Best Baby Sleep Music on YouTube: Every Parent’s Guide
Sleep is vital for life, and we all know how horrible we may feel after a couple of sleepless nights. Sleep helps our bodies to repair, our minds to clear, and our brains to rest. Sleep is also crucial for memory and learning new things. A good night’s sleep is especially important for babies, as they are still growing and developing at such a rapid pace.
Music can help your baby to sleep better and support your baby’s development. There is a reason why parents have been using lullabies and soft relaxing music for hundreds of years to help their babies to sleep. Only recently, however, have we started learning about why music is so important and how it helps development.
How Music Promotes Development – The Science Behind It
Although the brain of a baby is not fully developed and is different from that of an adult in obvious ways such as size, the structure is still the same. Babies have a frontal cortex, hypothalamus, and all the same brain areas and parts that have different functions, just like us adults do.
Sounds and music are processed in the auditory cortex in the brain, which is located in the temporal lobe. Already from 25 weeks’ gestation, the auditory system will become functional. This means the baby can hear sounds even in the womb. Studies have found that babies can recognize their mothers’ voice and other familiar sounds before they are even born.
One of the reasons lullabies might be so good at helping babies to sleep is the way they are similar to a mother’s speech. A study conducted at the University of Toronto looked at the way mothers speak to their babies. They found that they tend to elevate their pitch, simplify their speech contours, and speak repetitively and slower than usual.
When you think about lullabies and soft classical music, it usually has similar characteristics; repetition, smooth contours, and a slow tempo. It is possible that this kind of music relaxes the baby, as it reminds them of their mothers’ speech. This way, the music would seem familiar and bring comfort to the baby.
A lot of adults also like using soft music to relax and help them to sleep. Research has found that listening to relaxing music can reduce activity in the sympathetic nervous system (thus helping us to relax), decrease anxiety and blood pressure, and overall have a positive, relaxing effect which may lead to improved sleep.
The reason music is so effective for relaxing us could be that we had learned this in our infancy when our parents sang us lullabies or played us soft music. Therefore we associate peaceful music to safety and comfort, which helps us to feel relaxed.
Other Benefits of Music for a Baby’s Development
Studies have shown that music has a positive effect on the physical, emotional, and intellectual development of babies and children. Music also helps to strengthen their cognitive and sensory development. As mentioned before, babies can already hear and recognize sounds in the womb.
A recent study found that babies who were exposed to 70 hours of classical music during the last weeks of pregnancy, were more advanced in their motor, linguistic and intellectual development six months later when compared to babies that received no musical stimulus.
You may have laughed at those parents who use headphones to play music through the mom’s baby bump, but who’s laughing now?!
You may be wondering why music is so beneficial for development, and how on earth listening to songs can help your child to become smarter and even advance their motor skills. It all has to do with stimulating the brain. When a human is born, they have the most neural connections in their brain than they ever will. These connections will start dying off as we grow — it’s normal and not as scary as it sounds!
The neural pathways that are not used or stimulated will stop existing, and those that are used will grow stronger. It is believed that music stimulates these neural connections, making them stronger and therefore helps the development of the brain.
In turn, this will help the overall development of all kinds of skills, including memory, creativity, and language. The more connections and the stronger they are, the better!
Choosing the Best Kind of Music for Your Baby
The best type of music is, of course, soft music with few or preferably no lyrics, with a slow and constant tempo that does not keep changing majorly. Intuitively we all know, techno music or heavy metal will not promote peaceful sleep for anyone. Babies like repetitiveness, and if there are any significant changes in the tempo or volume, this could easily trigger the baby to wake up.
If the music is used to block out other noise from inside or outside the house, a sound machine that provides a constant background noise might be the best option. Some people also prefer white noise rather than music, although this may be an individual preference.
The important factors are that the baby will find the music relaxing, and it will promote a night of restful sleep. You need to find what works for your baby, as everyone is individual and has their own preferences – even babies!
When and How to Use Sleep Music
If you have found a song that puts your baby to sleep every time, it may be tempting to keep using it over and over again. However, this may not be the best idea. If your baby gets used to the same song being played every night, this song will become their sleep trigger.
Although this may be convenient for you now, it may not be so in the future. What happens when you don’t have access to the song, or if your baby is spending the night elsewhere, in a different sound environment? They might not be able to sleep at all if the association with the song and sleep becomes too strong. To put it simply, they might become dependent on the music to get themselves to sleep.
It is good to train your baby to be able to sleep under different types of environments. This will promote good, easy sleeping in the future once your baby grows. Sleep music is great for sleep training but should not be used all night and every night for long periods. You may incorporate sleep music into a sleep ritual or change the song and the length of time you play it for your baby.
A sleep ritual is a routine you do before bed; for example, for you, it may be brushing your teeth and reading a book before you go to sleep. This is a way to tell your mind and body to prepare for sleep, and babies need that too. Consistent sleep rituals promote good sleep, as the association between the ritual and sleep becomes stronger in the brain.
Imagine going straight to sleep after coming back from the gym or watching a scary film. Your body is in a state of alertness, and your brain is still very active, and sleeping will be difficult. This is why we need sleep routines, to create a transitioning period between the hustle and bustle of the day, and the restfulness of the night.
