Singing to your baby makes them happy and helps you bond, plus it can soothe them and make them excited. So, what are some good songs to sing to babies and infants?
Singing to your baby is good for cognitive development and psychological wellbeing, whether you sing traditional lullabies, country classics, or modern pop tracks. Analysing the health benefits and covering the importance of pre-natal singing, this is a helpful guide to singing to your baby.
Do you have a new-born that you struggle sending to sleep? Are you looking for a good song to sing to your baby? Have you always wanted to know the benefits of singing to a baby in the womb? Below we give you 31 of the best songs to sing to babies, with information about the benefits of music for infants.
Singing to your baby
You may be thinking now that you’ve had a baby, you’re stuck in a cycle of singing endless lullabies. But singing to your infant doesn’t have to be boring. Introducing a mix of your favourite pop songs with traditional nursery rhymes can be a great way to expose your child to a wider vocabulary. Check out this article about the science behind singing to your baby.
Nursery rhymes to sing to baby
#1 Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes
This classic baby song is short and sweet, with only one verse it’s easy to keep singing and adding more exaggerated actions as you go on. Teaching parts of the body to your baby through music and hand gestures will have your baby smiling and subconsciously developing their muscle memory.
#2 Pop Goes the Weasel
This nursery rhyme is a really easy one to sing. It’s slightly more high-energy and with the opportunity to add a bit of ‘peek-a-boo’ when the Weasel pops, this song could have your baby in giggles.
#3 I’m A Little Teapot
Adding actions to this classic could be a great addition to your daily sing-song, really engaging your baby and focusing on their motor skills. If your baby is slightly older why not try and encourage them to act as a teapot too?
#4 Itsy Bitsy Spider
Experimenting with the tempo of nursery rhymes can make them more interesting. This song could be a soothing bed-time tune or, if you speed it up, it could be a high-energy song to sing during playtime. Pretending to be the spider crawling up your baby’s tummy, tickling them can strengthen your connection and make you both laugh.
#5 Wheels on the Bus
This repetitive classic is one we all know the words to and could be a lifesaver if you need a quick tune to calm your baby down. It’s jolly, somewhat energetic nature will hopefully put a smile on your baby’s face.
Disney songs to sing to baby
#6 The Bear Necessities
You’re never too young to hear a Disney song. This simple Jungle Book tune has a great underlying message about mental health, and although your newborn may be too young to understand it, it’s still a catchy song that will lift your spirits.
#7 A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes
Another great Disney song if you’re looking for something to send your baby to sleep. To help keep your sanity, this is slightly longer than a lullaby, and won’t have you repeating the same verse over and over until your child falls asleep.
#8 Do You Want to Build a Snowman?
This Frozen classic is a great choice to engage your baby as though you’re asking them a question. This will make them inquisitive and is a fun song to sing if you have a partner you can duet with, entertaining your baby to the max.
#9 Part of Your World
Who doesn’t love the Little Mermaid? This sweet tune is a great choice if you want a slightly more conversational song, with some lyrics being spoken you can take on the role as a mermaid and act out the scene for your baby.
#10 A Spoonful of Sugar
This fun Mary Poppins song is slightly more high-energy and could be a great song to sing to your baby when waking them up. Its’ cheerful melody should start your day off as it means to go on.
Calming songs to sing to babies
#11 Blackbird by The Beatles
This simple yet beautiful song will send your baby off to sleep in no time. With a basic melodic structure, this is an easy go-to for bedtime and can be adapted to just a mellow hum if you don’t know all the lyrics.
#12 Forever Young by Bob Dylan
Originally written as a lullaby for his eldest son Jess, this song is both calming and has an interesting set of lyrics that will widen your baby’s exposure to new words they wouldn’t hear in a traditional nursery rhyme.
#13 Sweet Baby James by James Taylor
With a simple melody, waltz structure (in ¾ time) and relaxing lyrics, this song can act as a lullaby without the repetitive nature of one. If you play the guitar, why not strum along to this folk song and introduce your baby to the wonders of playing an instrument?
Should you sing to babies in the womb?
Just because your baby isn’t born yet doesn’t mean you can’t introduce them to music. Scientific research shows that foetuses can recognise audio vibrations and rhythms early in pregnancy. During the later stages of pregnancy, they begin to distinguish and hear various sounds.
Depending on the type of music you chose to sing to your baby, the foetus tends to respond by becoming active (encouraging movement inside the womb), calming down or having a change in FHR (fetal heart rate).
To encourage parental voice recognition, it’s a good idea for both parents to sing to the baby during pregnancy. Newborns prefer their parents’ voices over strangers, so now’s a good time to introduce singing to your daily routine ensuring your child is familiar with its primary caregivers before birth. You mustn’t always sing along with a backing track or with the original artist, but also without instrumentation, so the child can make an early onset bond to the clarity of your voice.
Songs to sing to baby in womb
#14 Your Song by Elton John
Again, this is another classic that will instil a sense of calm into your house. It’s great fun to sing and could be a blast from the past.
#15 Somewhere Only We Know (Lily Allen’s version)
You’re probably familiar with this song from the John Lewis advert a few years ago. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for something mellow and not too challenging to sing. Its simple melodic structure could even have your baby singing along.
