We Are Both Right

No More Lullabies? New Study Says Singing to Babies is a Thing of the Past

It’s a memory I’ll always cherish. It’s the wee small hours of the morning and my husband, a brand-new dad, is cradling our newborn son C., trying to soothe him back to sleep. As T. walked around the room rocking C., he began to sing softly, hoping his crooning would send our new baby back to dreamland.

His song of choice? “Thunder Road,” by Bruce Springsteen.


Laugh, smile, (sing along if you want to), but that my husband chose to sing to our son to help him settle down is apparently a thing of the past. A new book reveals that many parents, mom in particular, have rejected the practice, deeming it uncool.

My rocking spouse and I respectfully disagree.

I love to sing to my babies, especially in the middle of the night. While I tend to favor more traditional songs (“You Are My Sunshine” is my favorite), my husband prefers tracks of the Top 40 variety. And while I don’t think either one of us will be trying out for X Factor anytime soon, I think we do a good job — not only were our children responsive to our warbling, but today all three are pretty music-oriented (although no Boss fans just yet).

For me, singing lullabies (pop songs or otherwise) was a great way to bond with my little ones. It was a way for me to offer comfort in the sound of my voice (and the feel of my arms around the child) without talking. In the middle of the night, when my brain was mush and I didn’t know what to say to console my crying baby, I could do something that was soothing — to both of us.

What do you think? Do you sing to your babies? Which songs?

5 Responses to “No More Lullabies? New Study Says Singing to Babies is a Thing of the Past”

  1. Meghan says:

    Joseph loves when I sing to him!!! It has become one of my go-to methods to calm him down! He prefers songs of the preschool variety, but really anything seems to be soothing to him.

  2. Lori says:

    When Olivia was a newborn, I would turn on one of our cable music stations and sing along with whatever was on. It turned out that, even though I had been a professional singer before Olivia came along, actually singing for my baby gave me stage fright and not a single lyric would come to mind on my own. As an infant, she seemed to like my singing to her. In fact, I started singing the ABC’s to put her to sleep and, wouldn’t you know, that was the first melody that she started to hum on her own. But, now that she is a toddler my singing is out of the question. Not because lullabies are uncool, but, apparently, because mommy singing them is. The kid’s got no taste! ;-p

  3. Laura W says:

    My mother sang to us as kids, and now I sing without thinking. I sing whatever comes to mind first, and my selections continue to crack me up – as much of West Side Story as I could remember, Christmas tunes, Faith No More and Foo Fighters (lullaby style), classical music I forgot I knew and just this morning it was The Hollies ‘Bus Stop.”

  4. Ruby says:

    The idea of a parent rejecting something their child loves (that isn’t harmful of course), or could soothe them and put them at ease on the basis of it being “uncool” is sincerely disturbing. What kind of parent could possibly be more concerned with being “cool” than being a good nurturer??? *shakes head*

  5. Enyo says:

    I’ve tried to sing to Norton. I really have. However, my kid apparently did not inherit the “tone deaf” gene from my mother’s side of the family. (I didn’t, either, actually.) This means that he is aware of how awfully his mom sings, so he screams whenever I try to sing to him. He always has.

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