Remember when you had a favorite song? A favorite band, made up of grown musicians, singing songs about love and loss and other adult concerns?
Those were the days.
When you have little kids, you can’t fight off the aggressive league of earworms – classic kids’ tunes covered by cheerful choruses of grade-schoolers – displacing the grownup music you favor for what feels like all eternity .
But before your baby is old enough to beg for an hour of “Farmer in the Dell” replays, you have time to introduce some music you love to your repertoire.
As a hardcore music nerd, I felt it important to integrate my tastes with the soundtracks of my kids' favorite TV shows. I prefer jazz to classical music, so my kids have been falling asleep to Miles Davis since they were born. There's much to be said of employing that little Pavlovian trick when you're on a lengthy road trip and desperately need some peace and quiet — popping on some tunes your baby associates with sleepy-time is a shortcut to a snoozy passenger.
But exposure to grownup music won’t stop there. In the name of entertaining myself, I found myself replacing lyrics of popular songs with descriptors of my daily routines. Here's one I came up with when changing my kid for the umpteenth millionth time, to the tune of Britney Spears' infectious tune, “Hit Me Baby One More Time”:
If you don't change me, I'll lose my mind/Mommy it's time/Change my diaper one more time
A healthy knowledge of vintage music — because, yikes, someday Britney will be vintage — is an important part of your baby’s cultural education. And there will be plenty of time for her to learn the real lyrics later.
By the time your baby is talking and toddling, she’ll be old — and opinionated — enough to insist on kid-friendly tunes on the car stereo, so take advantage of your radio domination now. Exposure to music — be it Britney, Miles, or both — is an amazing gift to give your children. There's no need to forsake your obsession with Radiohead in favor of Mozart — the more expansive your child's musical palate, the better.
So keep the hits coming!
Our parenting advice is given as suggestions only. We recommend you also consult your healthcare provider, and urge you to contact them immediately if your question is urgent or about a medical condition.