Lullabies first came to the forefront of Mae Samford Robertson’s life 38 years ago when her son was born. Like many moms, she’d serenade her infant to sleep. One day a friend from Birmingham who was visiting her in New York joined in on the singing with her second child, a daughter. One thing led to another, and Mae started recording lullabies and now has five albums full of them. “Lullabies are often in ¾ time, which gives them a swaying motion that mimics the movement babies experience in the womb,” Mae shares on her website. “Their simple, repetitive melodies have been shown to calm babies.”
Fast forward a couple of decades, and again Mae found herself rocking another baby girl to sleep, this time her granddaughter Frankie who spent three weeks in the hospital. To help soothe her, they brought in an iPod and a speaker and rigged it up to help muffle the sounds of hospital alarms and monitor beeping with the sounds of her grandmother singing. The melodies made not just Frankie calmer but also her parents, grandparents and professional caregivers, who said they wished all the children in their care had a lullaby player setup. “Why don’t I make a speaker to play my lullabies?” Mae thought. And so she did.
Working with a design company based in New Orleans, Mae devised a tiny 2-inch cube that could shuffle songs, turn on and off easily in the dark with one hand and have a timer in case parents didn’t want it to play all night. The end product, the Lullabuddy, is preloaded with 33 of Mae’s most recent lullaby recordings and also acts as a regular Bluetooth speaker for any other music or talks someone might want to play.
Now her grandkids—ages 4, 2 and twins who are 6 months— are “addicted” with the devise running in multiple rooms to play the soothing sounds of their grandmother’s voice that makes her seem much closer to their California home than she is in reality from Birmingham. “The main thing my daughter-in-law talks about is that it’s not the kind of music that is going to drive an adult crazy,” Mae says. “It’s real music and was mastered just for the speaker. The songs are thoughtful, and if you stop and pay attention, you will hear things you haven’t heard before.” Mae recommends using it for tummy time or nursing or rocking or just as a soundtrack for time with your baby, just as she uses it with her grandkids.
You can buy Lullabuddy at A’mano in Lane Parke, Once Upon a Time in Crestline and Homewood, or at lullabuddy.com.