deeply comforting. This experience is also beneficial for the care giver as singing and humming is the world’s most accessible stress reliever. The steady breathing, focus and firm control needed to sing stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, making the care-giver feel relaxed. In addition, the physical exertion involved in singing (the filling of lungs, the movement of the mouth and body), releases endorphins and boosts the care giver’s mood.

Mum of two Clare added: “These moments of song and closeness aren’t just for now, they lay the foundation for your child’s emotional development. Consistent bedtime rituals foster a sense of predictability and safety, critical for healthy emotional growth. So next time you tuck in your little one, pick any song that feels right. What matters most is the love and regularity you bring to those quiet moments. Your nightly melody is a special time to connect, comfort, and celebrate the day’s end together.”

She concluded: “Growth spurts, teething and illnesses can all affect how your baby sleeps so be prepared to change routines as your baby grows and enters different stages. But the one thing that is consistent and will help to ride through these changes will be your calm and loving voice.”