Sleepy Songs- Best Playlist for babies
Harry Styles and Billie Eilish among most played artists to get babies to sleep
From soothing babies to sleep to helping them relax after a sensory session, parents often reach for music to settle their newborns. But what artists are parents go-tos’s when it comes to creating the perfect sleep time playlist?
Following a 50% increase in searches for the term ‘best Spotify playlist for babies’ between April and May 2022¹, our team of eco-friendly experts unveil the top ten most-played artists used to help babies drift off.
To determine the most popular artists, we analysed over 4,000 playlists which included six sleep-related keywords¹, and created a list of the 100 most popular tracks from each, then counted the total number of instances each artist and songs appeared¹. According to our study, the ten artists to help babies fall asleep include:
- Billie Eilish
- Ed Sheeran
- Harry Styles
- Lewis Capaldi
- Rockabye Baby
- Jeremy Soule
- Frank Ocean
- James Arthur
Let’s break it down:
Taking the crown for the most popular artist parents look to is Billie Eilish (24 mentions total). Known for producing moody music, Eilish’s tone is soft and gentle, perfect for babies to find tranquillity in preparation for bedtime. Our new research finds that the song ‘Happier Than Ever’ is a Billie Eilish favourite among parents.
The award-winning singer-songwriter, Ed Sheeran, comes second in our new ranking (23 mentions total). With millions of fans across the globe, Ed seems to have won over the (much) younger generation too. ‘Photograph’ and ‘Supermarket Flowers’ are two of Sheeran’s songs downloaded the most by parents onto bedtime playlists.
With 57 million monthly listeners on Spotify³, it’s no surprise that Coldplay land third in the top ten most popular artists among parents (16 mentions total). Coldplay has previously been dubbed one of the best bands to nod off to, and we can see why. Famous tracks like ‘Yellow’ with a melancholic undertone are perfect for drifting off to, baby or not!
Currently taking the UK and global charts by storm with his new album ‘Harry’s House’, Harry Styles ranks fifth with 14 mentions across various baby-focused sleep playlists. ‘Falling’, a piano-based ballad, is one of Harry’s hits that parents use to soothe their babies at nighttime.
After releasing his second EP, ‘Breach’ in November 2018, Lewis Capaldi broke onto the music scene with songs like ‘Someone You Loved’, which became number one in the UK for seven weeks. According to our new research, Capaldi is a go-to artist for a baby's nighttime playlist (14 mentions).
Rockabye Baby transforms modern pop and rock songs into instrumental lullabies. Instead of guitars and drums, Rockabye Baby uses calming xylophones and bells, instruments often used to calm babies before sleep time. This music group geared towards babies has an impressive 11 mentions across the 4,000 playlists we analysed. Jeremy Soule American composer, Jeremy Soule, ranks seventh on our new list (9 mentions). Jeremy is known for composing soundtracks for famous films, tv shows and video games. Some of his most famous soundtracks include ‘The Harry Potter’ video game, the ‘Florence Nightingale’ movie, and the ‘Disney Princess Magical Jewels’ video game.
Coming in at eighth is Claire Cottrill, more famously known as ‘Clairo’, who became famous in 2017 after releasing ‘Pretty Girl’. Clairo creates ‘lo-fi’ music, a production-quality where musical imperfections in the recording are present. This type of music is thought to be relaxing to listen to. It usually incorporates classical, jazz, and blues music elements, making Clairo the perfect artist for parents to add to a bedtime playlist (8 mentions). The lo-fi singer’s song ‘Bubble Gum’ is one of the most popular songs among parents too.
Frank Ocean’s music has been dubbed as having the ‘remarkable ability to soothe on command’ and that his lyrics deliver an ‘audible back rub’⁴. With this in mind, it's no surprise Frank Ocean comes ninth in our new ranking and is mentioned 7 times across the Spotify playlists we analysed.
X-Factor (2012) winner James Arthur also has 7 mentions across the 4,000 playlists we analysed in our new study. James is known for writing and singing ballads which usually have a slow tempo and often have themes of love - perfect for calming babies to sleep. His most popular songs among parents include ‘Say You Won’t Let Go’, which rose to number one in the UK, Australia and Sweden.
From the analysis, Nappy Gurus can also reveal the most popular songs that parents are adding to their playlists. The top three include Harry Styles’ ‘Falling’, Coldplays ‘Yellow’, and Lewis Capaldi’s ‘Someone You Loved’.
Using music as a tool for helping babies sleep
Sleep solutions expert Brenda Porter comments on why music is an excellent tool for helping babies drift off: “For as long as it can be documented, mothers and fathers have sung lullabies to their little ones to soothe them at bedtime. Music provides a natural rhythm that helps them regulate their heartbeat, so a slower beat will be more relaxing, helping them keep calm.
“At a very early age, babies can make associations with music, so using the same songs and music consistently at bedtime and naptime can help them feel comfortable, calm and settled for sleep. Any music which feels relaxing can be used, but something that you can sing along to will be even more effective. Once the baby is in bed, white noise is the best option for deep, restful, undisturbed sleep.
“As babies become toddlers, music at bedtime can be a nifty tool to get a final burst of energy out and lower cortisol levels before bed. So while the bath is running, a 5-10 minute disco can be just what your little one needs to de-stress and make it easier for their melatonin (their sleepy hormone) to kick in.”
The ‘Sleepy Songs’ playlist
With these top ten artists and songs in mind, we’ve created our very own Spotify playlist to help parents calm their babies to sleep here.
Losing a little bit of sleep as a parent to a baby is nothing new, and I’m sure many parents are used to it by now. But we think using music as a way to soothe babies is such a great idea!
Peaceful music is known to reduce stress levels in a baby and help their development, including their speech and language. So if creating a bespoke Spotify playlist can help calm a baby and also boost their development, we think it’s a no-brainer!
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