High contrast slow motion calming videos for babies and toddlers?

Hi parents! I’m a relatively new dad, and I was surprised to see that so many YouTube videos for kids were so … frenetic, loud, and to be honest, annoying (at least for me as a parent). Even videos that claimed to be designed for babies were still flashy and fast-paced, causing viewers to zone out rather than focus.

Can you recommend any videos for 0-2 year olds that are slower paced, calming, and engaging?

Thank you!

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Hi there, I really like the Freeschool videos on Youtube. They have videos for toddlers/preschool, as well as elementary-aged- all educational. The videos I often have shown were of animals, and my kids were super engaged. The videos are each only a few minutes long. We don't do much screen time in my home, but I felt good about my kids watching these.

If you absolutely MUST put your baby in front of a video, nearly the entire forty years of Mr. Rogers is available on Amazon Video. Mr. Rogers is calm, slow, quiet, and encourages connection. He speaks directly to the camera in a way that allows a child to feel seen…and in a weird way I dare say they really kind of are. I don’t know how to explain that except to say his work validates the realities and humanity of children and that’s why generations of children have loved and still love watching him. There has been nothing else before or since like him on video/television. 

the only other suggestion I have is nature videos that are calm, quiet and do not involve animals hunting, fighting or dying. 

Like many parents, we followed the American Academy of Pediatrics and other expert recommendations to not show any screens to our children until after 2 years old.  But, if you decide to show videos, I recommend vintage Mr. Rogers episodes.  It is very slow paced, the camera moves slowly from shot to shot, and you have Fred Roger's very calming voice (available on Amazon Prime video).  I've heard nothing but bad things about Youtube videos for kids, but I haven't explored it myself because there is plenty of more traditional content (Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers, Daniel Tiger, some Disney content).  

I'm a pediatrician and don't recommend any videos (as in none - for real) for 0-2 year olds. You're right to be concerned about what you see. Happy calming music is good. But phones, TVs, and other screens just aren't good for babies. Official AAP recommendation is that FaceTime/Zoom with important people in their lives is OK starting at 18 months, but nothing before then and no media consumption until 2yo.

"Maisy Mouse."  It's the only thing I found that I would show to my young kids.  We have it on DVDs.  Contact me if you want it.

My kid didn't find any videos engaging until he was over 2 years old. Close to two, he would watch a couple minutes of sesame street, but my experience was that screens aren't super engaging for very young kids (once the novelty wears off), and other parents have said the same. He preferred looking at the real world. 

In my opinion children that young don't need ANY videos, just your attention and some time to play and entertain themselves solo. If you do want videos, our little housemate liked to watch real train videos (on repeat forever), children singing, life in Nepal or something like that - no cartoons or frantic stuff, more real life stuff with pleasant background music. Good luck.

I realize this is not what you are asking for, and this ship may have sailed but…but the American Association of Pediatrics recommends zero screen time for children 0-2 years old. Apparently it really does not add anything positive to their development. They need tangible experiences with faces and touch, etc. There are some lovely high contrast books for babies though! Is there a specific issue (you mention calming) that you are hoping to address with the videos?

Mister Rogers Neighborhood on PBSkids. Goes all the way back to the 60s in black and white. He specifically slows down and pauses, you can see he’s waiting for kids to process everything. Everything else is nuts, loud and practically seizure inducing. I’d also recommend Raffi music from the 80s (Baby Beluga, etc). 

Hi, I like what kanopy offers for kids (free through berkeley public library). I have shown my kid the sand castle (Canadian animation with no voices.). My toddler liked yellow submarine, original animation. But kanopy has a large selection of slow spaced animation. If your toddler is old enough (around 3) than circle time by berkeley public schools are also great. Good luck.

In my opinion, you really can’t beat the old Little Einsteins videos. There are 4 total seasons, I believe. You can buy them in the Apple Store and download them. The “full episodes” you find on YouTube are crappy quality and chopped up. The music, the art, the simple but sweet storylines… classic for a reason! Not annoying to adults. 
Pre-Little Einsteins, there was Baby Einstein, I think - slow paced videos with music for babies. 

I take it you’re looking for an alternative to the dancing pineapple? ;) 

Our kid really likes Tino Trucks and old Blippi but I don’t think we started showing those until after he was 1. They annoy us less. Before that it was Super Simple Songs and Kiddopedia animal sounds videos. 

Good luck! 

Super Simple Songs videos are beautifully done and specifically not frenetic - instead, a calm pace and music/visuals that appeal to young children:


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Teletubbies!  My child-development expert family member LOVED the show--said it was just what babies need.  Beyond that, Daniel Tiger has done a great job helping me raise my kid.  

Try “Classical Baby” on HBO. My kids enjoyed them when they were around 2. They’re calm, and beautifully illustrated, and exposed my kids to beautiful music, art, poetry, and lullabies. 

We do very little screen time with our toddler. But we like garbage truck videos, like this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UluH0QmnwfM it's just shots of garbage trucks pulling up to someone's house, loading the garbage, and driving on, for dozens of different garbage trucks. I never realized there were so may different designs of garbage truck! There is no music, and it's a continuous shot for each truck, so not over stimulating, just like real life.

We also let her watch certain nature documentaries that aren't overly stimulating, like Planet Earth.

Final recommendation is a couple ASMR videos by Gentle Whispering (Maria) on youtube. I like ASMR videos myself because they're designed to be soothing. Some people feel pleasant tingles in response to the sounds or visuals. My toddler is generally uninterested, but she loves this one of Maria tapping on plastic children's food toys and murmuring: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voYngyEal3s&t=105s and this one with no talking, just exploration of a tableau of fall decorations, very soothing visuals and some nice sounds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RAaBiNqHHGA&t=487s

Hi, new Dad. So glad you looked at those videos from the perspective of your baby! Now you may see why children can’t really and shouldn’t engage in videos during the first two years, according to AAP. All engagement and learning at this time is human to human, and it’s important learning: what it is to be human and to develop reasonable trust in their important people and in themself. A child from 0-2 who needs calming needs to be calmed by it’s parents or other caregivers. Responsive and attuned caregiving to a child’s distress is vital as you are more or less sharing your emotional map and capabilities with your baby. So keep DIY and holding them and talking calmly to them and you will give them a gift for life. It’s an investment in time that pays off later. Good luck!!