8 Songs to Help Keep Lullaby Time Fresh

“What A Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong
After that tearfest, you might need something lighter. This classic quite simply celebrates the world. It’s lovely to sing.
Sample lyrics: The colors of the rainbow / so pretty in the sky / are also on the faces / of people passing by

Once upon a time … my kids liked me to sing to them at bedtime. It was, in fact, part of our nightly routine. (Alas, my youngest is now 8, so most of those days are behind us. Sigh). But when singing was a nightly thing, there was only so much “You Are My Sunshine” I could take. So I intentionally expanded my lullaby repertoire, seeking out appropriate songs and learning the lyrics.

Precisely 1,825 bedtimes bridge your child’s birth and fifth birthdays.

That’s a lot of “Twinkle Twinkle”.

So, mamas of little ones, if at some point you crave a break from “Rock-a-bye Baby”, here are some other songs that can easily be repurposed as lullabies.

1: “Slow Down” by Nichole Nordeman

If you cry at anything, you’ll cry at this sweet, sweet song about a mom savoring each stage of childhood. If the words themselves don’t move you to tears, search online for the lyrics video. It’s beautiful.

Sample lyrics: Slow down / Won’t you stay here a minute more / I know you want to walk through the door / But it’s all too fast / Let’s make it last a little while

2: “What A Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong

After that tearfest, you might need something lighter. This classic quite simply celebrates the world. It’s lovely to sing.

Sample lyrics: The colors of the rainbow / so pretty in the sky / are also on the faces / of people passing by

3: “Lullabye (Goodnight My Angel)” by Billy Joel

OK, so it’s not exactly a stretch to use a song titled “Lullaby” as a lullaby. But you’ll be too busy snuggling your baby to care.

Sample lyrics: Goodnight, my angel now it’s time to dream / And dream how wonderful your life will be

4: “Come What May” from “Moulin Rouge”

If singing “want to vanish inside your kiss” to your child seems a bit creepy, swap “this bliss” for “your kiss” and you have a perfectly appropriate parent-child lullaby.

Sample lyrics: Suddenly the world seems such a perfect place / Suddenly it moves with such a perfect grace / Suddenly my life doesn’t seem such a waste / It all revolves around you

5: “You Belong To Me” by Jo Stafford

Intended as a romantic love song, this one also can celebrate the love you share with your child even as he or she goes off and explores the world.

Sample lyrics: Fly the ocean in a silver plane / See the jungle when it’s wet with rain / Just remember till you’re home again / You belong to me

6: “Baby Mine” by Bette Midler (or, if you prefer, from “Dumbo”)

Because your child’s greatest source of comfort will always be you.

Sample lyrics: Baby mine don’t you cry / Baby mine dry your eyes / Rest your head close to my heart / never to part, baby of mine

7: “A Million Dreams” from “The Greatest Showman”

What better way to send your child off to dreamland than a song about imagining a world of possibilities?

Sample lyrics: I think of what the world could be / A vision of the one I see /A million dreams is all it’s gonna take

8: “That’s All” by Nat King Cole

If this song sounds familiar, you might be remembering it from the 1998 romantic comedy “The Wedding Singer”. As a lullaby, it’s a reminder to your child that your love is constant and forever.

Sample lyrics: There are those, I am sure, who have told you / They would give you the world for a toy / All I have are these arms to enfold you / And a love time can never destroy

Happy singing, mamas! Soak up all those snuggles. What songs would you add to the list?

Kirsten is a native Wisconsinite who married a Brit, moved to England and happily ended up in Madison in 2010. She and her husband, Adrian, are parents to Sophie, Charlie and Susannah, who fascinate and exhaust their parents pretty much every day. A former newspaper reporter, Kirsten now supports mompreneurs through her website, motherbility.com. She's also a mini-expert on traveling with kids. (Always answer "Should we go to ... " with "yes." Bring toys, snacks and an excess of patience.) She and her family camp every summer, usually in state parks, because they love outdoor living. And s'mores.

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