Any millennial mom will tell you that screen time is a hot-button issue among parenting circles. On the one hand, there are experts who tell parents that screen time can have negative effects, like slower language development and reduced social skills. On the other hand, moms need to keep their sanity and sometimes that requires a little video aid. A soothing nursery rhyme video, for example, can help your little drift off to sleep, saving your already shabby singing voice for future endeavors (like Karaoke night with your fellow mom friends). Not to mention the time you spend signing and rocking can now be used to squeeze in a little me time.
The key to a good nursery rhyme video lies in the song and the scene. To avoid stimulating your little one, search for videos with gentle music and soft, slightly hypnotic imagery. Also, if you’re worried about the effects of screen time, it’s worth noting that the actual screen isn’t necessary for these lullabies to work. Simply set your laptop or iPad out of sight – atop a dresser or changing table near baby’s crib – and you’ve got hours of uninterrupted sleepytime music without any distracting visuals.
To make the search a little easier, I’ve gathered some of my favorite soothing nursery rhyme videos for you and your little one to enjoy. Next time your baby’s ready for a nap, throw these videos on a loop and watch your little one drift off to dreamland.
1. "Gentle Nursery Rhymes"
Kaleidoscopic images images float against a black background while a pianist plays soothing favorites like “Frère Jacques” and “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”
2. "Lullaby Time"
The imagery in this 24 minute compilation is varied enough to distract and engage without ever becoming too stimulating. There are cartoons, sleepy babies, and gently swaying shapes to look at while a combination of classical music and nursery rhymes play.
3. "Songs To Put A Baby To Sleep"
Classic lullaby music plays for two whole hours over a repeating visual of clouds and a moonlit sky.
4. "Hush Little Baby Lullaby Collection"
If you’re not up to supplying vocals on your own, this video has a female vocalist who sings familiar as well as slightly lesser-known songs like “Five Little Speckled Frogs” while corresponding animation plays.
5. "Kids Bedtime Songs"
The Good Night Show is a popular PBS kids television show about bedtime rituals, created for the sole purpose of getting children to sleep . In a genius move, Sprout has put together 14 uninterrupted hours of gentle lullaby music and snooze-inducing clips of sleeping puppets, cartoons, and real people.
6. "12 Hours Lullaby Playlist"
Obviously no one in your house is getting 12 hours of sleep. (And if they are, I want to know their secret.) But a video this long means you can put it on and guarantee soft, gentle lullabies for the duration of naptime. .
7. "Beethoven For Babies"
Classical meets lullabies in this 4-hour video, which features a seamless playlist of gentle music. While the music plays, bubbles drift across the screen to create a cozy, womb-like atmosphere.
Image: sima dimitric/Flickr