Looking for Lullabies to soothe your baby? Science says any language will do

cubo ai baby lullabies baby monitor

Every parent needs a list of baby lullabies that work when they’re trying to get their baby to sleep.

From the classics to ones that were played in their own homes growing up, lullabies are a bring-baby-home essential. And while melodies can be much the same between many countries, the lyrics of course vary.

For instance, Twinkle, Twinkle in Spanish, wonders “where” the star is, not “what.”

So, there’s not much mystery as to why at first, we think it just makes sense to play lullabies for our baby in their own language. This isn’t baby Einstein, after all. We’re just trying to get some sleep here.

Something familiar and cozy is bound to do the trick, right? Yes! but wait there’s more!

lullabies for baby

Science Daily Article Shows Lullabies Work Regardless of The Language

Turns out, in the findings of a new study, ” Infants responded to universal elements of songs, despite the unfamiliarity of their melodies and words, and relaxed.”

What does this mean?

Babies respond to lullabies whether they’re in English, Chinese, Arabic, or any other language!

This study was published this year and conducted in 2018 and 2019 at the Music Lab.

It focused on the psychology of music from infancy to adulthood taking into account some very adorable test subjects doing very important work. Listening to music!

“The new findings supported the latter hypothesis: Infants responded to universal elements of songs, despite the unfamiliarity of their melodies and words, and relaxed.”

What do their results mean?

This means that there is something inherently relaxing about lullabies that we all respond to naturally.

So if you’re trying to soothe your baby, any language lullaby will do! As long as the baby lullaby has those relaxing tones, that slow melody we all want to doze off to, your baby will respond to it and relax.

So, how do we choose how to soothe our baby? Let’s take a look at this and a few other interesting things about baby sleep, lullabies, and relaxing sounds.

What’s in a lullaby? What will make babies go to sleep

What’s the difference between a lullaby and, say, a rock song?

Sure, it’s funny to think that babies will fall asleep to any song or songs that their parents particularly like. Think: Ross and Rachel in Friends singing Sir Mix-A-Lot to their daughter Emma.

The research, however, seems to suggest something different. Melody is one of the things that sticks out for lullabies.

In comparison, in a lot of other song types, such as dance songs, you would see rhythm as being more of a driving force,” explained Connie Bainbridge, who co-led the research with Bertolo in the Music Lab, and is now pursuing a Ph.D. in communication at UCLA.”

A softer melody and slower rhythm can help babies relax their own nervous system and slow down to prepare for sleep.

Other faster melodies and rhythms will arouse your baby. Their pupils may dilate, their heart-rates might increase; just the opposite of what you’re looking for.

So next time you see your partner partying it up with your baby and their favorite song before bedtime, just know it’s probably not a fool-proof lullaby and you might have an active baby on your hands.

Read more about preparing baby for sleep-time here.

Relaxing Music and Sounds: What are the best baby lullabies?

We’ve resorted to lullabies thanks to decades of experience of using them, but what are the best lullabies?

Lately, it’s white noise that makes the biggest splash in the parenting arena. So much so, that they truly believe that without white noise playing for their baby, their nights would be significantly different.

Relaxing music can be any music with a slow tempo, that you as an adult feel would be adequate. Researchers asked parents what music they’d felt would be suitable and: “They almost always chose the lullaby, indicating that they also recognized the universal elements of the lullaby, even subconsciously.”

Calming a fussy infant is an urgent matter for parents. Those of us with kids might be particularly sensitive to the acoustic features that appear universally in lullabies, as these may be most likely to calm our infants efficiently,” said Samuel Mehr, Department of Psychology Research Associate and Principal Investigator at the Music Lab.

Parents Get It

Mehr said it perfectly. Lullabies are much more than something that’s “nice to have” around the house. For parents of young infants, they are urgent for their own sleep health and the health of their little ones.

It’s then comforting to know that parents know what’s a calming lullaby and what isn’t?

You can choose from our lullabies below, find a Spotify playlist, or browse through your own records.

Regardless, trust your parental instinct and know that you understand internally what should work and what shouldn’t.

If at the end of it all, they’re still crying, well, you can resort to other soothing techniques or explore if sleep training is right for you.

Other relaxing sounds to help baby sleep

Relaxing sounds for baby sleep aren’t just music or white noise! Relaxing sounds vary widely for us all.

Birds singing, rainfall, and other nature sounds are all great for relaxation. As adults, we know that sounds like Gongs and Tibetan bells work great for relaxing and tuning entire rooms of adults into the same calm wavelength.

Yoga uses a variety of “om”s and chants, all of which help us relax. We as humans tend to like certain tones, hums, and rhythms that align with our own (even if just our heartbeat) to fight stress.

Babies, though they may not be quite ready for a gong, do enjoy nature sounds that make them feel safe and in an environment of calm.

Cubo Ai Smart Baby Monitor has built-in lullabies that you can play for your baby if they’re ever up in the middle of the night fussing. No need to walk into their room to disrupt them! Choose from our baby sleep soundtrack and soothe them back into dreamworld.

Sleep Music: Famous Baby Lullabies to Play for Baby

  • Hush, Little Baby
  • Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
  • Cradle Song (Brahm’s Lullaby or Wiegenlied
  • All the pretty little horses
  • All through the night
  • When you wish upon a star
  • Baby mine
  • You are my sunshine
  • Over the rainbow
  • Stay awake
  • Are you Sleeping?

Sing to Your Baby

While parents may not always be up for singing, especially at 3 or 4 in the morning, singing to your baby can also help your baby and you relax!

Feeling some extra stress about other things going on in your life? Regulate your own heart rate and your baby’s at once by singing a lullaby for you both. “The research provides evidence that singing can help infants relax — and in doing so might improve daily life for both child and caregiver.”

Whether you know your little one’s favorites or have a song stuck in your head that you sing when stress levels are high, singing can help each of you separately and together as you bond in the activity of calming down.

Unsure What to Sing? Hush Little Baby Lyrics

Hush little baby, don’t say a word,

Papa’s gonna buy you a mockingbird.

And if that mockingbird won’t sing,

Papa’s gonna buy you a diamond ring.

And if that diamond ring turns to brass,

Papa’s gonna buy you a looking glass.

And if that looking glass gets broke,

Papa’s gonna buy you a billy goat.

And if that billy goat won’t pull,

Papa’s gonna buy you a cart and bull.

And if that cart and bull turn over,

Papa’s gonna buy you a dog named Rover.

And if that dog named Rover won’t bark,

Papa’s gonna buy you a horse and cart.

And if that horse and cart fall down,

You’ll still be the sweetest little baby in town!

You can also find this lullaby and others in Spanish and other languages if you feel like putting Science Daily’s findings to the test or giving your baby that bilingual experience.

Have nights been particularly hard lately?

Cubo Ai is not just a baby monitor with lullabies, it also has proactive A.I. for baby safety, sleep, and memories. In your app you’ll find a full report of your baby’s sleep schedule and a digital scrapbook organized by age as they grow up!

Give Cubo Ai a chance and turn your nights around.


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Cubo Ai

Smart Baby Monitor, bird, techie, baby guru, and sleep-safety enthusiast. Cubo has a keen eye for detail, loves baby photography, and never sleeps on the job. You can find Cubo in thousands of nurseries around the world and here on the blog helping parents learn more about the topics they care about.