Music Review: Nipple Confusion

The title of this CD, “Nipple Confusion,” lets the listener know that this children’s music album is something quite different than the usual fare. As with many quirky children’s books, however, I’m sure the kids will enjoy the offbeat subjects.

My favorite tune is the introductory “Ease In,” which has a mellow folky feel and advises “move(ing) slow” because “there’s a whole world for you to know.” Although “the love around you doesn’t look like a certain way,” the world of nature will embrace you with love. The song is a lovely tribute to growing in nature and taking your time.

“Nipple Confusion” comically refers to a baby who can’t find “an ounce” between their Mama, their Papa, their “Margo” or even their dog…quite a diverse family!

“The Bear Song” is a great funny counting song to sing along with, although it skips number 6. The various countables include teeth, farts, cheeks, and diapers (you never wear) ” The refrain is a jolly “You don’t care!” A raucous celebration of being a baby…The next song, “Elimination Communication” is the important dialogue between the parents of the diaper-free baby about when elimination is imminent. This song commemorates a crucial aspect of toilet training. Hopefully the child will pick up and implement the chorus.

“Milk or Bounce” was a bit slow and deep, voicing a baby’s needs.

“You can Still Cry” has a great message about the various reasons kids cry: “you can tell it like it is.” Our love will always be here, no matter when or why you need to cry or scream. Someday you will raise your voice against injustice in the world. “No One just Like You” also validates children’s difficult feelings like jealousy, anger, sadness.

One of children’s favorite songs to sing and mime along with is “Wheels on the Bus.” This version adds some great verses (I wonder what the mimed motions would be?) The driver starts by saying that “Everyone is Welcome,” and the song addresses “No border walls,” free Palestine, daddy’s ending patriarchy, no fossil fuels, Black Lives Matter, capitalism, ending with revolution now! This song truly made me laugh out loud–I’m sure some great mimes can come of those lines!

“Butterflies” is a sweet song that wonders where butterflies go when it storms…a question that I have never been able to answer. The chorus is wonderful. I would have liked more songs like this about nature on this album.

“You can Splash the Water”sounds like Suzanne Vega, with some funky background baby sounds and harmonies.

This album is a refreshing departure from some of the tinny, fluffy fare that is out there. I enjoyed the mischievous sense of humor and the surprising themes like nipple confusion and farts and elimination conversations. It’s great to have these words and topics in children’s songs. The Wheels on the Bus song is a great fun way to expand!

Monica Briggs 6/6/19
Nanny and Former Preschool Teacher
from Jamaica Plain, MA

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