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© Gail Underwood Parker

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Parenting Tips: Bedtime Comfort Songs

When I was a very young child I remember my grandmother singing Bye Baby Bunting to put me to sleep. Sometimes my grandfather would even rock me to sleep with it. Here are the old words they used:

 Bye baby bunting
 Daddy's gone a hunting
 To find a little rabbit skin
 To wrap his baby bunting in.

By the time I had children the thought of hunting, or wrapping a child in a rabbit skin was NOT appealing to me. But the tune had magical memories [and powers] for me-- so I changed the words for my children. Our family lyrics are:

Bye Baby bunting
Daddy's gone a hunting
To find a blanket soft and warm
To wrap you up all safe from harm.

I sing it's five or six simple notes over and over and over and over... each time inserting a different family member's name in the 2nd line.  [Yes, I even include pets and friends.] As kids get older [even into adolescence] they sometimes ask me to sing it for them as I tuck them in...sometimes saying that tonight we have time for 5 verses or 3 verses or 10 verses, etc.  If it is only a few, I let them choose whose names to use that night. This new version has now worked its magic for another whole generation of grandchildren and assorted munchkins, brining comfort, calm, and almost always peaceful sleep.

My slightly less frightening version of the original Rockabye Baby was "Rock a bye baby in the tree tops, When the wind blows the cradle will rock.  If the bough breaks, the cradle might fall, but Mummy/Nana will catch you, cradle and all."
[Not bad, definitely better than the baby falling "cradle and all" as in the original, but not great.]

But another foster mother named Wendy* rewrote  and gave me permission to share her MUCH better, wonderful affirmative, comforting words:

        Rock a bye baby,
              I love you so
        I'll keep you warm
              when any wind blows
        When the rain falls,
               I'll cover your head
        And softly I'll lay you
                 down in your bed.

What are your favorite bedtime comfort songs?
Share please!

* Wendy has a wonderful foster parent blog/podcast you should check out at

Image credits:,, mamalisa,com,


  1. Bye Baby Bunting is my daughter's favorite bedtime song! All the Pretty Little Horses is another favorite.

  2. I'm a little frog and my Daddy loves me {Mommy}
    And when they tuck me in to say goodnight, they say ribbit ribbit ribbit
    Good night!
    ~Laurie Burkner
    Stinkpot loves to say ribbit.