Lullabies for Your Baby

Lullabies aren’t just for sleeping. Rock-a-Bye Your Baby With a Dixie Melody (or Any Melody Really). Music is universal: a calming, educational, stimulating, and inspiring force for all. The powerful effect music has on babies and adults alike has been shown over time in many ways. A study of children at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, published by the journal Psychology of Music1, showed that kids who were sung lullabies experienced lower heart rates, less anxiety, and reduced perception of pain2. That’s why it is important to sing, recite, and play songs to your baby and children throughout the day.

Singing can even start in the womb. This is a great time to learn new songs and lyrics and play music next to your belly. Playing music and singing along or even just singing a cappella helps your baby recognize and respond positively to the sounds of your voice. It also helps them feel an intimate connection and brings a sense of calm into their world.

To start learning or just refresh your memory, go onto iTunes and create a playlist of songs you want to incorporate into your bedtime and daytime rituals with your little one. Print the lyrics, memorize them, and get used to singing them in the house, on the go, in the park, wherever the mood strikes. Enjoy this list to get you started. You’ll be singing along in no time!

For Bedtime, Try These Ditties:

  • Amazing Grace
  • Are You Sleeping / Frere Jacques
  • Brahms’ Lullaby
  • Hush Little Baby
  • Kumbaya
  • La La Lu (from Lady and the Tramp)
  • Michael Row the Boat Ashore
  • Rock-a-Bye Baby
  • Somewhere Over the Rainbow
  • Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star

For Daytime Tunes:

During the day you should work on using hand gestures or dance moves and incorporate motor skills with the songs for your child.

  • I’m a Little Teapot
  • The Itsy Bitsy Spider
  • Mary Had a Little Lamb
  • Oh My Darling, Clementine
  • Old MacDonald Had a Farm
  • Pop! Goes the Weasel
  • Row, Row, Row Your Boat
  • Shortnin’ Bread
  • Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
  • Wheels on the Bus
  • Where Is Thumbkin?
  • Yankee Doodle
  • You Are My Sunshine

Don’t Limit Yourself to Children’s Songs

As your baby gets older and is able to sing along, you won’t want their only knowledge of music to be children’s tunes. Develop their musical taste early on by singing and playing a wide variety of music, not just the current top 40.

Great Artists Toddlers Can Sing and Dance To Include:

  • The Beach Boys
  • The Beatles
  • Billie Holiday
  • Bob Marley
  • Buddy Holly
  • Diana Ross and The Supremes
  • Elton John
  • Frank Sinatra
  • Jack Johnson
  • Jewel
  • Louis Armstrong
  • Patsy Cline
  • Peter, Paul and Mary
  • Rosemary Clooney
  • Sara Bareilles
  • Smokey Robinson
  • Willie Nelson

Oldies Songs That Are Fun:

  • Rock Around the Clock
  • Stand by Me
  • Sugar, Sugar
  • Tutti Frutti

Disney Soundtracks:

  • Aladdin
  • Beauty and The Beast
  • Frozen
  • The Jungle Book
  • Lady and The Tramp
  • The Lion King
  • The Little Mermaid
  • Mary Poppins
  • Tangled

Broadway and Movie Musicals:

  • Annie
  • Fiddler on the Roof
  • Rodgers and Hammerstein: Oklahoma, The Sound of Music, South Pacific, State Fair, The King and I
  • Singing in the Rain
  • Wicked
  • The Wiz
  • The Wizard of Oz

Nursery Rhymes:

Don’t forget nursery rhymes — they can be sung too. The repetition of similar sounds is what makes rhymes so great for memorizing and learning. These will help your child’s language skills tremendously, as well as provide a fun activity to do together. The rhymes and rhythm highlight the sounds and syllables in words, which will help them learn to read.

  • Baa Baa Black Sheep
  • Bingo
  • The Cat and the Fiddle
  • Humpty Dumpty
  • Jack and Jill
  • Jack Be Nimble
  • Little Jack Horner
  • Little Miss Muffet
  • Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary
  • Star Light, Star Bright
  • This Little Piggy

There are plenty more songs and rhymes to research and teach your children. The possibilities are endless, so have fun!


  1. Elena Longhi, Nick Pickett, David J. Hargreaves. Wellbeing and hospitalized children: Can music help? Psychology of Music, March 2015, 43(2): 188-196. Accessed Aug. 15, 2016.
  1. Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children. Research proves lullabies really do help children feel better. Published Oct. 21, 2013. Accessed Aug. 15, 2016.

Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only. Please consult your healthcare provider directly for medical advice, diagnoses, and treatments. If you have specific questions or concerns about your health or the health of your baby, consult your physician.


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Johnelle is a freelance writer and editor. She enjoys all things good for the soul: fitness, painting, traveling, taking photographs of her dog, yoga, dancing, and singing in her Southern California band.

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