Updated: Jan 20, 2022
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One thing my husband and I do always do is read to our kids before bed. It all started with our firstborn, we made it a habit to read at least one book before nap-time or bedtime since he was a newborn baby. Reading to them shows kids that reading is important. I credit all that reading to why my children have developed a fondness and love for reading.
There are many benefits to reading to your baby from a very early age. Reading aloud to your baby supports their social development, thinking skills, language skills, and much more. Perhaps the most important benefit to reading aloud to your baby, is that it creates a connection between you and baby.
Reading a book before bedtime or nap-time can help relax your child and help make falling asleep easier and quicker. The books don't necessarily have to be about going to sleep or sleep-related I've noticed with my toddler, that he was more hesitant to go to sleep if I brought up a book about falling asleep. Picking a book that was fun and engaging always seemed to work, it got them to lay in their beds ready for storytime.
Tips for Success:
Select age-appropriate books.
Make it fun by selecting engaging books. The more your child can interact with the book, the better!
Remember to scroll through the words using your finger as you read them.
Be consistent, do it every time before it's time to sleep to help develop a solid bedtime routine.
Make sure you are both having fun.
Stop to look at the pictures.
If they are old enough, let them choose the book.
Our Favorite Bedtime Books for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers:
by Eric Carle
A classic and one of our all-time top favorite books, The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a fun interactive story for small children. Gorgeously illustrated and perfect for little hands, The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a perfect book for teaching counting and having your child point to things in the book. It also makes for a good early introduction to the butterfly life cycle.
by Eric Hill
Where is Spot hiding? Help his Mom, Sally, find Spot by lifting the flaps on each page. It is a cute and interactive book that will spark your child's curiosity. My child loves this book so much, he has memorized the words and will pretend to read the book.
by Iza Trapini
A rhythmic story about a thoughtful little boy who wants to save money to get the dog of his dreams. For very thoughtful reasons, by the end of the story, he has less money than he started with. Will he ever get the dog? How Much is That Doggie in the Window is a heartwarming story that can be read or sung.
Another adorable board book you can read or sing to your child. It is based on Raffi's most popular song "Baby Beluga". Singing encourages speech and listening skills, which makes this book a great choice for early learning. Join the "little white whale on the go" on a busy day at sea, complete with a warm mother-child ending. It is the ideal sing-along book for bedtime!
by Herve Tullete
Press Here is the longest-running book on the New York Times bestseller list. This book is highly interactive. It begins by asking the reader to press the yellow dot on the cover, then to shake, tilt, press some more, blow on the dots, and plenty more magical fun. Children and adults alike will be delighted by each page turn as they watch the dots grow, multiply, and change direction.
by Igloo Books
A gentle and heart-warming story that celebrates the love of a mother for her child. I Love You, Mommy embraces all the warmth of a mother. Reading this story is a wonderful way to settle your child to sleep, being reminded of how much they are cared for.
by Emily Winfield Martin
The Wonderful Things You Will Be is a New York Times Best Seller that celebrates all the love that parents have for their children. It is filled with beautiful illustrations and creative rhymes expressing all the loving things parents think of when looking at their children.
by Amelia Hepworth
A beautiful celebration of the love between a parent and child. Show your child how big your love is every minute of every day! The story narrates the day between a bear and a cub, how they spend the day and show their love for each other. It's a sweet rhyming book that includes a "To" and "From" personalization page, making it a perfect gift for baby showers and birthdays.
by Annie Bach
As the sun sets, the animals of the forest get ready for bed. Night-Night, Forest Friends is a charming rhyming story with sweet illustrations that will help little ones settle down to sleep. It also makes for a good introduction to animals and their habitats, your child will learn where the forest animals go to sleep.
by Jaye Garnett
A colorful and educational lift-the-flap book that is sure to capture your little one's attention as he or she meets all the friendly animals of the forest.