The song comes alive as night draws in. Hear it curl beneath the blanket, slip between the fold of cradling arms, in rooms across the world. To an audience of children, a hidden chorus of caregivers fills the night with song. They’re singing lullabies. We’ve been singing them for millennia. Etched with reed on a clay tablet is a Babylonian lullaby that’s more than 5000 years old. By the glow of a phone, or to the thrum of the city, lullabies still charm babies to sleep today. We inherit them, and we pass them on. We carry them across borders and we make new ones along the way. They contain the traces of those who came before us, and they will carry traces of us long after we’re gone. Within lullabies we’ve inscribed our greatest fears, and in the same breath, our prayers, our hopes, and our reassurances. ‘Living Lullabies’ illuminates critical issues facing women and children through the multidisciplinary storytelling of families’ night-time rituals. It explores how caregivers prepare children for sleep in environments fraught with risk, and the unique role of the lullaby as a vector for sense- and place- making. For families in different countries around the world – mothers protecting their children from toxic air in Mongolia, families in Turkey escaping conflict from Syria, teen mothers relying on their communities in Liberia, families grappling with the climate crisis in the Philippines, and essential workers isolating from their children in the USA amidst the COVID-19 pandemic – bedtime rituals are a way of making safety in rapidly changing environments. This project aims to demonstrate how issues at the top of global agendas – conflict, migration, public health, and climate change – affect and are reflected in the stories of bedtime for children around the world.