7 lullaby songs to help soothe your baby to sleep

baby sleep music

by Adejumoke Ilori |
Published on

A bedtime lullaby or a cradle song is a soothing piece of music that is usually played for (or sung to) children to calm them ready for sleep.

Bedtime routines are a great way to teach your baby about the new world around them, and that night time means it's time to go to bed in their cot or Moses basket. Repeating your behaviours such as singing them a soothing song, baby massage or having a bath before bedtime are all ways to encourage their circadian rhythm to kick in so they (and you!) can sleep as soundly as possible.

Why will a lullaby help put your baby to sleep?

As parents know all too well, newborns - and toddlers in general - aren't always good at getting (and staying) asleep. But an old fashioned remedy can definitely help: baby lullaby songs, as they help to calm and relax crying babies. Lullaby's can really assist your little one in expressing their emotions in a better way instead of anger.

When babies have improved sleep, they stay happy, have and engage in more activities - and this also gives you more time to give yourself some "you' time - (and catching up on the latest Netflix series).

Looking after yourself is also important. When you're healthy and well, it's good for you and your baby, plus who doesn't love bedtime lluabies right?

Usually a baby cries when their disposable or reusable nappy needs changing, when they're hungry or maybe when they are feeling uncomfortable. But, babies (especially newborns need sleep to grow and develop well, For newborns this is usually 14-17 hours in every 24 hours. While babies can sleep for up to 4 hours at a time, they wake up frequently to feed because they have tiny tummies - and will probably go back to dreamland or stay awake and give you a smile.

baby sleeping through lluaby

Here are some of our best baby lullaby songs - a mix of popular, modern day hits and songs sung for centuries by parents eager for their little ones to take a nap.

1. "Rock-a-Bye Baby"

Rockabye Baby takes the rock music parents love and transforms it into soothing instrumental lullabies. The perfect baby lullaby for babies to go to sleep - a soft and relaxing sleep song to be added to your playlist created for your baby or toddler.

Listen to Rock a Bye Baby

“Rock-a-Bye Baby” Lyrics

Rock-a-bye baby

On the tree tops,

When the wind blows

The cradle will rock.

When the bough breaks

The cradle will fall,

And down will come baby

Cradle and all.

2. "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star"

The lyrics to this classic — heard in day cares around the country — come from a poem by Jane Taylor that was written in 1806. With its images of stars and the night sky, along with the disappearing sun, this song is the perfect way to evoke sleep. ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star’ is a perennial favourite. The words encourage dreaming, wonder and imagination — all the things a small child might experience when gazing up at the night sky.

Listen to Twinkle Twinkle, Little star

“Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” Lyrics

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,

How I wonder what you are!

Up above the world so high,

Like a diamond in the sky.

When the blazing sun is gone,

When he nothing shines upon,

Then you show your little light,

Twinkle, twinkle, all the night.

Then the traveler in the dark

Thanks you for your tiny spark,

How could he see where to go,

If you did not twinkle so?

In the dark blue sky you keep,

Often through my curtains peep.

For you never shut your eye,

Till the sun is in the sky.

As your bright and tiny spark

Lights the traveler in the dark,

Though I know not what you are,

Twinkle, twinkle, little star.

3. "Amazing Grace"

Classic hymn, especially as sung by the incomparable Etta James, is deeply emotional and stirring. A Christian hymn ‘Amazing Grace’ is also a very famous lullaby! If you’re looking for some new lullabies to sing to your baby when it’s his bedtime, you can consider Amazing Grace. This melodious lullaby in your voice will definitely put your baby to sleep in no time.

Listen to Amazing Grace

“Amazing Grace” Lyrics

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me

I once was lost, but now am found

Was blind, but now I see

Was grace that taught my heart to fear

And grace, my fears relieved

How precious did that grace appear

The hour I first believed

Through many dangers, toils and snares

We have already come

T'was grace that brought us safe thus far

And grace will lead us home

And grace will lead us home

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me

I once was lost, but now am found

Was blind, but now I see

Was blind, but now I see

registering your baby birth
Young parents with their baby girl at home

4. "You Are My Sunshine"

Although originally a country song and not a lullaby, ‘You Are My Sunshine’ works very well as a song for singing your baby to sleep because of its moving lyrics. It’s considered one of the most-covered songs in American popular music, having been recorded by over 350 artists and translated into at least 30 languages.

