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Sing To Your Baby: Create Your Own Lullaby

Emily Eagen, Singer/Songwriter and Teaching Artist, Carnegie Hall’s Lullaby Project and Elizabeth Snodgrass, Director, Family Programs, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute
By Emily Eagen, Singer/Songwriter and Teaching Artist, Carnegie Hall’s Lullaby Project and Elizabeth Snodgrass, Director, Family Programs, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute

Your baby loves to hear the sound of your voice, and the more words you sing to your baby, the better you can bond with him or her. Research shows that singing songs—like lullabies—supports your baby’s brain and language development. 

Singing lullabies is also good for you as a parent! Singing to your baby can help support an important bond between you and your child. Studies have shown that a strong connection is key to healthy emotional development in young children

We collaborated with Too Small to Fail to share some simple tips on how you can create your own lullaby to sing to your baby. Remember that as you sing, hold your baby close and look into his or her eyes. This helps your baby feel calm, safe, and loved. As a parent, you can use the lullaby to express hopes and dreams for you and your family. Take pride in making something special just for your little one.

What is a Lullaby?

A gentle song to help your child fall asleep

A favorite song you want to share with your child at bedtime

A special song you make up that is unique to you and your child

Now. . . .What is your lullaby? Here’s how to start creating one:

At bedtime, rock your baby and hum. A tune will probably come naturally. Let your mind wander, and when words pop into your head, try singing them to your tune. You can use any words that you want - if you can say it, you can sing it! And, even if you don’t feel confident about your singing, know that your voice is special to your child, and is the voice that your baby will love the best. 

If you are stuck, you can start with:

Your child’s name

            We call you. . .

            My nicknames for you are. . .

            We gave you your name because. . .

            You are my. . .

Words of comfort (pick a few, add others)

            safe. . .home. . .gentle

   love. . .sweet. . .hush

   night. . .moon. . .stars

Wishes and dreams you have for your child

            I hope you. . .

            My wish for you is. . .

            In life you can. . .

Watch this video for more information on how you can create your own lullaby:

You’ve created your lullaby, and now what? Here are a few more tips and ideas on when to sing to your littlest learner:

  • Take time to look into your baby’s eyes and sing directly to him or her. You can do this at bedtime, at bathtime, at playtime, during family visits, or even during many kinds of daily activities, like riding the subway, doing laundry, or taking a walk.
     
  • Singing the same song over and over can help calm your baby and make him or her feel safe.
     
  • Sing a song you remember or make up new words to a song you know.
     
  • Is your baby being fussy? Singing silly songs, singing your lullaby, or making silly sounds can help to get your baby’s attention.