For babies, music and lowered lights can be used as a sleep ritual to prepare them for bedtime. If you have a similar sleep ritual for the baby every night, they will learn the association between the ritual and sleep. This means every time you lower the lights and put some soft music on, your baby’s brain and body will become relaxed and start preparing for sleep.
Ready to start exploring your options? There are thousands of options out there, so it can be daunting to find one that suits you and your baby’s needs. We have rounded up some options for sleep music on YouTube.
These videos are of varying lengths, depending on whether you are looking to play something just for a couple of hours as a part of a sleep routine, or want a song that will keep your baby restful and relaxed for the whole night.
28 Best Baby Sleep Music on YouTube Videos
1. A very short video of quiet and peaceful music
This piece is a very slow and quiet one and could be used as background noise as well as music. If you’re looking for an almost unnoticeable tune to play in the background for a short period such as during a sleep ritual, this is perfect for that, as it’s only 2 minutes long.
2. Short video of lullabies with soft singing
This video is a compilation of sweet lullabies with an adorable background of the adventures of a bear cub and a mama bear. Although it does include some singing, it is a very calming and peaceful video to have in the background for when you’re putting your baby to sleep. It’s only 15 minutes long, so a great choice if you want something short. Some of the singing is by children as well, which makes it extra adorable!
3. A short compilation of nursery rhymes
At only 30 minutes long, this video is a great choice if you want a bit of background music for when you’re putting your baby to sleep, or want to use it to keep them calm for a while just after you leave the room. These softly played classic tunes will relax your baby and promote a night of good sleep.
4. Half an hour of sleep music
This video provides 30 minutes of soft, slow music to fall asleep to. It’s specially made for new-born babies but works for all age groups.
5. Hush Little Baby – classic traditional lullaby
This video plays the song Hush Little Baby for 30 minutes. It’s perfect to use as a part of a sleep time routine, or if you don’t want to leave music on all night. With a slow tempo, this beautiful classic piece is sure to relax your baby and prepare them for bedtime.
6. Two hours of sweet and soft music for sleep
This is a repetition of the same tune for 2 hours, with minimal gaps in between. The music has a very modest composition, using only a few instruments to make it simple and easy to listen to.
7. One hour of calming classical music lullabies
A mixture of the famous Brahms, Mozart and Beethoven lullabies. Very relaxing and calming, slow tempo. Lasting just an hour, this video is also a good length if you want to train your baby to fall asleep to a song but not have it on all night.
8. Disney songs to fall asleep to
Just over an hour long, this video consists of relaxing, instrumental versions of some Disney favorites, such as “Can you feel the love tonight,” “Colors of the wind,” and “Let it go.” Adults will be able to enjoy it as much as babies!
9. Two hours of Brahms’ famous lullaby
Super soft, orchestral version of Brahms famous lullaby. This is a very repetitive, slow and calming video with a lovely background of clouds and shooting stars as well.
10. Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star for two hours
This is a classic choice. Two hours of this all-time favorite lullaby from Mozart is almost guaranteed to put your baby (and you) to sleep. This is a super soft, orchestral version of the classic, played on a lovely, slow and consistent tempo.
11. Relaxing and peaceful sleep music
This video provides two hours of peaceful music for your baby to fall asleep to. The music is played with soft, beautiful instruments and is very calm and relaxing.
This is not as repetitive as some of the other choices, and the volume does not stay as consistent, so make sure to play it on low volume.
It is included here for those who want a bit of change to their baby’s sleep routine and prefer a less repetitive tune. It’s still an excellent video; just pay attention to the slight volume changes.
12. Piano music for a restful sleep
This two-hour video provides soft piano music to fall asleep to. Although not the slowest piece, it is repetitive, and the tempo is slow enough not to excite your baby but to put them to sleep.
13. Soft music and relaxing bird sounds
This video not only has the cutest background of pandas, hippos, and other animals but is also extremely relaxing to listen to. The music has a lovely slow tempo, and on top of it, you can hear beautiful birdsong.
This is perfect if you can’t make up your mind between music and relaxing nature sounds – now you can have both! Your baby will surely love this piece, and at one hour long it is enough time to fall asleep to.
14. Calm music with a colorful background
This video has a slightly psychedelic background, but that’s fine since your baby will not be looking at it but rather listening to the music.
This video is a compilation of some of the classic lullabies such as Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star and other traditional nursery rhymes. It’s a good choice if you want slow, predictable tempo, but feel like simply playing the same tune for hours is too boring.
This video is two hours and five minutes long but still included in the list for shorter videos as it is a good choice for bedtime routines.
15. Famous children’s songs played softly
This is another compilation of softly played classic tunes to make your baby feel at ease and relaxed. A great video if you like the classics and are only looking for something short-ish. This video provides one hour of songs played on a slow, beautiful rhythm.
16. Relaxing piano music – not just for babies!
This video, although not advertised for babies, is a very relaxing piece that you can use as a part of a sleep time routine. The rhythm is slow enough to promote sleep and relaxation.
