The 13 Best Lullabies to Sing to Your Baby—with a Modern Twist
"Hush Little Baby" and "Rock a Bye, Baby" are perennial favorites, but after a while, you have to admit, the oldies but goodies, the baby songs you grew up on, get a bit boring. Try these newer faves to liven up (or quiet down) your bedtime routine.
“Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen
It’s not a baby song per se, but few songs are more beautiful than the much loved and often covered “Hallelujah.” Skip over the PG-13 verse and it’s lullaby gold.
“Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles
This George Harrison classic has lulled many a baby into golden slumber. Sweet and uplifting, what more could you ask from a lullaby? These are the songs that give you the best night’s sleep, according to science.
“Blackbird” by The Beatles
The Beatles’ second appearance in this list is musically not for the faint of heart. The guitar melody is notoriously difficult, but the vocals are lovely and perfect for little ones drifting off to sleep. A great song that makes the leap to baby song without missing a beat.
“Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Judy Garland
We all know the benefit of stress-relief, so let troubles melt away like lemon drops as you introduce this classic to your sweet baby. Just don’t think about the flying monkeys and you’ll be fine.
“What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong
Featured in the Stories Podcast episode entitled Her Favorite Lullaby, podcast creator Dan Hinds wrote both the story and the song that went on to become a favorite of his listeners. Hinds says of the song, “I wrote the story and didn’t include the song originally, just alluded to it. My six-year-old daughter told me she really wanted the song in the poem so I wrote it for her based on our day hiking, and then the host Amanda came up with the beautiful melody to go with it.” A story about a baby song? Sign us up!
Rockabye Baby! Series
Sometimes, after the millionth hour of singing songs to baby, you may want to give the ol’ vocal cords and a rest and let someone else do the heavy lifting of making music. Rockabye Baby! takes favorites from all genres and turns them into lullabies them. Who doesn’t love Metallica on the glockenspiel?
“Thousand Years” by Christina Perri
You are probably familiar with this one from the hit book and movie series Twilight: It’s a lovely song (you can listen here) and takes on a much less creepy vibe when sung to your baby than when it’s about Edward and Bella. Eternal love without the vampires! (And if you love a good vampire story, check out these scary legends that are actually true.)
“Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley
“The Rainbow Connection” by Kermit The Frog
If you were a child in the ’80s, you know the Muppets and most likely love this song. It appeared in The Muppet Movie, and has been warming hearts since 1979. A little nostalgia for Mom and Dad at bedtime and a wonderful song to boot! You can watch the video here.
“We’re Going To Be Friends” by The White Stripes
A departure from their signature wailing, scratchy, blues guitar and thumping bass drum, this sweet acoustic number is a heartwarming trip down memory lane. “We’re Going To Be Friends” was released in 2002 as part of their album White Blood Cells, and tells the story of friends meeting at the beginning of a new school year. Watch the video here.
Pretty much anything by Jack Johnson
Peppy and upbeat but soul-soothing at the same time, most of Jack Johnson’s music makes the transition to lullaby with ease. His melodies are so catchy, you’ll find yourself humming them long after your bedtime routine has worked its magic!
Made famous by Penny and Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory, “Soft Kitty” is actually a derivation of a much older lullaby called “Warm Kitty.” The perennial favorite has done major work in bringing nerd culture to the forefront of pop-culture and definitely deserves a spot in your bedtime setlist. You can check out the video here.