Motherhood

Baby Lullabies: Best Baby Lullaby Songs

Team Peanut
Team Peanut4 months ago16 min read

What are the best baby lullabies to help them sleep? How do nighttime lullabies for babies even work?

Baby Lullabies: Best Baby Lullaby Songs

Nothing says peace and calm quite like a baby lullaby.

Think ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star’ or ‘Hush, Little Baby’ – they’re the lullaby songs you’d sing to your little one to soothe them, calm them, and send them to sleep.

The thing is, nighttime lullabies really work – science has shown it.

No baby minds if you’re not the best singer, or if you forget the lullaby lyrics.

What really matters is the rhythm and the tune and the bond between mama and child (and, as you’ll see, nighttime lullabies can help soothe you as well).

From their ancient history to their actual calming effects – even some tried-and-tested baby lullaby lyrics to help your little peanut drift off to snoozeland…

In this article: 📝

  • What is the purpose of a lullaby?
  • Is lullaby music good for babies?
  • What is the most popular lullaby?
  • What is the famous lullaby?
  • What are the best baby lullabies?

What is the purpose of a lullaby?

So, let’s start from the basics.

What is a lullaby?

It’s a simple song that parents sing to their infants to help get them to sleep.

Few things paint a more idyllic picture of the mama and child bond than the lullaby.

As songs, they’re simple, repetitive, and slow – and you can rock your baby in their cradle, or your arms, while you sing.

They’re often called ‘cradle songs’ for precisely that reason.

Is a lullaby a folk song?

Where do bedtime lullabies come from?

Well, to answer that, let’s look at the original lullaby meaning.

A bit of an academic question, but actually an interesting one.

The word probably combines the word ‘lull’ – as in, ‘to calm’ – with ‘by’, meaning ‘close’. Simple.

However, some people have wondered whether ‘lullaby’ comes instead from the Hebrew phrase, ‘Lilith, begone’.

A weird one, we know, but it kind of makes sense.

Lilith was a demon from folklore who was said to steal baby’s souls as they slept – and lullabies could help keep her away.

What is the oldest lullaby in the world?

Mamas around the world have been singing lullaby songs pretty much forever.

And they don’t really change very much.

Babies tend to be quite fussy when it comes to music.

So, what’s the oldest lullaby?

That would be a 5000-year-old Babylonian song known as ‘Little Baby in the Dark House’.

Unfortunately, though, we don’t know the tune, but we do know the lullaby lyrics:

Little baby in the dark house
You have seen the sun rise
Why are you crying?
Why are you screaming?
You have disturbed the house god
“Who has disturbed me?” says the house god
It is the baby who has disturbed you
“Who scared me?” says the house god
The baby has disturbed you
The baby has scared you
Making noises like a drunkard
Who cannot sit still on his stool
He has disturbed your sleep
“Call the baby now,” says the house god.

Is lullaby music good for babies?

If mamas have been singing baby lullabies for so long, there’s got to be some good reason for it, right? Right!

These lullaby songs have been shown to have remarkable benefits – and, here’s the cool bit, not just for the baby.

Why do babies fall asleep to lullabies?

So when you’re singing a lullaby, why does that make baby fall asleep?

Well, bedtime lullabies have been shown to lower babies’ heart rates and steady their breathing.

The thing is that baby lullabies don’t even need to be in your given language to affect your child (as, obviously, they won’t have developed language yet).

It’s exciting that the soothing effect of a baby lullaby isn’t just speculation.

There’s real scientific evidence to demonstrate that lullabies do actually calm your baby and help them sleep.

Other benefits of baby lullabies

So we know baby lullabies can help baby sleep, which can be enough of a reason alone!

But bedtime lullabies actually have other benefits for both you and baby.

Lullabies help develop language

Lullabies don’t need to be in your language – or have any language at all.

However, singing regular lullaby songs can be a good time for babies to get familiar with different words.

In fact, singing to your sleepyhead may help them develop language faster than others who aren’t sung to.

It seems that babies are busy developing even when they’re falling asleep.

Lullabies can chill you out too

The really cool thing about bedtime lullabies is that they’re not just for babies.

All those calming effects that a lullaby has on your baby?

They can be enjoyed by you as well.

