Did you know that singing to your baby helps boost their brain development?
It’s true – singing to your baby has numerous benefits. When you sing to your baby, your baby is developing listening skills, learning new words, and gaining confidence. It’s also a great way to bond with your baby and express your love. 1, 2
In fact, you can even begin singing to your baby while you’re pregnant. It helps to expose your baby to songs in the womb. It’s amazing to see their faces light up in recognition when you sing the same songs to them after they are born. 3
It doesn’t matter what you sing or how your voice sounds, either. Your baby will simply be comforted by the sound of your voice. In fact, studies have shown that babies as young as one day old can discriminate audible rhythmic patterns. 3
Singing to your baby will come in handy, too. You’ll find yourself singing your baby to sleep, singing to calm them down in the car, and singing as a way of playing together. Musical instruments aren’t necessary!
I had no idea that my baby would love to hear me sing – all the time. No one mentioned to me that as a new mom, I would constantly break out into song as if I were in a musical. Learning nursery songs for babies wasn’t on my pregnancy checklists so I didn’t even think of it. And since my husband and I hadn’t been around kids much before having our son, we didn’t know many children’s songs… so we found ourselves singing Christmas songs to soothe him.
Yep, Jingle Bells made the rounds at my house during summertime until we upped our lullaby game. It’s a hilarious memory and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Knowing just how much you’ll break into song when you have a new baby, I’ve rounded up a list of my favorite baby songs to sing to your baby. Enjoy and happy bonding with your baby!
Related: The Best Board Books for Babies
23 Baby Songs to Sing to Your Little One
I compiled this list of children’s songs to help make it easier to sing to your baby. To me, this isn’t about finding the newest songs or the coolest songs or even about making a cool playlist for your baby. It’s about finding songs that are easy to remember, fun for you to sing to your baby, and beneficial for your baby’s development.
I’ve included YouTube videos to make it easy to learn the songs (or get a refresher!).
1. Itsy Bitsy Spider
Not only is it fun to sing Itsy Bitsy Spider, but you can also help your baby develop their eye-tracking capabilities by doing the hand motions as shown in this video.
2. Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star
A classic song to sing to your baby, Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star is probably a song that you already know the lyrics to. Its calming vibe also makes it a great bedtime song.
Skinna Marinky Dink
I used to sing this song to my babies in utero and I loved seeing the recognition on their faces when I first sang it to them after birth. I sang this song to my boys so much while I was pregnant that it was one of the first things I did after they were born and it was a special and beautiful moment.
This song is also sweet and tender and a really loving song to sing to your baby.
4. Five Little Ducks
This is a sweet song about a mama duck and her five little ducks. It’s also a nice way to expose your baby to numbers and counting in a fun way. This is one of my all-time favorite children’s songs, ever.
5. The Wheels on the Bus
A classic baby song, The Wheels on the Bus is an easy and fun song to sing to your baby. It encompasses lots of fun sounds that the different parts of the bus make — the baby cries waa waa waa, the parents go ssh ssh ssh, and the change goes clickety clickety clang. You can also teach your baby the hand movements as shown in the video below.
In addition to singing the original version that covers the wheels, wipers, doors, and more, you can make up your own verses. I have lots of fun memories singing this to my boys!
6. Old MacDonald Had a Farm
Old MacDonald can be a little tiresome to sing because of all the animal sounds, but it is great because it exposes your baby to so many sounds. It’s a great song to entertain your baby while laying the foundation for them to learn their animal sounds. And once your baby approaches toddlerhood, it’ll generate lots of laugh
7. Elmo’s Song
Elmo from Sesame Street has written his own song and it’s pretty catchy. It’s actually fun to sing and you can personalize it by swapping out “Elmo” for your baby’s name. Big Bird’s comments crack me up every time 🙂
File this under fun! BINGO is a fun and upbeat song for babies and preschoolers alike. As an added bonus, it exposes your baby to a fast rhythm and spelling early on.
9. Mr. Sun
Mr. Sun is one of those sweet children’s songs that will make you smile as you sing to the song and ask it to shine down on you. It has a sweet rhythm and always conjures up happy vibes.
10. The More We Get Together
This is another fun song to sing to your baby. It’s also fun to make up your own verses – I like to sing “the more we dance together”, “the more we eat together”, and so on.
11. If You’re Happy And You Know it
Children love this song because it’s interactive! It involves clapping, stomping, and shouting hooray, so it’s bound to put a smile on your baby’s face.
12. The ABC’s
Here’s an easy one that you’re sure to already know – the alphabet song! Sing it to your baby in those moments when another song isn’t readily available in your mind. No harm in teaching the ABC’s early on! Bonus points if you want to sing this fun version…
13. Five Little Monkeys
Sometimes you need a go-to song that is easy to remember. Five Little Monkeys is great for car rides (where your baby is bound to get fussy
This baby song saved me on several car rides. In fact, I remember singing up to 15 little monkeys when my second baby was having a hard time in his car seat. Make a mental note of this one, for sure!
14. You Are My Sunshine
A classic song that expresses just how much you love your baby, You Are My Sunshine is another great song to sing to your baby. Personally, I’ve always found the part that goes “please don’t take my sunshine away” to be dark, so I’ve used the alternate version when singing it to my kids, “and I love you more each day“.
15. The Grand Old Duke of York
The Grand Old Duke of York is a fun, interactive song for you to sing to your baby. Sit down on a couch or on the floor and place your baby on your lap. Then bounce them up and down and to the side as you sing this fun song.
16. Mary Had a Little Lamb
This is another classic baby song, and you probably already know the lyrics. It’s rhythmic nature also makes this a fun song to sing to your little one.
17. Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes
Use this song to help teach your baby the parts of their body. It’s another one that you probably know all the lyrics to.
18. Who’s My Pretty Baby?
You’ll love singing this precious song to your sweet little one. It has a great beat, too.
19. Do You Know The Muffin Man?
Fun and easy to remember, The Muffin Man is another good baby song for your arsenal. (By the way, it’s “who lives on Drury Lane.”) It’s a good song to dance along to, as well.
20. The Ants Go Marching
Another counting song, The Ants Go Marching is a great baby song for when you need to entertain your baby for longer periods of time. This was another one I found useful for long car rides where my baby was prone to lots of crying.
21. Do Your Ears Hang Low?
Fun, fun, fun. This is a silly and fun baby song that will make your baby smile.
22. When You Wish Upon a Star
A classic Disney song, this also makes a sweet lullaby for your baby.
23. If All of the Raindrops
This is a sweet and fun song for you to sing to your little one well into their preschool years.
Those are my recommendations on the best baby songs you’ll actually want to sing to your baby. Remember, you can start singing from day one – or even during pregnancy. Enjoy bonding with your sweet baby.
1. The National Association of Education of Young Children: 10 Ways Babies Learn When We Sing to Them
2. Motherly: Singing to Your Baby is Great For Their Brain Development Says New Study
3. Psychology Today: Does Singing to Your Baby Really Work? The Science Behind Infant-Directed Singing