14 Best Bedtime Songs for Kids

mom singing lullaby
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Looking for a sweet song to sing your little one to sleep? These are the best bedtime songs and lullabies for sleepy kids and parents. When words fail you, give the below songs a try.

"Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star"

Based on a nineteenth-century poem, this song has the same melody as "The Alphabet Song."

"Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky!"

Pete Seeger's version gives "You Are My Sunshine" a folk spin.
Pete Seeger's version gives "You Are My Sunshine" a folk spin.

"You Are My Sunshine "

A beloved lullaby and a hit song for musicians like Ray Charles and Bing Crosby, this melancholy tune has a memorably sentimental chorus:

"You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy, when skies are gray."

Adele/Instagram
Adele/Instagram

Rolling in the Deep

Adele's ballads make for surprisingly great sing-along songs. Croon it yourself, or play the baby-fied version from Modern Lullabies: Pop Songs for Babies.

Disney Movie Love Songs

Parents suggested several favorite Disney movie ballads, including "You'll Be in My Heart" from Tarzan, "Once Upon a Dream" from Sleeping Beauty (inspired by a Pyotr Tchaikovsky ballet!), and "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes" from Cinderella.

Yo Gabba Gabba! Songs

This colorful show for tots is filled to the brim with hip tunes. Parents particularly liked "Party in My Tummy" and "Sleepytime."

Africa Studio/Shutterstock
Africa Studio/Shutterstock

Frere Jacques

With lyrics in both English and French, this short, classic lullaby gets right to the point: Are you sleeping? Sing it until the answer is finally — finally! — yes.

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.

"Hush Little Baby"

This charming cause-and-effect song about a parent trying to calm their baby with gifts is full of silly accidents and sweet intentions:

"Hush, little baby, don't say a word,
(Mama's/Papa's) gonna buy you a mockingbird.
And if that mockingbird won't sing,
(Mama's/Papa's) gonna buy you a diamond ring."

It's also a great song for improvisation ... a few lines in, you'll probably need to make up some rhymes of your own!

John Legend/Instagram
John Legend/Instagram

All of Me

Sure, John Legend's chart-topper was written for wife Chrissy Teigen. But the star reportedly sang it to their daughter, Luna, and the love song works just as well as a lullaby.

"Cause all of me
Loves all of you
Love your curves and all your edges
All your perfect imperfections"

"The Alphabet Song"

Talk about mixing learning and fun! "The Alphabet Song," sung to the tune of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star," is short and easy to remember.

"A-B-C-D-E-F-G,
H-I-J-K-L-M-N-O-P,
Q-R-S-T-U-V-W-X-Y and Z.
Now I know my A-B-Cs,
Next time won't you sing with me."

Beautiful Boy

Written for his son, Sean, John Lennon's sweet song is a comforting ode to the love between parent and child. Sing or play it to soothe a crying baby — or your own new-parent nerves.

"Close your eyes
Have no fear
The monster's gone
He's on the run and your daddy's here

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful boy
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful boy"

Usa-Pyon/Shutterstock
Usa-Pyon/Shutterstock

Upside Down

Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies for the film Curious George, Jack Johnson's album of songs from the 2006 film, is jam-packed with soothing tunes that are fun for parent and baby alike. Stream the whole set, or learn the lyrics to Upside Down, the catchiest of the bunch.

Sarunyu L/Shutterstock
Sarunyu L/Shutterstock

My Love, My Life

ABBA's ballad may not have been one of the Swedish band's greatest hits, but the tear-jerker stole the show in this summer's "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again." Sung by the two main characters and a back-from-the-dead Meryl Streep, this ode to their children is as sweet as it is catchy.

"Like an image passing by, my love, my life
In the mirror of your eyes, my love, my life"

Kobby Dagan/Shutterstock
Kobby Dagan/Shutterstock

Isn't She Lovely

Stevie Wonder's hit song, celebrating the birth of his first daughter, is the perfect melody for awe-struck parents. The sweet lyrics echo Wonder's thoughts as he watched his girl sleep:

"Isn't she lovely

Isn't she wonderful"

Natalia Deriabina/Shutterstock
Natalia Deriabina/Shutterstock

Brahms' lullaby

First performed in 1868, Wiegenlied, know as Brahms' Lullaby, remains a classic bedtime song. One polled mom says it's the last thing she sings to her infant daughter each night. Stream the orchestral version, or sing it for yourself:" Lullaby, and goodnight, go to sleep little baby…"

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