What Kind of Music is Soothing to Babies?

Which Music is Soothing for Babies?

We know how much joy babies can give to each and every one of us in our lifetime. However, honestly speaking, they can be quite the undertaking. Between dealing with their crankiness, being hungry or upset, and constantly discovering new things about life, it can get a little overwhelming. One way to make things easier for both you and your child is to make sure that they’re calm and at peace. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is to soothe them through a wonderful little thing called music!

I personally love music. It always lifts my spirits up even on a terrible day. I know that not everyone is into music, but music has been shown that it can soothe babies. But, what kind of music is best for your baby? The following music has been studied and proven to help newborns sleep. These include:

  • Classical
  • Nature Sounds
  • Lullabies
  • Various Types of White Noise
  • Your Own Voice

If you’re interested in learning about the different benefits of each category, read below to find out!



Almost all of us can enjoy some classical music. Whether you hear in a movie, or from a familiar video, there is at least one classical song that almost all of us enjoys very much. Even though there are no lyrics behind classical music, classical instruments possess some sort of mystical sound that can bring out emotions from deep within us, regardless of our age. Try to find something soothing, you don’t want intense or very loud classical music to play for your child. Some classical music has lots of buildups and creates a sense of over excitement that would most likely be a poor choice for your baby to hear. Basically, if it isn’t soothing, it probably isn’t a good fit for a newborn. You should look for something that’s light and sounds overall positive, and doesn’t have any dark undertones to it. A great choice is harp music, because it’s simple, light, and has great melodies that can put almost anyone to sleep, including newborns. Another great choice for classical is something with light strings or piano. Both of these are great choices because they can be very light, and easy on the ears. Anything that invokes a sense of calmness and peacefulness can help put just about anyone to sleep, including your stubborn little one!


What could be better for soothing your baby than sounds of nature herself? Nature has such a wide variety of soothing sounds that are great for any age, especially infants. It’s been proven that listening to nature sounds can increase happiness and positivity, and can also make you feel more relaxed. Some of these wonderful sounds include:

1. Birds Singing

2. Ocean Waves

3. A Stream of Water

4. Wind Blowing Through Trees or Grass

5. The Sound of Rain

You have a great variety to choose from. The raw sounds of nature are so smoothing and extremely peaceful. There are so many choices to pick from and I doubt that you’ll have a hard time picking from them.


Lullabies are one of the most common choices of music to soothe newborns. There are good reasons for this. In most lullabies, the songs are composed to only use a few notes that are repeated over and over to create a peaceful soundscape in which newborns can easily fall asleep to. The repetitive rhythm of lullabies is similar to a mother swaying her baby or that of a cradle. This is why babies are often lulled to sleep by the simplicity of lullabies, as well as the hypnotizing and beautiful sounds that accompany them.

Here’s a list of lullabies that are recommended for newborns. All of these are wonderful options in no particular order:

  1. Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
  2. Rock-A-Bye Baby
  3. Hush Little Baby
  4. Brahms Lullaby
  5. I Often Go Walking
  6. When You Wish Upon A Star
  7. Scarborough Fair
  8. Let No Man to Steal Your Thyme
  9. Danny Boy
  10. Over the Rainbow

All of these songs have something in common. They all have wonderfully soft and peaceful underlying tones and are sung in a quiet, yet peaceful manner. These qualities are perfect for slowly soothing your baby.

White Noise

Believe it or not, babies respond very positively to white noise. The sound of a fan running or even a machine are both examples of white noise. Surprisingly, inside the mother’s womb is very loud for the baby. Between blood rushing, hearing your heartbeat and other sounds that your organs are making, digesting food, and so on, are all things that your baby grew up hearing! This is why when you say “shh”, it calms them because you’re actually making a white noise sound. Obviously, you’re not going to be keeping things like a hairdryer or fan running all the time, so you might want to invest in a sound machine for them. If you don’t want to invest in that, you can easily get some cheap speakers and play white noise sounds through that. White noise is great for just about any baby!

Sound of Your Own Voice

Your own voice is one the best options out of your arsenal. One of the most soothing and familiar sounds to your child is the sound of your own unique and individual voice! You might think that newborns can’t recognize your voice until they are born. This is far from true. They actually learn and recognize your voice beginning from inside your womb. Once your child develops enough, they will begin to hear what’s going on outside of your belly. This includes just about anything that they can hear nearby, which includes your own loving voice! Another thing to note when you’re pregnant – whatever you’re hearing and what you react to, your baby will be aware of it!

It’s important for babies to be able to recognize and hear your own voice.. Your voice is one that they are extremely familiar with, and it’s soothing to them. It comforts them and gives them a sense of familiarity. Right when they’re born, they love to hear your voice and will continue to want to hear your voice when they grow up. When they are upset or crying, they can easily be soothed by your own voice through gentle talking or singing lullabies to them. Each mom has their own preference to what lullaby they like, and there isn’t a single bad choice. Don’t be afraid to sing out loud ladies! Good voice or bad, your child isn’t judging your voice and frankly does not care. What matters is that they find your voice comforting and soothing, regardless if you can sing well or not!

Even if you don’t want to sing to them, just talking to them is soothing enough. Tell them stories, or tell them about your day. By gently talking or even reading a story, you’ll be able to involve them, comfort them, and soothe them by showing them attention and familiarity. The learn to hone in on your voice, and it’ll help them eventually grow and understand until they can comprehend what you’re saying.

Final Thoughts

Playing music is a great option to soothe your baby, and was successful in my own little test run! I decided to research it quite a bit more and take note of what worked best for me and my baby personally. Who knows, your little boy or girl might enjoy some music that you do too!

If you do have music playing, don’t just have a playlist that abruptly ends. You definitely want to have the music playing well after they drift off. If the music plays and shuts off before they fall asleep, it might wake them up. You can always slowly turn on the music as they are falling asleep and wait for them to fall sleep before turning it off.

It’s important to consider the type of music you play, because babies can hear and feel the tone and emotion behind it. Calmer music will almost always be a better option than something that is heavier, louder, or more intense. You definitely want something that doesn’t stress them out but rather quietly soothes them instead.

Another really cool thing about music is that it can actually slow your heart rate down, as well as your breathing, and also make your muscles relax. Each of these things can lead to you falling asleep quickly, as well as a better quality of sleep.

You can even play music from other languages. Even if they can’t understand much of anything, they can actually tell there is a difference from one language to another based on the tone. Some of the lullabies I listed were actually originally written in different languages. Just a fun little fact!

To sum it up, music is absolutely wonderful for newborns. It can help them be calmer, soothe them, and ultimately help them get to sleep. Music and sounds can truly benefit your baby in so many different ways. As long as it isn’t too loud or upbeat, there are practically no downsides to playing some of these types of sounds. Go ahead and try it out!

Did any of these work better than others such as lullabies versus white noise? Any favorites that your baby has? Please comment below and let me know, I’d love to hear!

About the Author Elizabeth

Hi everyone, I'm Elizabeth. My beautiful daughter Alice keeps me awake occasionally...but when I'm busy and can't sleep, I post parenting tips and different ways you can get your baby to sleep soundly through the night, and even naps!