Baby’s First Playlist

Baby's First Playlist | Twin Cities Moms Blog

While I was pregnant with my daughter, the song “Take Me to Church” came out. I followed its ride from The Current, to SNL, and eventually to ubiquity. While I was never a huge fan, there was one song on Hozier’s album that stuck with me: “Jackie and Wilson.”

We’ll name our children Jackie and Wilson
raise ’em on rhythm and blues. 

After listening to the song a few times, I started to panic. What would my baby be raised on? What was she currently soaking up while chilling in the womb? I wasn’t playing classical music for her, but she had attended a Beyonce and Jay Z concert when she was but the size of a lemon. Was that sort of the same thing?

I became annoyingly conscious of the music around me. Here’s the thing: I sing a lot. You know how sometimes you look over in traffic and some weirdo is lost in their own world, singing like they’re auditioning for American Idol? That weirdo is me. I sing loudly and terribly whenever the opportunity arises. I’m usually belting out whatever ear-worm is currently infecting the world, and in my Hozier induced panic, I imagined myself absentmindedly singing something like “Blurred Lines” while changing a diaper. Was that the music my daughter would be “raised on?”

We’ll name our children Jackie and Wilson
raise em on Robin Thicke.

NOPE. With all due respect to Mr. Thicke (is he due any respect?), he could not be the soundtrack to my unborn child’s life.

I decided I had to be strategic about the music that would one day make my daughter nostalgic for her childhood, and so began the musical version of nesting. Putting together a soundtrack for the baby became top priority; the perfect ratio of classics, songs from my childhood, current hits, and songs that make me happy. The result was three carefully curated playlists: one for morning, one for bedtime, and one for dance parties.

When I say this was a priority, I’m barely exaggerating. I really did make three playlists. I didn’t read a single baby book.

When my husband saw what I was doing, he said, “That’s really sweet of you.” He was right, if by “sweet” he meant “anal” and “type A” and “controlling.”

My daughter made her debut in February of 2015, and so did the playlists. One of her first glorious baby smiles came at the tail end of “Here Comes the Sun.” Stevie Wonder dance parties were a staple during newborn fussy times. The first time the dog snuggled up to the baby, “We’re Going to be Friends” by The White Stripes was playing in the background.

Baby's First Playlist | Twin Cities Moms Blog

Her musical education doesn’t stop at the playlists. At three months old, she experienced her first Jazzfest in New Orleans. Summer in the Twin Cities was an exercise in kid-friendly patio hopping to find the best live music (I recommend Sea Salt). At Rock the Cradle, she stared in awe at the brass band playing outside of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

After fourteen months, the playlists have merged and evolved, and my daughter’s musical taste ranges from Taylor Swift to Louis Armstrong. Sure, there’s a little Britney in her catalog. Uptown Funk is a staple. But so far, we’ve shielded her from “Blurred Lines.”

May she never know what rhymes with hug me.

(Click here to listen.)

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