Bedtime Lullabies: Classical Music for Sleepy Babies

Artwork Lucy Campbell

Looking for classical music songs to put baby to sleep? Our list of classical music for babies ranges from the famous lullabies, to little known masterworks by the world’s greatest composers.

And we’ve even thrown in a little opera and a little jazz too, as babies do need a variety of music to help promote their cognitive development, and musical acuity!

Classical Music Lullabies for Baby’s Bedtime

1Brahms’ Lullaby ~ Wiegenlied: Guten Abend, gute Nacht by Johannes Brahms

Brahms’ Lullaby, titled in German as Wiegenlied: Guten Abend, gute NachtOp. 49, No. 4, is the world’s most famous lullaby.

2The Sandman Lullaby ~ Sandmännchen  by Johannes Brahms

The Sandman Lullaby, also composed by Brahms, is little-known in comparison to the famous Brahms’ Lullaby above, though this one is equally beautiful.

Artwork Rana Kim|CC

3‘Mozart’s Lullaby’ ~ Wiegenlied: Schlafe mein Prinzchen

The Mozart Lullaby was not written by Mozart at all, though the miscredited song is one of the most known, and most lovely, classical lullabies on our list. Schlafe, mein Prinzchen, schlaf’ ein (Sleep, my little prince, fall asleep) is often referred to as the most famous Wiegenlied (German lullaby) in Germany.

4Berceuse In D Flat Major, Op. 57  by Frédéric Chopin

This classical piano work by Chopin highlights his dreamlike imagination: A simple harmony is repeated by modulation throughout every bar, while overlayed with fourteen different variations of the melodic theme. Throughout the work, you can hear the rhythmic rocking cradles, followed by the sadness of an awakened dream.

5Berceuse sur le nom de Gabriel Fauré by Maurice Ravel

This simple, yet moving, song was written by Ravel as an homage to Fauré.  The duet between piano and violin evokes images of lumbering elephants.

Artwork: Felicia Olin

6Clair de Lune by Claude Debussy

One of the most beloved, and recognizable, of melodies, Clair de Lune speaks of the ‘the still moonlight sad and lovely’, based on the 1869 poem by Paul Verlaine.

7Angels Guard TheeBerceuse from the Opera Jocelyn by Benjamin Godard

Also known as Jocelyn’s Lullaby, or for the opera buff,  ‘Oh ne t’éveille pas encor’, known as Angels Guard Thee. Placido Domingo and Itzhak Perlman recorded a lovely rendition of the operatic lullaby.

8Lullaby for String Quartet by Geroge Gershwin

Written when Gershwin was only a music student, this muted, jazzy-blues lullaby will lull babies to sleep with its hypnotic repetition.

Artwork Alina Chau

9Jumbo’s Lullaby by Claude Debussy

Jumbo’s Lullaby, often spelled Jimbo’s, is part of Debussy’s masterwork, Children’s Corner, which he wrote for his three-year-old daugher, Chou Chou. The piano music is marked un peu gauche, meaning ‘a little clumsy,’ so as to mimic an elephant.

10Berceuse Op 47 ~ Slumber on Baby, Dear by Louis Gottschalk

Gottschalk’s Berceuse includes moments where the piano actually sings a baby to sleep.  With tingling trills and rhythmic undertones, this piano work is one of the most beautiful on the list.

11Sheep May Safely Graze by Johann Sebastian Bach

Bach’s famous song is often played at weddings, though it was originally written for a birthday celebration. Somber and sleepy in tone, this classical favorite evokes images of shepherds protecting their flock, much like parents protecting a sleeping child.

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