When Wendy Child and her husband, Michael, found out they were expecting their first baby, they wanted to do a pregnancy announcement unique to their story.
“We met in the recording studio where I recorded my first album when I was 18,” the Texas-based artist told TODAY Parents. “So we decided to record an album of all our favorite '90s songs from childhood in lullaby versions.”
The duo called it: When 90s Kids Have Kids.
“We realized that once our little Charlie arrived, we would probably be listening to lullabies all the time, but we wanted to have lullabies to play that we enjoyed just as much as she did,” Child said. “I knew that if I had to hear Itsy-Bitsy Spider on repeat all day long, I was going to pull my hair out. So, I picked some of my favorite 90's songs like ‘Closing Time,’ ‘MmmBop,’ and ‘All The Small Things,’ and made them my own.”
Reimagining her favorite hits as soothing songs came naturally to the artist.
"I found myself daydreaming about ways I could turn all kinds of songs into lullabies," Child explained, sharing that she created a new artist name, Sleep My Darling, to produce more lullabies. "Now I can keep all my lullaby content in one place. I’ve already released two volumes under the 'Sleep My Darling' brand. Volume 1 is all Taylor Swift and Katy Perry songs, Volume 2 is all Justin Bieber and Justin Timberlake songs."
Volume 3, a compilation of country songs, will debut in early 2021.
While Child shared she has had moderate success since the album's debut in 2020, the audience was limited to people she already knew.
In late January, mom blogger Jennifer Todryk of The Rambling Redhead shared Child’s music to her Instagram following of more than 700,000.
“She told her followers that she loved listening to my lullabies and that they should check me out,” Child said.
The singer could have never anticipated what happened next.
“Overnight, my followers count jumped from 1,300 to 5,000. That week, my streaming numbers on Spotify for ‘When 90s Kids Have Kids’ jumped from around 1,500 plays to over 54,000,” the artist said.
But that wasn’t all.
“I got an email from a rep at Billboard,” said Child, and she initially thought the message was a joke. “He told me that my album ‘When 90s Kids Have Kids’ had charted on the Billboard Kids albums chart.”
The night before the chart came out, Child and her family took bets on where the album would rank.
“We all guessed spots in the high 80s or 90s,” she said. “When the chart came out Tuesday morning, I saw that I ranked at number 21 (and) my mind was blown.”
Child has received hundreds of messages from listeners telling her that they use her lullabies for all kinds of situations.
“I have been blown away by the ways that people have integrated my songs into their lives with open arms,” she said. “It gets me all choked up when I think about it.”
Child, who releases her music independently of any record labels, told TODAY that charting on Billboard has been a dream since she was little.
“I’m not being dramatic when I say this is the craziest thing that has ever happened in my music career,” she said. “The kindness that all of my new listeners have shown me is overwhelming. All of you have reminded me that humanity at its core is so loving and good. The way you all have embraced me and my story make my heart want to explode.”