It is no accident that lullabies are sung in a rhythm which makes for easy rocking. Even if your mother didn't sing lullabies to you, chances are you learnt one or two at preschool. If memory fails you, look for a recording to get you started and to soothe baby as you learn. The rhythms in which lullabies are sung will have the listener (and often the singer) unconsciously adjusting their breathing to a slower rate; their pulse too will slow after 30 minutes. Traditional favourites include Rock-a-Bye Baby (English), Hush Little Baby (American), Sleep Baby Sleep (German), Bye Baby Bye (French), Maroona Lullaby (Aboriginal), Golden Slumbers, Hush-a-Bye Don't You Cry, Brahms' Lullaby and the Mozart lullaby, Sleep now my little one sleep. You could always make up your own. Choose a gentle rocking melody and make up your own words, using baby's name and lots of reference to sleep. A CD of lullabies is an excellent backup. You may also find that your baby sleeps to music you used to play when you were pregnant (studies have found that newborns will respond to sounds familiar to them in the womb), or to soothing music from classical composers.
Rock-a-bye baby Rock-a-bye baby, on the tree top, When the wind blows the cradle will rock; aWhen the bough breaks the cradle will fall. And down will come baby, cradle and all. Sleep, baby, sleep Sleep, baby, sleep.
Thy fathers guards the sheep.
Thy mother shakes the dreamland tree And from it fall sweet dreams for thee. Sleep baby sleep.
Sleep baby sleep.
The large stars are the sheep,
The little ones, the lambs, I guess,
The gentle moon, the shepherdess.
Sleep, baby, sleep.