Why Nursery Rhymes Work

When nothing else seems to work, why does, "Hush little baby don't say a word...?"

My husband and I got a midnight wake up call last night from our 14 month old who wasn't feeling well.  We tried all sorts of things that normally work, but after an hour and a half, the one thing that did, was a nursery rhyme.

What is it about those repetitive, and often times nonsense phrases that seem to help children settle down?  Another one of their bedtime favorites is "Rock-a-Bye, Baby", ..."when the bough breaks, the cradle will fall, Down will come baby, cradle and all."  Not very comforting to me, but hey, I'm an adult. 

More often than not, when reading the stories to my daughters, I often times don't understand them or think they're a little morbid.  "Solomon Grundy", "died on a Saturday, buried on a Sunday, That was the end of Solomon Grundy." 

So, I looked into it, and found this interesting bit from PBS. It includes some reasons why we're still reading the same nursery rhymes to our children that our ancestors came up with!

"Star Light, star bright,

First star I see tonight,

I wish I may, I wish I might,

Have the wish I wish tonight."

My wish is for a good nights sleep for all!

 

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