Music for Babies

Huzzah! New question in the inbox!  This one comes from my friend Alex:

So, what music will Kung Pao be rocking to in a few weeks?  My two boys currently like Barton Hollow.  The 9 month old laughs every time we play it.
In case you haven’t heard it, here’s the youtube music video:

THAT is a really good question.  Hmm. One I hadn’t even thought about, actually.

Turns out, I gave up on music about three years ago when I got married.  It wasn’t a conscious decision… I never said to myself, “Music? Kid stuff! I’m gonna eat donuts instead!”

But that’s pretty much what happened. I pretty much just gave up on music.

These days, I pretty much just listen to Podcasts.

So here’s my plan.  I’m gonna let Kung Pao take a few days to get settled in to her new surroundings after we bring her home, then I’ll set her up with her very own ipod mini loaded with all sorts of great podcasts:

  • podcasts about storytelling
  • podcasts about web hosting
  • podcasts about mormon culture
  • podcasts about WordPress
  • podcasts about urban planning

After all, the earlier she learns this stuff the better.

The only thing she’s missing is podcasts about bikes, but that’s just because there aren’t any good ones out there. I’ve tried them all, they’re all lousy.

But let’s watch that video you linked to:

Ok, nice. The Civil Wars, huh? Ok, I’ll give it a shot. If she starts to get bored with the WordPress podcasts, I’ll throw some The Civil Wars on and see what happens. I thought babies were supposed to like clown music or something. Is that not true anymore?

Maybe someone out there can give me some pointers: Parents, what kind of music are you playing for your babies?

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10 comments to Music for Babies

  • When my kids were little I listened to Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Zepplin in the car when they were with me. They turned out OK. They even used to like that stuff until their hearts were turned by the allure of gagsta rap.


  • The Rooman loves Raffi.

  • We have music on all day everyday. I can’t stand it to be quiet around here and its really good for the baby’s development to have music on. I pretty much play stuff that I enjoy listening to, but that’s mellow for the baby too. The contemporary singer songwriter channel on Pandora is a big favorite right now. There are a bunch of popular bands that have come out with kids music that is bearable too. My absolute favorite song in that genre? “All my friends are Insects” by Weezer.

    For older kids, They Might Be Giants has a few kids albums, they are seriously great. I sometimes listen to them without kids around! 🙂

    Also, in a pinch? Max loves NPR. A little “This American Life” is good for the soul…

  • I love the Civil Wars! I haven’t found my kids to be especially partial but I don’t really crank the music at home. I do in the car but that’s usually radio so it can be just about anything.

  • For non-children music, mine seems to respond best to The Offspring.

  • Liz

    We downloaded this special “Baby Comforting Music” (aka white noise) on iTunes and play it in his room nonstop. It is the only way I can get him to sleep and to block out all of our house’s creeks and cracks! I’m sure I’ll add some tunes into the mix later, but for now anything that gives me sleep is what I’ll play!

    But when it’s not sleep time, we also play pandora stations, and he seems to dig that.

    I highly recommend getting some white noise downloaded, stat! You never know when you will be bringing baby kung poa home. Or you could always go with an old fashioned fan… that would work too. Trust me, you are going to want white noise!

  • We just used a humidifier. The noise from that seems to be good enough for The Rooman and it served a double purpose as our house is very dry.

  • My parents played us a lot of John Prine, Paul Simon’s “Graceland” album, and any and all versions of the song “The Tennessee Waltz.” Apparently it was the only thing that would stop us from crying.

  • Katie

    Kung Pao has been able to hear since Mel was 17-18 weeks pregnant with her. She’ll respond to anything she’s heard while in utero, but especially Mel’s voice. I agree that white noise is essential for quality sleep (both your and hers), but any music that calms either of you down will work. She’s more likely to respond to your emotions than much else.

  • Alex

    Like Katie said, little babies like whatever they heard in utero, mostly mommy. Kids in general like familiar things, so whatever they listen to the most, is what they will like. Our older child (he’s 2 so really old here) has a few favorite Foo Fighters songs that he’s listened to a lot. Mostly in the car.