One study found that singing lullabies helped parents feel less stressed about their child’s development.

Another found that lullabies might help you with postnatal depression.

Singing songs to your child may well contribute to building a strong emotional bond too.

Win-win-win.

Should I play lullaby all night?

Now we know how amazing lullaby songs for babies can be, does that mean you should play them all night?

Well, no.

At least, not according to Dr. Janet Krone Kennedy, author of ‘The Good Sleeper: The Essential Guide to Sleep for Your Baby ‒ and You’.

Playing or singing lullabies can be used to help baby drift off to sleep, but Dr. Kennedy recommends playing them for up to 30 minutes, so they’re not reliant on lullabies to stay asleep, only to get to sleep.

What is the most popular lullaby?

So, what are examples of popular baby lullaby songs?

Here are a few favorites from our mamas of Peanut, complete with baby lullaby songs lyrics.

You’ll probably know them already, but we’ve got the baby lullaby lyrics to refresh your memory.

By the way, nothing is stopping you from coming up with your own!

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star

Firstly, a classic. You don’t get much simpler than the ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star’ lullaby – and your baby should love it too.

It’s a song about gazing at the stars.

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are.
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are.

Hush, Little Baby

‘Hush, Little Baby’ is another popular lullaby ‒ these are the ‘mockingbird’ lullaby lyrics.

However, this one’s been adapted into many different versions with all sorts of different lyrics.

Here’s one of the more well-known versions of ‘Hush Little Baby’ lyrics, although feel free to change it how you like.

Hush, little baby, don’t say a word, Mama’s gonna buy you a mockingbird.
And if that mockingbird don’t sing, Mama’s gonna buy you a diamond ring.
And if that diamond ring turns brass, Mama’s gonna buy you a looking glass.
And if that looking glass gets broke, Mama’s gonna buy you a billy goat.
And if that billy goat doesn’t pull, Mama’s gonna buy you a cart and bull.
And if that cart and bull turn over, Mama’s gonna buy you a dog named Rover.
And if that dog named Rover won’t bark, Mama’s gonna buy you a horse and cart.
And if that horse and cart fall down, well you’ll still be the sweetest baby in town.

Rock-a-Bye Baby

Next, try these ‘Rock-a-Bye Baby’ lyrics – another classic lullaby.

Rock-a-bye baby
On the treetop
When the wind blows
The cradle will rock
When the bough breaks
The cradle will fall
And down will come baby
Cradle and all.

You Are My Sunshine

This is one of the sweetest popular lullabies, according to our mamas of Peanut.

Here are the ‘You Are My Sunshine’ lullaby lyrics:

The other night, dear
As I lay sleeping
I dreamed 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 gray
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
And nothing else could come between
But if you leave me to allow another
You’ll have shattered all of my dreams

You are my sunshine
My only sunshine
You make me happy
When skies are gray
You’ll never know, dear
How much I love you
Please don’t take my sunshine away.

L’etait une Petite Poule Grise

If you’re after a popular French lullaby, you’ve found it!

‘L’etait une Petite Poule Grise’, or ‘There Was a Little Gray Hen’.

Here are the French lullaby lyrics:

L’était une une petite poule grise
Qu’allait pondre dans l’église
Pondait un p’tit’ coco
Que l’enfant mangeait tout chaud

L’était une p’tit’ poul’ noir
Qu’allait pondre dans l’armoire
Pondait un p’tit’ coco
Que l’enfant mangeait tout chaud

L’était une p’tit’ poul’ blanche
Qu’allait pondre dans la grange
Pondait un p’tit’ coco
Que l’enfant mangeait tout chaud

L’était une p’tit’ poul’ rousse
Qu’allait pondre dans la mousse
Pondait un p’tit’ coco
Que l’enfant mangeait tout chaud

L’était une p’tit’ poule beige
Qu’allait pondre dans la neige
Pondait un p’tit’ coco
Que l’enfant mangeait tout chaud

L’était une p’tit’ poule brune
Qu’allait pondre sur la lune
Pondait un p’tit’ coco
Que l’enfant mangeait tout chaud

And the English lullaby translation:

There was a little gray hen
Who laid an egg in the church
That the child ate hot.

