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7 Best Nursery Songs for Babies

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27 February, 2023

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Listening to music is one of the best ways for babies to form necessary neural connections in the brain. Since their hearing is more developed than other senses, much of their sensory stimulation and processing often come from auditory stimuli like music. However, not all types of music are suitable for the baby.

According to childcare experts, infants are primarily affected by the melody of the songs that they hear. While classical music, nursery songs, and lullabies put your baby to sleep, upbeat and loud music might dangerously increase their heartbeats or cause them stress.

If you’re looking for the best nursery songs for your baby to listen to, you might consider the following.

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

This classic nursery tune is perfect for soothing babies because it has the right cadence and rhythm for lulling babies to sleep. The slow melody combined with mommy’s metronomic rocking is sure to calm down even the wildest tantrums. 

It is also perfectly fine to hum the melody to your little one at first since they won’t understand the words yet. However, after a while, you might want to sing your little one the complete song because your baby will eventually benefit from becoming familiar with the words in it. 

Watch and listen with your little one here: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star by Super Simple Learning

Photo by Анастасия Триббиани

Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes 

This catchy classic is another favorite of most parents. The song’s melody is easy to remember, and its lyrics give babies an excellent introduction to some essential body parts. 

To make it even more effective, touch the actual body parts of your baby while singing the song. This should turn the popular classic into a practical science lesson for your baby. Keep repeating this song to your little ones regularly; they’ll know all these body parts before they even start walking. 

Watch and listen with your little one here: Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes by Pop Babies

Mary Had a Little Lamb

If you want a break from the Twinkle, Twinkle music loop, you can try this similarly catchy vibe. It might be a bit more upbeat, but it is still well within the lullaby pace and a certified favorite of children of all ages. 

Watch and listen with your little one here: Mary Had a Little Lamb by ChuChu TV

Photo by thedanw

Itsy Bitsy Spider

This song may not be in your lullaby lineup, but it is great for entertaining your baby. Together with the hand movements, it has a cheerful melody, and the lyrics are perfect for adding to your baby’s simple but ever-growing vocabulary. Don’t be surprised if your baby learns “up” and “down” from the Itsy Bitsy Spider

Watch and listen with your little one here: Itsy Bitsy Spider by Twinkle Little Songs

ABC Song

The alphabet song carries the same melody as Twinkle Twinkle, so it’s no surprise that babies respond to it as they do to a lullaby. However, in addition to soothing the baby through its relaxing rhythm, the ABC song plays another critical role: introducing the alphabet to your little one. 

Watch and listen with your little one here: Alphabets by Imaginary Junior

If You’re Happy and You Know It

When your baby is up and refuses to sleep, give him a little physical exercise with this classic nursery favorite. Hold your baby’s hands together for a clap, or stretch a leg for a stomp, then repeat. Your baby will surely enjoy these playful movements as you repeatedly sing this happy little song to him. 

Watch and listen with your little one here: If You’re Happy and You Know It by Cocomelon

Photo by Gustavo Fring

Wheels on the Bus

This song has a great combination of an upbeat melody and catchy lyrics. This is probably why Wheels on the Bus is still a favorite for many children (even those of preschool age). 

Yes, your babies won’t be able to appreciate what a bus is or how its wheels and wipers move, but they will certainly enjoy you moving and dancing to the beat of the song. 

These seven nursery songs can start a long playlist for your little one. Find out which tunes your baby will like most and slowly introduce him to others. 

Watch and listen with your little one here: Wheels on the Bus by Imaginary Junior

Frequently Asked Questions

When should I start introducing music to my baby?

Babies are born with well-developed hearing. They can hear much better than they see when they’re born. 

They’ve also been listening to sounds since they were inside their mothers, so you can start introducing music to your unborn baby as early as 6 to 7 months into pregnancy. 

Some of the best songs you can play are the following nursery classics:

How does music help babies?

Music provides several benefits to your babies:

  • It serves as a necessary sensory stimulus.
  • The right music can soothe them or calm them down.
  • It can hasten your baby’s speech and language development.
  • It also makes certain words easier to learn because of familiarization.

Which type of music should babies listen to?

According to childcare experts, classical music remains the number one choice for your baby. However, nursery songs come in at a close second. These songs (classical and nursery songs) carry the most appropriate range of beats for sufficiently stimulating the baby without causing them any harm. 

Can music overstimulate a baby?

Yes. Just like in adults, sustained, loud, excessively punchy music (sounds) can be too much for the baby to process. This can lead to confusion, irritability, and a lot of crying. Physically, it can also damage the developing sensory tissues in the ears. 

Is it ok to play music all night for the baby?

Continuous music is not recommended at night. According to childcare experts, the baby’s brain can stay tuned to the music even after falling asleep. This may prevent your baby from reaching deep sleep and affect his development.  

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