If you get sick of hearing the same song playing over and over or feel a bit tired of nursery rhymes, this is a good alternative option. Because let’s face it, often it’s not just the baby who will be enjoying the music!
17. Calming music and under the sea sounds
Another video incorporating nature sounds with sleep music. This video creates a lovely, under the sea type of soundscape with bubbling water and a background of fish swimming around. The music is beautiful and very relaxing.
This 4-hour long video is a good choice if your baby takes a while to fall asleep or tends to wake up early in the night and needs the music to fall back asleep.
18. Classic Brahms’ Hushaby
Another video for Brahms’ classic tunes. Three hours of sweet sounds to make sure your baby falls fully asleep before the music stops. The rhythm is slow and peaceful – there is a reason Brahms’ lullabies have several mentions on this list!
19. Relaxing and peaceful Mozart
Classic composers are great for putting babies to sleep – which is why Mozart also has a couple of mentions on the list. This video provides a cute owl background, and three hours of peaceful sounds to fall asleep to.
20. Sweet dreams from Best Baby Lullaby
This video plays just over 8 hours of sweet, soft lullabies to guarantee a night of sweet dreams for your baby. The tunes are very soft, and although not the slowest of tempo, it is repetitive and still suitable for sleep music, as long as you play it quietly.
21. Pink Owl’s best lullabies
Relaxing music with an adorable background of a pink owl. This 6-hour long video provides magical, relaxing sounds to put your baby to sleep and keep them relaxed all night. If you feel six hours is not enough for a full night, you can also use this at naptime.
22. Super long video for a full night of sleep
With this 12-hour long video, you definitely don’t have to worry about the music stopping too soon! This extra-relaxing version of Brahms’ classic lullaby will keep your baby relaxed and sound asleep (hopefully!) all night long.
23. Lullabies combined with rain sounds
This lovely 8-hour long video has classic lullabies played softly, combined with fantastic nature sounds. In the background, you hear soothing rain, and even some soft thunder at times.
Using this video is a good way to incorporate different types of sounds into the baby’s sleep environment, as it provides consistency in the rhythm of the song, but also some surprises with the thunder sounds. Don’t worry, the thunder really is soft and not too loud!
24. A full night of lovely lullabies on repeat
Called “Little Angel,” this beautiful piece of music is very relaxing and will get anyone’s eyes to close soon enough. At almost 9-hours long this video can keep your baby happy and sleepy all night if that’s what you are looking for.
25. Disney favorites for amazing sleep
This is a favorite for all Disney lovers out there who want to make sure from a young age your child will also be a fan! These songs are not the slowest in tempo but played at a low volume, they are still relaxing.
The music is soft and beautiful, and well suited for sleep music. The gaps between songs are a bit longer than in some other videos, but that shouldn’t bother the baby’s sleep at all. The video is 12-hours long, so you can leave it on all night!
26. All night Brahms lullabies
Eight hours of the classic composer Brahms’ lullaby music should put anyone (or any baby) to sleep and keep them that way too! Beautiful and relaxing music that you can play all night long. With a slow tempo and repetitiveness, this was made for sleeping.
27. White noise for colicky babies
Although white noise may sound annoying to us, for some reason a lot of babies love it, and it makes them relaxed! This video provides 10 hours of white noise to help your baby to sleep through the whole night and give you some well-deserved rest too.
28. Mozart’s most famous
Compilation of Mozart’s music, this 8-hour long video provides enough sleep music to last through the whole night. This beautiful song has a good, slow-ish rhythm and promotes relaxation and good sleep.
Other Things to Keep In Mind When Using Sleep Music
You may wish to download the music pieces you like on your phone or laptop and play them through a speaker, instead of simply leaving the laptop on in the baby’s room. The reasons for this are because the laptop will provide light in one way or another, which may distract your baby’s sleep. Even small amounts of light have been found to disturb sleep.
It is best to use blackout curtains and not leave any screens on if you want to ensure an environment that promotes a night of good sleep.
Also, unless you have paid for a YouTube premium membership, there are likely to be adverts before or during the song, which is distracting. You wouldn’t want your baby to wake up in the middle of the night because of an ad!
The good thing about longer videos is that when your baby wakes up in the middle of the night, the relaxing sounds can help them to fall back asleep. However, as mentioned in the introduction, you should also teach your baby to self-soothe and fall asleep without any prompts.
There is a way to find a balance of using sleep triggers and promoting healthy sleep in different types of sound environments; you just have to find what works best for you and your baby.
Another thing to keep in mind is making sure you have enough charge or battery on your electronics for the night; if you are planning to keep the music on all night and using a Bluetooth speaker, you don’t want that annoying beeping sound that alerts you for battery running out, to wake your baby!
By now, you will have learned a lot about music, sleep, and babies. You learned about the science behind music and its effects on development, and you learned why music is so good at relaxing babies.
We also talked about when and how to use music to promote good sleep, and why we should avoid using it excessively to the point the baby becomes dependent on it.
With these tips and the list of choices we provided, you are all set on planning your sleep routine and using relaxing sleep music to help your baby sleep better and promote growth and development. Hopefully, you will sleep better as a result too!