Country songs to sing to baby
#16 Home on The Range by Roy Rogers
Why not introduce some country songs to your baby’s nighttime routine? This mellow song is great if you’re looking for something different.
#17 The Bones by Maren Morris
This is a more modern country song, you could up the tempo or slow it down if you need your baby to calm down. Make it your own and enjoy singing this catchy tune.
#18 Wagon Wheel by Darius Rucker
Released in 2013, you may not be as familiar with this song if you don’t closely follow the country scene. With its simple, repetitive leading line, this is a great choice if you want to belt out a song and entertain your baby at the same time.
#19 Take Me Home, Country Roads by John Denver
Arguably one of the most well-known country songs, you must introduce your baby to this classic.
Modern songs to sing to baby
#20 Pretty Shining People by George Ezra
A great pop song with catchy repetitive lyrics, you may find yourself singing this even when your baby’s asleep. George Ezra is a modern artist with many songs that you’ll enjoy singing to your baby.
#21 Don’t Start Now by Dua Lipa
This song has a great beat and simple melodic structure making it an easy go-to song to sing for your baby. However, it’s probably not a bedtime bop, as it’s high energy feel will make anyone want to get up and dance.
#22 Better by Khalid
This song has a super chilled vibe whilst still keeping a good beat. So, this could be a good tune to sing to your baby if they’re starting to wake up and get restless and you want them to go back to sleep.
#23 This Town by Niall Horan
A more mellow option, this soft song is a good choice for bedtime. It’s a fun ballad to sing and why not try to express more emotion through the lyrics? This will teach your baby the importance of sharing their feelings (a skill that’s useful for later life).
#24 Adore You by Maisie Peters
Up and coming artist Maisie Peters is a great choice if you’re looking to learn a new song that both you and your baby can enjoy. Doesn’t get more modern than this.
#25 Watermelon Sugar by Harry Styles
This is a really fun song with quirky lyrics. You need to be having fun with music as this sets an example for your baby, so if you’re bored of nursery rhymes and you’re looking for a chart pop tune, you’ll enjoy singing this. It could be a great song to sing in the car to distract your baby and keep them entertained on long journeys.
Songs to sing to baby that aren’t lullabies
#26 Here Comes the Sun by The Beatles
Mixing it up from the go-to lullabies, this Beatle’s classic will instil a sense of calm and hopefully send your baby (and you) off to sleep with its dulcet tones.
#27 Dance Monkey by Tones and I
This energetic song will have you up on your feet dancing along whilst singing to your baby. Pretending to be a monkey could be a fun addition when you’re singing this song, as it not only introduces your baby to the concept of animals and animal noises but makes them laugh at the same time.
#28 You Are My Sunshine by Johnny Cash
With a positive message displayed in the lyrics, this song will put you in good spirits and show your baby just how much you love them. It’s a great choice if you’re bored of lullabies but not into current pop music.
#29 Happy by Pharrell Williams
With catchy lyrics and an upbeat tempo, this song certainly isn’t a lullaby. Perfect to sing to your baby whilst getting them changed or perhaps when they’re in good spirits during tummy time.
#30 Better When I’m Dancin‘ by Meghan Trainor
Featuring in Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie, you’ll probably be familiar with this song if you have older children. It’s upbeat rhythm and feels good lyrics are perfect to sing to your baby.
#31 Your Own Song!
Don’t forget that you can always make up your own songs to sing to your baby. Sometimes having a personal song that only you and your close family know is really special, and can be sung and reminisced on for the rest of your child’s life.
Benefits of singing to baby
So now that you’re geared up with a whole set of songs to sing to your baby, here’s some science-y bits to make you even more enthusiastic.
Babies that are exposed to music early on are more likely to display positive emotions to their caregiver and pay more attention to them. This, in turn, could enhance their future language abilities, encourage sensory awareness and motor control, and give them a foundation to build their emotional awareness.
Besides the biological benefits of humming a tune to your child, here are the main reasons parents turn to music in the first few months of caring for their baby:
- Get them to sleep
- Help them learn
- Make them laugh
- Soothe them if they are crying or upset
- Distract them when they have to take medicine or go to the clinic etc.
- As part of a game
- To help them interact with other children (e.g. baby music groups)
- Bonding with your baby
- To help with other activities, e.g. feeding, dressing, nappy changing and bath time
- To make you happy – parenting can be difficult and singing to your baby can make the hard bits more fun for both you and your baby
- If you are a singer, it’s a great way to get in some more practice. Here’s an article about the health benefits to parents of singing to their babies
- How is singing songs to children good for mental and psychological development?
Music and are closely linked, with language, concentration and learning all improved through singing.
- Why should I sing lullabies to my baby?
Singing is a great way to communicate with your baby. Lullabies not only comfort your child and give them an early appreciation of music, but they can also strengthen an infant’s cognitive development.
- Do babies enjoy being sung to?
Yes, babies bond with you and your voice when you sing to them and this can have a calming effect, helping them sleep better.
Have you sung to your baby before? What are some of your favourites to sing? Let us know in the comments below.