We all have a favorite song or composition that makes us feel relaxed. Music has an immense influence on our physical and psychological well-being, and just as it works for us, it can also work for our children, including infants. Classical music also has a particularly important role in a young child’s brain development, as research has shown many times.
That’s where famous classical lullabies come in. They’re guaranteed to calm your baby down and help the entire family get some much-needed rest. These tunes are particularly pleasant and harmonious, which helps reduce stress in everyone who listens. As a bonus, classical music may enhance your child’s psychological development.
Let’s see why classical music is just what you and your baby need, and which famous classical lullabies have the best effect on young children.
Play Famous Classical Lullabies Before the Baby is Born
It might sound silly, but it’s true: babies in the womb can hear ambient sounds early. Starting from the sixteenth week of pregnancy, unborn children start to learn to differentiate between their mother’s voice and other sounds. During the same time, those babies start to recognize familiar sounds.
A baby who’s regularly exposed to classical compositions has a chance to memorize the tunes and get used to them. Once the baby is born, she will react positively to music that has already been listening to inside the womb. That way, classical music contributes to a feeling of familiarity and security, and babies who feel secure tend to fall asleep more easily.
For premature children, music therapy, which consists of listening to soothing lullabies, delivers even more important effects. It’s been proven that music may help premature babies maintain their physiological functions, such as sleep, feeding behavior, and heart and respiratory rates.
But we need to be careful with that. The impact of music on such a young organism is powerful and must be controlled. Music that’s too loud or disturbing in any way can have adverse effects. So, instead of helping your child be happier, healthier, and have enough sleep, the wrong music choice or loud speakers can do more harm than good.
Finding the right music to help a baby get to sleep is harder than you think. That’s why we prepared this guide and found five amazing collections of famous classical lullabies that the whole family will love.
Peaceful Music for R&R at Home
Chill, soothing melodies instantly affect everyone, especially children. Even when it’s not time to sleep, you can take advantage of this great capacity of music, and use it to slow things down.
If children are nervous, scared, or tired, a pleasant composition may draw their attention and calm them down to the point when they don’t even think about what made them nervous.
Music is also a great way to create firm bonds with your baby. Babies love being rocked to the rhythm of a lullaby. That’s a great weapon that many parents have already discovered.
It’s great for concentration, too. Calming music can help your child to focus on activities such as drawing, coloring, or reading. Music neutralizes other sounds that may disturb the child, so they can concentrate more easily on the task at hand.
Famous Classical Lullabies Help Children Fall Asleep
Instrumental music is your greatest ally when it comes to putting young children to sleep. It’s been helping parents like you for ages, and it tends to work.
The secret is in setting a routine with music as the focal point. If you play the same set of classical tunes, in exactly the same order, at the same time, day after day, this will give a powerful signal to your child. Kids easily connect repetitive things, and if they once fall asleep while a particular composition is being played, the next time they hear it, they’ll stop resisting their sleepiness.
What’s Good for Your Baby Is Good for You
Lullabies are simply relaxing and parents are not immune to their power. Whether you’re a new or experienced parent, you’re certainly under stress often. Listening to the same lullabies that help soothe your children is excellent anti-stress therapy.
Emotions are contagious. If we listen to something unnerving, it will upset us. Likewise, if we listen to pleasant tunes, it will make us feel more relaxed.
Classical Music and Your Child’s IQ
There’s a theory that says that classical music – especially Mozart’s compositions – can improve children’s IQ. That’s not completely proven, although some studies have suggested that children who grew up listening to Mozart’s Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major had a higher capacity for abstract reasoning.
Even if this is not correct, the right selection of classical tunes still has an enormous benefit on any child’s development.
Did you know that the first lullaby ever recorded didn’t have the purpose of calming the baby down? Its main aim was to frighten the baby so that he would finally get to sleep instead of disturbing the house gods with his crying. Yup, seriously.