Listen to You Are My Sunshine

“You Are My Sunshine” Lyrics

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine,

You make me happy when skies are grey.

You’ll never know, dear, how much I love you,

Please don't take my sunshine away.

The other night, dear, as I lay sleeping,

I dreamt I held you in my arms.

When I awoke, dear, I was mistaken,

So I hung my head, and I cried.

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine,

You make me happy when skies are grey.

You’ll never know, dear, how much I love you,

Please don't take my sunshine away.

I'll always love you and make you happy,

If you will only say the same.

But if you leave me to love another,

You'll regret it all one day.

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine,

You make me happy when skies are grey.

You’ll never know, dear, how much I love you,

Please don't take my sunshine away.

Please don't take my sunshine away.

5. "Hush Little Baby"

The Hush Little Baby song is a lullaby which is sung to little ones all over the globe. However, the song is also taught to children as a rhyme. The purpose of this nursery rhyme or lullaby is to soothe a crying baby or toddler. It can also be used to teach new words to little ones.

Listen to Hush Little Baby

“Hush Little Baby” Lyrics

Hush, little baby, don't say a word,

Papa's gonna buy you a mockingbird.

And if that mockingbird won't sing,

Papa's gonna buy you a diamond ring.

And if that diamond ring turns to brass,

Papa's gonna buy you a looking glass.

And if that looking glass gets broke,

Papa's gonna buy you a billy goat.

And if that billy goat won't pull,

Papa's gonna buy you a cart and bull.

And if that cart and bull turn over,

Papa's gonna buy you a dog named Rover.

And if that dog named Rover won't bark,

Papa's gonna buy you a horse and cart.

And if that horse and cart fall down,

You'll still be the sweetest little baby in town!

Slapped cheek syndrome

6. "Row Your Boat"

Row Your Boat helps your child development and coordination, especially movements which cross from one side of the body to the other. As your child grows and develops, they will be able to more movements and actions. This song also helps them to learn about the world around them whether it is about rowing a boat or learning about animal noises.This song also helps with their gross motor skills as they are using their whole body to rock in motion, forwards and backwards to imitiate rowing a boat. This can help them with their balance, coordination and muscle development.

Listen to Row Row Row Your Boat

“Row, Row, Row Your Boat” Lyrics

Row, row, row your boat

Gently down the stream

Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily

Life is but a dream

(repeat four times)

7. “Isn’t She Lovely”

Got a daughter? Share this Stevie Wonder song, which is an ode to his own daughter, Aisha. The collection of adjectives describing Aisha just after her birth — lovely, wonderful, precious — will likely feel familiar to any new mum or dad.

“Isn’t She Lovely” Lyrics

Isn't she lovely

Isn't she wonderful?

Isn't she precious?

Less than one minute old

I never thought through love we'd be

Making one as lovely as she

But isn't she lovely made from love?

Isn't she pretty?

Truly the angel's best

Boy, I'm so happy

We have been heaven-blessed

I can't believe what God has done

Through us He's given life to one

But isn't she lovely made from love?

Isn't she lovely?

Life and love are the same

Life is Aisha,

The meaning of her name

Londie, it could have not been done

Without you who conceived the one

That's so very lovely, made from love, hey!

Remeber, there is no sweeter way to put your baby to bed than with a soothing lullaby. As you snuggle close to your little at bedtime (and gazing at them in awe), by adding music to the experience can help grow your sense of connection, help calm them into an easier routine, and even improve your child’s cognitive development.

Mummy to a little girl, Adejumoke Ilori is Commercial Content Writer for Mother&Baby. With a BA hon in Creative Writing, she has worked for digital platforms, where she has empowered women from the inside and out, by sharing real life stories based on relationships, loving yourself and mummyhood.

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