Millennial parents struggle to remember classic lullabies – like Twinkle Twinkle

Classic lullabies are at risk of falling by the wayside – as nearly half of millennial mums and dads can't remember all the words to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star or Baa Baa Black Sheep.

A poll of 2,000 parents, aged 26-41, found that half (51%) struggle to recite all the lyrics to Row, Row, Row Your Boat, and even Humpty Dumpty.

Meanwhile Rock A Bye Baby is known by only 43% – and less than a third (29%) could confidently sing Hush Little Baby to get their youngster to sleep.

In fact, a tenth of millennial mums and dads do not sing lullabies at all to their little ones – because they have a “terrible” singing voice or feel awkward.

Instead, one respondent admitted they have rapped Kanye West songs to their baby, while another has channelled their inner Mick Jagger to perform The Rolling Stones classics at bedtime.

Despite this, 83% think the bedtime routine is a key bonding experience for parent and baby.

Lisa Parkhill, from baby products manufacturer, MAM, which commissioned the research to debunk myths about soothers, said: “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.

“It’s fascinating to learn just how many rely on the power of their voice to support their baby during these moments – yet many recognise 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.”

The study also found nine in ten parents will read bedtime stories to their children – and 43% think these have a better effect at soothing their little one before bed.

Nearly half of the parents who do read at this time believe it is something they can enjoy together, while many find it a good part of the bonding experience.

And 46% believe it helps to spark their imagination – with The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Gruffalo, and We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, named as the three most popular bedtime books for millennial parents to read.

It also emerged four in five young parents always try to ensure bedtime is a positive and soothing experience for their child – with lowered lighting, warm baths, and giving them a snuggly toy among the top ways to do this.

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And one in three of those polled, via OnePoll, will use a soother, while the same amount even use white noise.

Of those who use soothers at bedtime, 87% claimed it helped their child to self-soothe and sleep better, while 84% also felt calmer themselves.

Sarah Patel, the founder of Teach to Sleep, said: “There are many ways we can support our babies to fall asleep – such as feeding, rocking, and cuddling.

“This all helps to prevent babies becoming overtired and enables them to fall asleep feeling safe and secure, all while laying down the solid foundations for a good night’s sleep.

“Soothers provide sensory input and soothing mechanisms which can be great for calming down, especially during bedtime when babies are often overtired and overstimulated.”

Celebrity parents Harry and Izzy Judd, who have teamed up with MAM, said: “As with everyone, bedtime with our kids can be a bit chaotic, so having a routine definitely helps.

“To help calm everything down, Izzy often takes out her violin to play lullabies, or I’ll read the kids one of our favourite books.”


  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%)

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