At some point in the next few weeks and months you will likely be initiated into the world of baby classes, where songs you haven’t heard for approx. 30 years will come pounding back into your consciousness, turning a room of already sleep-deprived parents into droning idiots. Here’s what you can expect…
Twinkle twinkle little star
Annoying? Only a little. But it has sleepy powers and those win out. To raise a really intellectual/confused child, try mixing things up by learning it in multiple languages (there are shedloads of these on YouTube… oops, revealing our lazy parenting secrets there).
Row row row your boat
Annoying? Not too bad. The action of rowing your baby in their fictional boat (when they can support their own head, anyway…) will make them giggle. Plus you can have hours of fun changing the lyrics. It doesn’t have to be a stream, you know! It can be a river (“if you see a polar bear don’t forget to shiver…”) or an ocean (“if you see a jellyfish don’t forget your lotion…”. Yeah we just made that one up, pretty proud tbh).
If you’re happy and you know it
Annoying? No, it’s quite fun, but man, it goes on a bit. A great way to teach your baby to clap and smile and generally act all cute. But is this technically a nursery rhyme anyway? We tend to think nursery rhymes are about animals and inanimate objects, and this one is a little more personal.
Baa baa black sheep
Annoying? Pretty annoying, with a limited repertoire of actions and a fairly dreary tune. Plus the PC police aren’t keen, so you don’t hear it very often these days anyway. However, if you go to a church group run by a kindly octogenarian called Margaret, it’ll probably get an airing.
Annoying? More distressing than annoying. OK to sing to a gormless baby, but come the toddler years you’ll find yourself facing some awkward questions about poor Humpty’s well-being. SADFACE.
Incy Wincy Spider
Annoying? Yes, if you’re an arachnophobe. But a nice one for teaching basic actions and, er, weather concepts.
Three blind mice
Annoying? Somewhat annoying and deeply brutal. Why are the poor little critters blind and why is the farmer’s wife running after them with a carving knife? Does not encourage good modern values, especially when your baby is probably already planning to be vegan. Next!
Wind the bobbin up
Annoying? Yes, the lyrics are indecipherable twee vintagey nonsense about activities that not even Kirstie Allsopp bothers with anymore. The winding the bobbin up and winding it back again and pulling and clapping we’ve got down but we always forget what happens after that BECAUSE WE DON’T CARE.