Have you ever been rocking your sweet little one to sleep and suddenly found yourself searching for a lullaby to soothe them with? Look no further. I have polled my social media groups to come up with the top ten lullabies to include in your baby’s bedtime routine.
Singing to your child is a wonderful verbal sleep association to bring into your family’s bedtime routine. As we know, a bedtime routine is really critical to helping your baby understand that it is time to go to bed and singing is an amazing way to do this. I know you have probably heard that sleep associations, often known as “sleep crutches”, are something we want to avoid. I am here to tell you that the more sleep associations you have in place the better. The more sleep associations your child has, the easier it is for them to know that bedtime is coming. If you stop to think about it, you probably have many sleep associations of your own that you use to unwind at the end of the day. If you want more information on sleep associations and how to use them or change them, have a look at my Comprehensive Sleep and Feeding Courses.
We want to add LOTS of sleep associations in case you come to a place where you would like to change things up. If, for example, you decide that rocking to sleep is not working anymore, and you have other associations like singing, patting and nursing, your baby is still likely to express emotion about the change (the same way most of us protest change), but they will come to accept it more easily if the rest of their routine remains intact.
So the next time you are racking your brain for the perfect tune to build into your bedtime as a positive sleep association, consider the following!
- You Are My Sunshine
This is a seemingly upbeat and happy lullaby comparing the baby to sunshine. Everything seems to move along nicely in this classic until the line about the sunshine (or baby) being taken away. This line can definitely be subbed for something more positive like, ‘I love my sunshine today’.
- Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.
We all know and love this one! I wanted to find out where this little one came from and apparently the lyrics were first written as a poem by Jane Taylor and was published in 1806. No wonder we all know this one! It has been around forever and was for sure mandatory as a song we had to learn to play in order to pass any class with a musical instrument (the violin for me).
- Somewhere Over The Rainbow.
We have all heard of this one and it really is a classic. This one takes me right back to the Wizard of Oz. What I actually did not know, but learned while writing this blog post is that this song was written as a song of hope for Jewish people in the Holocaust. The song was first published in 1939 when Jewish people were starting to have their rights taken away and were unable to ‘fly’ as they were trapped. It is neat when you look at the lyrics with that understanding of what the song was intended for. I really just love that it is a song of hope and I think that is something that we can all relate to.
- Baby Mine.
Believe it or not, I did not know this one. I did not watch Dumbo as it was just too sad so I can only imagine that the lyrics of this one are equally sad. With the new Dumbo movie out, I am sure this song will become more popular again.
- This Little Light.
This one is amazing because it became the anthem for the civil rights movement. When looking up the meaning of the lyrics I found,
“The song means to let your wonderful caring spirit come out for the world to see. It is a theme for holiness purposes. Christians are to show their loving hearts of compassion, and help others when needed. It means to let God have his way with you, and let his light shine through you.”
- Old School Rap
This one made me laugh because a few of my followers mentioned something similar and I had a really good giggle about this. I imagined mom singing ‘I Wish’ or ‘Big Butts’ and I had a laugh to myself. Exact words, “Umm… I only know old school rap and some Disney so that is what my baby gets.” Now, we know your baby is not going to understand the meaning of any of these songs, so do whatever works for you!
- Moon River.
This is one of my absolute favourites because I love anything Audrey Hepburn and what girl doesn’t love Breakfast at Tiffany’s? In 1962 it won for Record of the Year and Song of the Year.
This one brings me back to one of my favourite movies of all time, the Sound of Music (I am guessing that you now know which generation I am from). Watching this movie as a little girl I knew nothing about the meaning behind what was going on in the movie and only liked the music, the fact that Captain Von Trapp had so many children, and the scenery but watching it as an adult was a whole new experience (I like to get my husband to watch all the movies he never watched in childhood). Edelweiss is actually a flower that grows in the Alps in both Austria and Switzerland and the name means white and noble. The song is sung when Captain Von Trapp is mourning the loss of his country and therefore singing to the flower which can be found all over Austria. It has become an anti-Nazi anthem and a patriotic song but I do find it quite peaceful and the tune would definitely be conducive for falling asleep.
- Stay Awake (from the Mary Poppins Soundtrack)
A little bit of reverse psychology in this song if that is your parenting jam. I have tried it on my kiddies before and it works brilliantly.
- Frere Jacques
If you have any French abilities, this song is for you!
There you have it! Top ten lullabies chosen by you. Remember – sleep associations, like sharing your favourite lullaby with your little one, are never a bad thing unless it is something you no longer enjoy.
Have a favourite that is not listed here, comment below and let me know!