The lullaby begins with a menacing warning to a “Little baby in the dark house.” Sounds incredible, but one such lullaby was inscribed on a clay tablet 4000 years ago in Babylon.
Verdict: Best for tired parents.
This wonderful compilation of 16 famous classical lullabies and other soothing tunes will reward you with one hour of peace whenever you play it. From Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata to Haydn’s Serenade, to Chopin’s Nocturne, this collection presents some of the most precious jewels of the classical canon.
Every second of peace and quiet is precious, and this album gives you plenty of such moments. Your children will quickly get used to the music and start to enjoy it, and you will enjoy it, as well. First, because the children will be more tranquil and you won’t be spending hours trying to rock them to sleep. Second, because you’ll get a chance to experience the soothing effect of those tunes yourself.
Verdict: Best for nervous babies.
Volume 2 continues where the previous album left off, featuring another 16 calming, soothing classical masterpieces that you can listen to with your baby. This compilation includes Luigi Boccherini’s Minuet, Clair de Lune by Claude Debussy, Brahms’ Cradle Song (aka Brahm’s Lullaby), Bach’s Air, and more.
Verdict: Best for the Mozart effect.
This album is different from the previous two as it contains the work of one composer – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. That’s not only because the man was a genius, nor because many of his pieces are pleasant for young children. No, the real reason is the alleged “Mozart Effect.”
Legend has it that Mozart’s music in particular makes our children smarter. This might be true, but it’s not definitively proven, so don’t get too excited. Either way, Mozart is an excellent choice of a composer that may spark an everlasting passion for music in your children.
This volume includes Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (Serenade No. 13 in G Major, K. 525), Piano Sonata in F Major, Concerto For Flute & Harp In C Major, Clarinet Concerto In A Major, and more.
Verdict: Best for Mozart lovers.
For those who believe in the “Mozart Effect,” and for those who just want a pleasant and cheerful selection of melodies to listen to with their children, here’s another volume of the Baby’s First Mozart collection.
The album includes Ave Verum, Flute Concerto No.1, Piano Concerto No. 26, Symphony No. 58, and more.
Verdict: Best for parents.
This collection is more versatile. We think it’s brilliant, but some of the pieces are not entirely suitable for young children. La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24: Dance of the Sylphes by Hector Berlioz and Eduard Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite No.3, Op.55 probably belong to a Halloween list rather than a list of lullabies.
The album also includes the beautiful Winter from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, Bach’s Sonata No. 2 in E Major, Barcarole by Jacques Offenbach, and more. While it might be unsuitable for young babies, children aged 4 and above will enjoy it – as well as the parents. In addition to that, this is a double album with two hours of music for your family.
Famous Classical Lullabies: Buying Tips
While there's a vast selection of music for babies available everywhere, classical and traditional lullabies still work best for young children.
Whether you opt for classical songs or instrumental lullabies, we recommend that you listen to them before you play the album for your children. We've checked these five albums already and, with the exception of the last one, they are all great substitutes for baby music.
However, no one knows your baby better than you do, so you'll be the first to notice if there's something in an otherwise soothing lullaby that might disturb your child.
If you'd like to pick one of the albums above, we wholeheartedly recommend Sweet Dreams, both volumes 1 and 2, to all parents with young children and expecting parents.
For Mozart lovers, options 3 and 4 are best. The children will appreciate joyful music and will get used to Mozart's specific style, which will make their listening experience even more pleasant.
The last baby lullaby collection on our list is perfect for parents and children over 3 years. In addition to famous lullabies, this collection contains a couple of compositions that a younger child might not enjoy quite so much.
Note that instrumental baby lullabies are better than singalong songs. Songs are a fantastic tool for the development of language skills, and you'll need lots of them as your child grows a bit older, but for the purpose of calming and getting to sleep, instrumental lullabies are irreplaceable.
We hope you liked our classic lullaby favorites. Hopefully, we've helped you find the perfect collection of famous classical lullabies for your children. Check out our other reviews and recommendations on our website, and don't forget to subscribe.