Toddler bedtime playlist
May 15, 2015 7:06 AM   Subscribe

Suggestions for songs to add to a toddler bedtime playlist?

Daycare plays music at the end of lunchtime and through nap time to get the kids sleepy and asleep. We want to try this at home for bedtime, but the radio is a crapshoot for sleepy-appropriate songs. What songs should we have on a toddler bedtime playlist?

Some background - Mama (me) likes our local indie radio station. Daddy likes rock music, but Mama doesn't like the angry stuff. Kiddo seems to like Woodsongs when its on on Saturday mornings, but usually tends to change the radio over to the classic oldies/rock station when playing.

I pay for a Pandora account, we have access to YouTube and YouTube Kids, and I have no qualms about paying for songs on Google Play or iTunes or actual CDs/vinyl.
posted by jillithd to Media & Arts (17 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Search Google Play or iTunes for "Lullaby Baby Trio" - they have a good number of albums that are instrumental covers of rock and pop music. I have a Play Music subscription so I can stream all of it - I usually just start up a playlist of all their music set on shuffle, then come back and turn it off after the kids are fully asleep.
posted by trivia genius at 7:39 AM on May 15, 2015

They Might Be Giants' No has a trio of bedtime songs at the end of the album: one energetic one about the process of going to bed, a quiet one about two friends disagreeing because they're so tired, and a mid-tempo peaceful one about people sleepwalking. We listen to the whole album regularly and often sing one or more of those songs around bedtime.
posted by tchemgrrl at 7:40 AM on May 15, 2015

Sing me to sleep: indie lullabies makes up 90% of our bedtime soundtrack and I have the songs on some of my regular playlists because they're just such great covers.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 7:51 AM on May 15, 2015

Nicolette Larson's Sleep, Baby, Sleep album. Here's one song from it.
posted by JimN2TAW at 7:54 AM on May 15, 2015

Not a specific music recommendation, but we had better luck with playing exactly the same songs in exactly the same order each night. I'm the type who finds that soothing rather than boring, so YMMV, but the kiddo is generally asleep by the second song. If your kid is the same way and you don't mind the repetition, you might be able to choose whatever music you want as long as it gets associated with bedtime. (We listen to the "Lullaby Berceuse" album by Campagne & Kaldor but I'm not sure the songs quite fit the theme here--they're closer to standard lullaby music.)
posted by cogitron at 7:58 AM on May 15, 2015

Elizabeth Mitchell. For example, Little Bird, Little Bird or Sleep Eye.
posted by Redstart at 8:10 AM on May 15, 2015

I like this Bach at Bedtime CD (though I am not a toddler).

(I just checked out that Sing me to sleep: indie lullabies album and though it seems great, I can't believe that the first song is about suicide! I love the Smiths, and that song, but wow).
posted by three_red_balloons at 8:25 AM on May 15, 2015

That Brian Eno song is from Music for Airports, which I actually just listened to last night, while traveling through actual airports trying to get home. It's great.

Celtic Twilight 3: Lullabies is also a nice, low-key, kid-friendly album for night-time.
posted by jquinby at 8:57 AM on May 15, 2015

Rockabye Baby's The Beatles is wonderful but make sure it's the "more" renditions (with submarine on the cover) and not the first one. We used nothing but this for over a year.
posted by lafemma at 9:51 AM on May 15, 2015

I agree with the suggestion to play the same songs in the same order every night. I made a playlist in iTunes and we play it every night. We even bring an ipod and mini speakers on vacations so we can play it (good for sleep cues for unfamiliar places).

Some of the songs on it include: "Lazyhead & Sleepybones" by They Might be Giants, "Fais do do", "Donguri/Rolling Acorn", "La Manita", "Little Liza Jane", "Three Little Birds", and "Zousan (Little Elephant)" all by Elizabeth Mitchell, "Lullaby" by Trout Fishing in America, and "Upside Down" and "People Watching" by Jack Johnson,.
posted by mogget at 9:55 AM on May 15, 2015

This is my daughter's current sleepytime pre-nap playlist:

Deep Blue Day - Brian Eno
Elsa - Bill Evans Trio
Good Night - The Beatles
Goon Gumpas - Aphex Twin
Gwely Mernans - Aphex Twin
Horizons - Genesis
Hy a Scullyas Lyf a Dhagrow - Aphex Twin
I'm So Tired - The Beatles
Julie with... - Brian Eno
Laguna Sunrise - Black Sabbath
My Foolish Heart - Bill Evans Trio
My Man's Gone Now - Bill Evans Trio
Planet Caravan - Black Sabbath
River Man - Nick Drake
Self Portrait in Three Colors - Charles Mingus
T.O. Witcher - Dixie Dregs
No One But You - Goat Rodeo Sessions
Through Hollow Lands - Brian Eno
Unravel - Bjork
You've Been Flirting Again - Bjork

We had to eliminate Elizabeth Mitchell from the list because it kept making her too excited to sing along.
posted by saladin at 10:08 AM on May 15, 2015

Roxy Music's Avalon (and More Than This and The Space Between, and probably the whole rest of the album) successfully put infant and toddler me to sleep for years (to the extent where listening to it still makes me sleepy).

I also like Into the West and Samskeyti for sleeping to.
posted by smangosbubbles at 10:52 AM on May 15, 2015

Gotta plug it - These Things Too by Pearls Before Swine AKA Tom Rapp
posted by Freedomboy at 12:06 PM on May 15, 2015

I'm not a Linda Ronstadt fan, by any measure, but her album Dedicated to the One I Love is perfect sleepy-time music for little ones.
posted by tacodave at 3:08 PM on May 15, 2015

Raffi has at least one Quiet Time album. His music is lovely.
posted by leslievictoria at 5:28 PM on May 15, 2015 [1 favorite]

Came in to suggest the Raffi Quiet Time Album. It's designed for exactly this.
posted by saradarlin at 8:55 PM on May 15, 2015

Response by poster: Last night we tried Raffi's Quiet Time album. I was excited about it because I remember loving Baby Beluga when I was a small child. But, um, not a big fan of the Quiet Time songs. :( Thanks for the suggestion, though!

We'll try some of the other suggestions and see how much we like them...

Thanks so much for your help!
posted by jillithd at 7:12 AM on May 19, 2015

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