For parents


For Parents in the NICU

Ways of Providing Music to Your Baby in the NICU

Humming - Holding your baby skin to skin and chest to chest (kangaroo care), hum quietly to your baby. You can hum or ahh, the melody of a song or just vocalizations.

Singing - Sing a lullaby to your baby. A lullaby can be any song that is sung slowly, quietly, and with a steady, unchanging tempo.

Sing their name - Sing quietly your baby’s name while holding them chest to chest.

Record your voice - Make a recording of your voice to play to your baby when you cannot be there with him. Read a story or poem, talk or sing.

Babies in the NICU are going through a crucial time in their lives and its important to be educated about how to handle your child safely. Babies who are born prematurely

Mothers and fathers play an integral part in their infant’s progress while in the NICU.

Recommended Websites:

Lullaby Link:

NICU Parent Support:

My Baby Fingers: (Sign language for infants)


Collins SK, Kuck K. Music therapy in the neonatal intensive care unit. Neonatal Netw. 1991 Mar;9(6):23-6.

Marwick C. Music hath charms for care of preemies. JAMA. 2000 Jan 26;283(4):468-9.

Sagario D. Technology, music therapy give preemies an edge: Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. June 11, 2007. Des Moines

Recommended Products:

Sleep Sheep - Plays soothing sounds for better sleep

Voted Best Quality Sounds

    Sleep - Mother’s Heartbeat
    The comforting sound of a mother’s heartbeat

    Calm - Spring Showers

    Sounds of falling rain create a cozy atmosphere

    Sleep - Ocean Waves

    Drift off to the calming rhythm of the ocean

    Relax - Whale Songs

    Whale sounds relax mind, body and spirit

Recommended Lullabies and CDs -

Note: These CDs are recommended for use with infants that are that are at home.  It is recommended that you select appropriate songs from these CDs for use in the NICU or consult with a Music Therapist. (See guidelines for music in the NICU below.)

A female voice is preferred over a male voice.

Guidelines for music in the NICU:

  1. Music must be played or sung at or below 65 db scale C - 55db scale A; and at 60bpm

  2. Music should have a constant volume, stable rhythm, and sung in higher vocal ranges

  3. Music should be sung a cappella or with only one instrument

  4. Premature infants respond best to lullabies - slow, repetitive, soft, predictable, non-alarming

  5. Should be provided individually to infant and not to whole NICU; and culturally sensitive

  6. Should be female or child’s voice, especially that of the mother to promote bonding

  7. Should be limited to 1 1/2 hours total in a day; 20-25 min segments

Suggested Recordings:

Dream Angels: Famous Orchestral Lullabies: Adelaide Symphony

Bedtime Songs For Babies: Blossom

Bedtime Songs For Babies: Lullaby Baby: John St. John

Baby’s Best Quiet Time Songs

The Most Soothing Lullabies in the Universe

Lullaby: A Collection

Disney’s Lullaby Album: Fred Mollin

Rainforest Music: Nature’s Lullabies: Fisher Price

Lullaby Favorites: Music for Little People

Transitions: Soothing Music for Crying Infants: Burt and Joe Wolff

Baby Sleep: Thomas Hampson

Transitions 2: Music to Help Baby Sleep: Burt and Joe Wolff

Dream a Little Dream: Burt and Joe Wolff

Lullaby Suite: Steven Halpern

Music for Babies: Steven Halpern


  1. Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

  2. He’s Got the Whole World

  3. Hush Little Baby Don’t Say A Word

  4. Baa, Baa Black Sheep

  5. All Night, All Day

  6. Old MacDonald

  7. You Are My Sunshine

  8. Kum Ba Yah

  9. Let Me Call You Sweetheart

  10. Rock-A-Bye Baby

  11. Somewhere Over the Rainbow

  12. Mary Had A Little Lamb

  13. All The Pretty Little Horses

  14. Now The Day Is Over

Appropriate touch and interaction with your Premie

  1. Touch should be gentle but firm enough to not tickle.

  2. Build up tolerance to touch. Follow the appropriate order      

   of touch (see heirarchy)

  1. Sing to your baby quietly and slowly

  2. Talk gently to your baby saying his/her name

  3. Avoid abrupt sounds and/or touch which may cause startle

Watch for negative signs of overstimulation

  1. Startles

  2. Sprayed fingers and toes

  3. Stiff arms

  4. Yawns

  5. Arching back

If you are interested in a private consultation or joining a parent educational group, please contact us.