Lullabies For Babies

Singing lullabies is my absolute favorite part of the bedtime routine. I’d do it until my kids left for college if they’d let me. (They won’t.) There is just something so loving and tender about holding baby close while crooning sweet lullaby songs, and what better way to make them sleepy?

Science backs me up. A British study showed that not only do lullabies help babies fall asleep, they actually lower heart rate and reduce pain, meaning you can help a colicky or teething baby feel better just by singing!

Need lullaby inspiration? Here are 11 beauties, from classic to modern, that will ease minis — and their mamas — into a good night’s rest.

All The Pretty Little Horses

Hush-a-bye, don’t you cry

Go to sleep little baby

When you wake, you shall have

All the pretty little horses

Blacks and bays

Dapples and grays

Coach and six little horses

Hush-a-bye, don’t you cry

Go to sleep little baby

Go to sleep little baby

Throughout human history, parents have been offering their kids this same bargain: go to sleep now and something great will happen tomorrow! Littles love ponies, so hopefully the promise of this sweet song will provide sufficient incentive. Now giddy-up to bed.

Frère Jacques (Are You Sleeping?)

Frère Jacques, Frère Jacques

Dormez-vous? Dormez-vous?

Sonnez les matines, sonnez les matines

Ding, ding, dong. Ding, ding, dong

Are you sleeping? Are you sleeping?

Brother John, Brother John?

Morning bells are ringing, morning bells are ringing

Ding, ding, dong. Ding, ding, dong

Although the lyrics are more about waking up than going to bed, the sing-song rhythms of this little ditty make it a perfect baby lullaby. The classic version is sung in French — how chic! — but you can sing it in English, Spanish or whatever makes baby happy.

Brahms Lullaby (Lullaby and Goodnight)

Lullaby and goodnight

In the sky stars are bright.

Round your head, flowers gay

bring you slumbers today

Go to sleep now and rest

May these hours be blessed.

Go to sleep now and rest

May these hours be blessed.

This is one of the most popular lullabies of all time. There are many versions of this classic lullaby, which was written by German composer Johannes Brahms in the 1800s, but I think this modern translation is the easiest to remember. And if you need help with the tune, check out Jewel’s stellar cover.

Golden Slumbers

Golden slumbers kiss your eyes,

Smiles await you when you rise.

Sleep,

Pretty baby,

Do not cry,

And I will sing a lullaby.

Cares you know not,

Therefore sleep,

While over you a watch I’ll keep.

Sleep,

Pretty darling,

Do not cry,

And I will sing a lullaby.

This oldie but goodie was first published in 1603. Much later, the Beatles produced a popular version of the lullaby on their Abbey Road album, with a different but still gorgeous melody. You can choose your favorite; either is bound to please your sleepy baby.

Lavender’s Blue

Lavender’s blue, dilly-dilly, lavender’s green

When I am king, dilly-dilly, you shall be queen

Call up your men, dilly-dilly, set them to work

Some to the plough, dilly-dilly, some to the fork

Some to make hay, dilly-dilly, some to cut corn

While you and I, dilly-dilly, keep ourselves warm

Lavender’s green, dilly-dilly, lavender’s blue

If you love me, dilly-dilly, I will love you

If this English folk song sounds familiar, you might have heard it in Disney’s live action Cinderella movie (Cinderella’s mom sings it to her as a child, and a grown-up Cinderella sings it again while locked up by her wicked stepmother).Try it out while applying lavender-scented lotion to baby after bath — another sweet way to promote relaxation before sleep.

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