Bedtimes can be hectic! And if you have multiple kids, the act of getting everyone clean, pajamafied, and in (but not jumping on) their beds gets trickier.
But days that end with a snuggle and a story are always sweeter.
There are a couple of tricky things about bedtime books you have to remember.
1) Bedtime books should end calmly. There can be wiggles and fun in a bedtime book, but they must, must, end calmly. The best ending of a bedtime book is for the character(s) to fall asleep.
2) Bedtime books calm children with rhythm. Bedtime books don’t have to be poetic (though some of my favorites are), but they do need a certain rhythm or repetition to help soothe sleepy kids.
3) Bedtime books must be ones you won’t mind reading over, and over, and over, and over… Let’s face it. Little ones love routine. And routine, in bedtime, is our ally. When our kids associate a bath, or a song, or a book, or a blankie with bedtime, they make that transition more easily. And, more than likely, the bedtime book your kid wants will be a certain book.
These five bedtime books are ones that my kids (and I) have loved.
Sleepyhead by Karma Wilson is one of my toddler’s favorites. I have to say, this book has really grown on me the more I read it. Even though Sleepyhead wants one more kiss, hug or glass of water, the rhythmic writing is calming, and Sleepyhead finally ends up sound asleep.
Hush, Little Ones by John Butler is a beautifully illustrated bedtime book. Each page hushes a different baby animal to sleep in well-written verse. My children are always mesmerised by the poetry and pictures in this book.
The Going-To-Bed Book by Sandra Boynton is a quick bedtime read. Although there is a lot of activity in this book, the poetry is calming, and the creatures end up rocked to sleep in their boat.
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown is the classic bedtime book and my childhood favorite. The details in the great green room enchant children, and the “quiet old lady whispering hush” will calm your child just like the sleepy bunny in the book.
Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney is the only non-poetic book on my bedtime list. But this book still has a rhythm of its own as Little and Big Nutbrown Hare describe how much they love each other. If you’ve heard the phrase, “I love you to the moon and back,” it comes from this sweet book.
What bedtimes book do you and your kids love?