Row, row, row your… bike? Millennial parents don’t know their classic lullabies

LONDON — There must be a whole lot of sleep deprived babies out there nowadays. A new poll shockingly reveals only 53 percent of millennial parents can recite the words to “Baa Baa Black Sheep” and just 51 percent know all of the lyrics to “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.”

Similarly, the poll of 2,000 moms and dads between 26 and 41 found half can’t recall how to sing “Humpty Dumpty,” and only 43 percent remember the words to “Jack and Jill.” Meanwhile, three in five parents can’t soothe their baby to sleep by singing “Rock-a-Bye Baby.”

In broader terms, just about 10 percent of modern parents avoid singing lullabies to their kids entirely. Why? Most cite either feeling awkward or thinking they have an awful singing voice.

That doesn’t mean there’s no music, though. One respondent admits to rapping Kanye West songs for their baby, while another likes to sing The Rolling Stones. All in all, 83 percent still believe singing to their little one is a major aspect of their bedtime routine and bonding process.

“Getting a little one off to sleep is a special, soothing time spent between babies and parents – even if some of the methods might be considered unconventional,” says Lisa Parkhill, from baby products manufacturer MAM, which commissioned this research, in a statement.

“It’s fascinating to learn just how many rely on the power of their voice to support their baby during these moments – yet many recognize they won’t be releasing a hit single anytime soon. But as parents develop these unbreakable bonds with their children, they learn just how important bedtime is to soothe their little one– and even a brilliant chance to unwind themselves.”

Storytime still tops the list

Besides music, 90 percent of parents read their kids stories before bed and 43 percent believe this activity is more soothing for their child than singing. Close to half believe reading helps because it is something they can enjoy together with their child, and many say it is a nice bonding experience. Another 46 percent mentioned that it sparks their own imaginations.

As far as popular bedtime reads, three books kept coming up over and over — “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” “The Gruffalo,” and “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.”

The vast majority of surveyed parents (80%) always try to make bedtime a soothing experience for their baby — using dim lights, warm baths, and snuggly toys. Notably, one in three use a pacifier. The same number of parents use a white noise machine. Among parents using pacifiers, 87 percent say it helps their child relax and sleep, and 84 percent even say they relax more themselves.

Top lullabies young parents know the words to:

  1. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (55%)
  2. Baa Baa Black Sheep (53%)
  3. Row, Row, Row Your Boat (51%)
  4. Humpty Dumpty (51%)
  5. Jack & Jill (43%)
  6. Rock a Bye Baby (43%)
  7. You Are My Sunshine (38%)
  8. Five Little Ducks (37%)
  9. Five Little Monkeys (35%)
  10. Wind the Bobbin Up (35%)
  11. Little Bo Peep (34%)
  12. Hush Little Baby (29%)
  13. Somewhere Over the Rainbow (29%)
  14. Frère Jacques (28%)
  15. When You Wish Upon a Star (26%)

The survey was conducted by OnePoll.

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About the Author

John Anderer

Born blue in the face, John has been writing professionally for over a decade and covering the latest scientific research for StudyFinds since 2019. His work has been featured by Business Insider, Eat This Not That!, MSN, Ladders, and Yahoo!

Studies and abstracts can be confusing and awkwardly worded. He prides himself on making such content easy to read, understand, and apply to one’s everyday life.

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