Learning French through song and music

Short French lullabies and nursery rhymes for bedtime

french lullabies for newborns

Ever since Surya’s birth, we’ve used lullabies and nursery rhymes to soothe her to sleep. When she was younger, we’d sing them to her, but now, she requests that we play the songs for her. I guess she figured out her parents aren’t such great singers after all! We don’t take it personally and love playing her favourite nursery rhymes on low volume and on repeat so we can also take a few minutes to enjoy the peaceful bedtime routine as we gently pat her back to sleep. Today, we share with you five short French lullabies for newborns and young infants that will not only promote a restful evening routine but will also help you and your child learn French in a tranquil and musical way.

You’ll notice that many of these French lullabies use the word dodo. Dodo means sleep in French and is often used with babies instead of the word dormir. Many of these songs have extended versions, but I prefer the shorter ones for bedtime because of their repetitive nature and simplicity for bedtime.

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Dodo, l’enfant do, with lyrics

If you’re a new parent or aren’t familiar with many French lullabies, Dodo, l’enfant do is the perfect beginner nursery rhyme that is sure to induce sleep in a newborn (or sleep-deprived parent)!

Dodo, l’enfant do,
L’enfant dormira bien vite
Dodo, l’enfant do,
L’enfant dormira bientôt
Sleep, sleep, the child will sleep,
The child will sleep quickly
Sleep, sleep, the child will sleep,
The child will sleep soon

Fais dodo, Colas mon p’tit frère, with lyrics

Fais dodo, Colas mon p’tit frère is a lovely lullaby sung by a sibling to their little bother, Colas. It’s very soothing and is perfect for gently rocking your little one to sleep.

Fais dodo, Colas mon p’tit frère
Fais dodo, t’auras du lolo
Maman est en haut
Qui fait des gateaux
Papa est en bas
Qui fait du chocolat
Fais dodo, Colas mon ‘ptit frère
Fais dodo, t’auras du lolo
Go to sleep, Colas my little brother
Go to sleep, you will get milk
Mom is upstairs
Making cakes
Daddy is downstairs
Making hot chocolate
Go to sleep, Colas my little brother
Go to sleep, you will get milk

Brille, brille petite étoile, with lyrics

This familiar melody will remind you of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star because it’s the French version of the world-famous song.

Brille, brille petite étoile
Dans la nuit qui se dévoile
Tout là-haut au firmament
Tu scintilles comme un diamant
Brille, brille petite étoile
Veille sur ceux qui dorment en bas
Twinkle, twinkle little star
In the night that unfolds
Up there in the sky
You sparkle like a diamond
Twinkle, twinkle little star
Watch over those who sleep underneath

Ferme tes jolis yeux, with lyrics

Here’s another calming song that is easy for parents to learn and sing to their child.

Ferme tes jolis yeux
Car les heures sont brèves
Au pays merveilleux
Au doux pays des rêves
Ferme tes jolis yeux
Car tout n’est que mensonge
Le bonheur est un songe
Ferme tes jolis yeux
Close your pretty eyes
Because the hours are short
In the wonderful land
In the sweet land of dreams
Close your pretty eyes
Because it’s all a lie
Happiness is a dream
Close your pretty eyes

Chut, plus de bruit

This is another great French lullaby for bedtime and the hushing sound is a great indicator to your child that quiet time is about to begin.

Chut! Plus de bruit c’est la ronde de nuit
Chut! Plus de bruit c’est la ronde de nuit
En diligence, faisons silence
Marchons sans bruit, c’est la ronde de nuit
Hush! No more noise, it’s the night watch
Hush! No more noise, it’s the night watch
In diligence, let’s be silent
Let’s walk quietly, it’s the night watch

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