There was a little black chicken
Who laid an egg in the wardrobe
That the child ate hot.

There was a little white chicken
Who laid an egg in the barn
That the child ate hot.

There was a little red chicken
Who laid an egg in the moss
That the child ate hot.

There was a little beige hen
Who laid an egg in the snow
That the child ate hot.

There was a little brown hen
Who laid an egg on the moon
That the child ate hot.

Arrorró Mi Niño

Now for some Spanish lullaby lyrics!

We love this beautiful, calm Spanish lullaby, ‘Arrorró Mi Niño’, which roughly translates to ‘Hush-a-Bye My Baby’.

Arrorró mi niño
Arrorró mi sol
Arrorró pedazo
De mi corazón.

Este niño lindo
Ya quiere dormir;
Háganle la cuna
De rosa y jazmín.

Háganle la cama
en el toronjil
Y en la cabecera
Pónganle un jazmín
Que con su fragancia
Me lo haga dormir.

Arrorró mi niño
Arrorró mi sol
Arrorró pedazo
De mi corazón.

Esta leche linda
Que le traigo aquí
Es para este niño
Que se va a dormir.

Arrorró mi niño
Arrorró mi sol
Arrorró pedazo
De mi corazón.

Este lindo niño
Se quiere dormir…
Cierra los ojitos
Y los vuelve a abrir.

Arrorró mi niño
Arrorró mi sol
duérmase pedazo
De mi corazón.

And the English translation:

Hush-a-bye my baby
Hush-a-bye my sun
Hush-a-bye oh piece
Of my heart.

This pretty child
Wants to sleep already
Make him a cradle
Of rose and jasmine.

Make him a bed
On the lemon balm
And at the head
Put jasmine
With its fragrance
To put him to sleep for me.

Hush-a-bye my baby
Hush-a-bye my sun
Hush-a-bye oh piece
Of my heart.

This beautiful milk
That I bring him here
Is for this baby
Who is going to sleep.

Hush-a-bye my baby
Hush-a-bye my sun
Hush-a-bye oh piece
Of my heart.

This lovely baby
Wants to sleep
He closes his eyes
And opens them again.

Hush-a-bye my baby
Hush-a-bye my sun
Hush-a-bye oh piece
Of my heart.

What is the famous Filipino lullaby?

As we’ve mentioned before, baby lullabies don’t have to be in a language that you speak, and they can be a beautiful way of honoring your heritage.

There is a famous Filipino lullaby that you may recognize: ‘Sa Ugoy ng Duyan’, which translates to ‘In the Rocking of the Cradle’.

Here are the original Tagalog lyrics:

Sana’why di nagmaliw ang dati kong araw
Nang munti pang bata sa piling ni nanay
Nais kong maulit ang awit ni inang mahal
Awit ng pag-ibig habang ako’why nasa duyan.

Sana’why di nagmaliw ang dati kong araw
Nang munti pang bata sa piling ni nanay
Nais kong maulit ang awit ni inang mahal
Awit ng pag-ibig habang ako’why nasa duyan.

Sa aking pagtulog na labis ang himbing
Ang bantay ko’why tala, ang tanod ko’why bituin
Sa piling ni nanay, langit ay buhay
Puso kong may dusa sabik sa ugoy ng duyan.

Sana’why di nagmaliw ang dati kong araw
Nang munti pang bata sa piling ni nanay
Nais kong maulit ang awit ni inang mahal
Awit ng pag-ibig habang ako’why nasa duyan.

Sa aking pagtulog na labis ang himbing
Ang bantay ko’why tala, ang tanod ko’why bituin
Sa piling ni nanay, langit ay buhay
Puso kong may dusa sabik sa ugoy ng duyan.

Nais kong matulog sa dating duyan ko, inay
Oh! Inay!

And here’s the English translation:

I hope my old day doesn’t go away
When I was a child with my mother
I want to repeat my dear mother’s song
Song of love while I’m in the cradle.

I hope my old day doesn’t go away
When I was a child with my mother
I want to repeat my dear mother’s song
Song of love while I’m in the cradle.

In my sleep I was very sleepy
The guard yellow note, the guard yellow star
With mom, heaven is alive
My heart aches anxiously for the swing of the cradle.

