*Guaranteed in the sense that even if they don’t fall asleep because of the song, they will – at some point, eventually, once all hope is lost – fall into a light slumber that lasts just long enough for you to nip to the loo.
You learn all sorts of unexpected things when you become a mother. Did you know, for example, that “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” has FIVE verses? Or that even if you learn every single word and sing them 72 times in a row, your precious little bundle may still refuse to sleep?
Having tested the following Christian classics on my own restless rug rats, I have high hopes they’ll prove snoozy for your wakeful wonder:
- “It Is Well With My Soul.” Even it feels like you’ve been awake since this hymn was written, your soul will indeed be well as you sing it over your baby. And if you’re anywhere near as childish as me when I’m sleep-deprived, you will have a little chuckle as you sit on your “blessed assurance” thinking about Satan having a buffet amid a backdrop of resounding trumps.
- “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee”. Whenever I hear this hymn I think of Lauryn Hill’s moving rendition in Sister Act 2. Whether you’re desperately trying to save St. Francis Academy from closure, mend relations with judgemental relatives (fairly standard in early parenthood) or get your baby off to sleep, this triumphant hymn may just hold the key. It even mentions an “ocean depth of happy rest”. Yes please, Lord!
- “Good, Good Father.” You’re more likely to be hearing ear-shattering screams than tender whispers of love in the dead of night right now, but rest assured that God is with you in your sleep struggle. He really is a good, good father. And you’re doing pretty well yourself, mama.
- “The Butterfly Song”. God bless Psalty and Friends for this catchy little number. The Christian equivalent of “Yellow Submarine”, it has everything from squirmy worms to fuzzy wuzzy bears with fuzzy wuzzy hair. Just don’t blame me if you finally fall asleep yourself (hurrah!), only to start dreaming about smiley crocodiles and ravishing octopi.
- “Amazing Grace.” As a child I thought this song was about spectacular grapes (after all, there are a lot of vine references in the Bible!). I soon realised my mistake, but it wasn’t until I became a mum that I had a fresh revelation of what grace was all about. My firstborn had done nothing to merit the fierce, unconditional love I felt for her. In fact, she could be pretty frustrating at times. Yet I would have laid down my life for that noisy little “wretch” in a heartbeat. How much more does our heavenly Father love us? So much that he rejoices over us with singing (Zephaniah 3:17)! Just imagine that, while you’re singing this timeless Christian power ballad over your tiny treasure, God may also be singing and rejoicing over you. And whether your baby is awake or asleep, crying or smiling, sing out your praises to the one who gives his beloved sleep (Psalm 127:2)!
Rachel Pearce is a lover of babies, rousing Christian songs and power nap.