Not everyone is born with the gift of song (or has the money to develop it with a vocal coach). Regardless, babies enjoy being sang to. Singing can help you bond with your child. It makes them more comfortable because singing and rocking them recreate the womb experience, which in turn puts them to sleep. You want them to sleep, because then you can finally sleep. The problem is that a lot of lullabies require you to go up several octaves and hold a note for a long time, which won’t sound very pretty if you can’t sing well and might distress your baby more than soothe them. No one expects you to sound like Freddie Mercury or Michael Jackson, but if you’ve got a bad singing voice, maybe you should stick to the lullabies we’ve highlighted below. You can pretty much remain at the tone of your normal speaking voice, so you don’t have to do any vocal acrobatics to put your kid to bed.
1. “Brahms’s Lullaby”
This classic is something your parents probably sang to you back in the day. Composer Johannes Brahms’s song has been putting babies to sleep since 1868. Ol’ Blue Eyes recorded a version that’s easier for men to sing.
2. “My Favorite Things”
This might seem intimidating at first glance. It is Julie Andrews’s famous song from The Sound of Music. If you listen to it closely, you’ll notice that she stays at one tone for the first minute. You don’t need to belt it out like she did near the end of the song. Just stay at that conversational tone she begins with. The lyrics are also fun, so you won’t mind singing this one over and over again.
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3. “Rock-a-bye Baby”
Don’t overthink this lullaby. Just keep it simple and within your natural voice range. It’s been Mother Goose-approved since the 18th century, and she never said that it needed to be sung at a high pitch.
4. “Baby Mine”
This comforting lullaby came from the Disney movie Dumbo. It’s sung at one of the sadder parts of the movie, when Dumbo’s mom reaches her trunk through her cage to comfort her baby elephant. It is a soft song, which is ideal for dads who can’t sing.
5. “You Are My Sunshine”
Channel your inner Johnny Cash and use your deeper voice to sing this song. It’s perfect for all times of day, not just at night. It’s also easy to sing, because it perfectly describes how you feel about your baby.