I hope my old day doesn’t go away
When I was a child with my mother
I want to repeat my dear mother’s song
Song of love while I’m in the cradle.

In my sleep I was very sleepy
The guard yellow note, the guard yellow star
With mom, heaven is alive
My heart aches anxiously for the swing of the cradle.

I want to sleep in my old cradle, mom
Oh! Mother!

Baby Einstein videos lullaby

For longer bedtime lullabies, you can’t go wrong with a Baby Einstein video lullaby on Youtube.

Not only can you get baby lullaby songs free (although you’ll have to be aware of Youtube adverts, which can be loud and wake baby up), but there’s also a whole range of baby lullabies to choose from!

Some favorite Baby Einstein video lullabies from our mamas on Peanut are Naptime Music for Babies and Lullaby Time: Soothing Sounds for Baby.

Disney lullabies

If your little one (or you) are Disney devotees, you’ll want some relaxing Disney lullaby music to help baby drift off to sleep.

Disney makes some of the best lullaby songs for babies ‒ some, you and your little one will probably already recognize:

What is the most soothing lullaby?

A soothing lullaby for baby is more likely to be one that you sing to them ‒ even if you’re not the best singer, baby will be more soothed by hearing your voice.

What song puts babies to sleep fast?

Well, all babies are different, and different lullabies will put different babies to sleep faster.

But there is a song that was produced to reduce heart rate and stress levels, which can help babies fall asleep paster: ‘Weightless’ by Marconi Union.

What is the famous lullaby?

Well, when it comes to lullaby music, there is one very well-known classic lullaby: Brahms’ lullaby.

What is Brahms’ lullaby called? It’s actually called ‘Wiegenlied’, which means ‘Lullaby’ or ‘Cradle Song’.

But it’s also known as the ‘Go to Sleep Song’, the ‘Go to Sleep, Little Baby Lullaby’, ‘Guten Abend, gut’ Nacht’, and ‘Lullaby and Goodnight’.

Here are Brahms’ lullaby lyrics:

Lullaby and good night
With roses bedight
With lilies o’er spread
Is baby’s wee bed

Lullaby and good night
Thy mother’s delight
Bright angels beside
My darling abide

Lay thee down now and rest
May thy slumber be blessed
Lay thee down now and rest
May thy slumber be blessed

Lullaby and good night
With roses bedight
With lilies o’er spread
Is baby’s wee bed

Lay thee down now and rest
May thy slumber be blessed
Lay thee down now and rest
May thy slumber be blessed

Lullaby and good night
You’re thy mother’s delight
Bright angels beside
My darling abide

What are the best baby lullabies?

As for the best baby lullaby? Well, that depends on what your baby [sleeps[(https://www.peanut-app.io/blog/newborn-sleeping-too-much) to!

The best way to tell which bedtime lullabies work for your little dreamer?

Try different lullaby songs to see how they react.

Do lullabies really work?

So, does lullaby music actually work for sending babies off to dreamland?

Well, for some babies, yes, and for others, maybe not.

But it can be about finding the right lullaby for your baby.

After all, as mamas can have different tastes in music, so can babies!

If no lullabies are working for your little one, try singing or humming one yourself ‒ hearing your voice will be extra soothing for baby.

If you fancy extending your range of bedtime lullabies, why not ask other mamas at Peanut for their favorites?

Nothing‘s stopping you from entertaining your little one with a Taylor Swift rendition – or some other song you might like.

Just remember that with a baby lullaby, the simpler the better.

Sweet dreams!

😴 More on baby sleep from The 411:
How Safe Is Co-Sleeping?
How to Dress Baby For Sleep
How to Get Your Baby to Sleep in a Crib
What to Do When Your Baby Cries in Their Sleep
How to End Co-Sleeping: Your Quickfire Guide
What to Know About the 12 Month Sleep Regression
When Can a Baby Sleep With a Blanket?
Your Guide to Baby Sleep Regressions
When to Stop Using a Sleep Sack for Your Baby
Is White Noise for a Baby Good?
8 Baby Movies to Watch Right Now
10 Best Baby Carriers: Tried & Tested by Real Moms

Popular on the blog
Trending in our community

Get the free app

Download on the App Store
Download on the Playstore
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest