10 Essential Bedtime Books to Cuddle Up With



There’s no science to picking a page-turner for baby, but you know you’ve found the right fit when he asks for it again and again. That’s good news, since early literacy is essential to your child’s development.

Sharing your love of the written word is also an integral part of an effective bedtime routine. After all, what better way is there to end each day than having your kiddo curl up in your lap? It doesn’t matter if you reach the last page, because it’s the bonding that counts. 

Pediatricians encourage reading aloud to your baby as early as three months. Little does she know that those silly rhymes and colorful pictures build vocabulary and give her a head start when she goes to school. Point out letters and ask her to identify objects; before you know it, she’ll be rattling off her ABCs.

Start your baby’s library with this mix of classics and new favorites, organized (loosely) by age:

Ages 0-2

What makes a good book for the littlest of little ones? Rhythm, patterns, and themes around sleep! At this age, your baby will be too young to read along or perhaps even understand moral lessons, but reading to them can play an important role in their bedtime routine. Choose books with a lot of repetition and soft sounds to help your baby wind down and become drowsy. Here are our picks:

Goodnight Moon

The Going to Bed Book

Good Night!

Time for Bed

Ages 2-4

Books that revolve around sleeping are great choices to help young children understand that bedtime is approaching. Reading books that show examples of bedtime routines such as taking a bath, brushing your teeth, and kissing goodnight can help familiarize kids with what bedtime looks like. Some books may even help combat fears of the dark or overall resistance that can occur during bedtime for toddlers. Here are some of our favorites:

Goodnight, Gorilla

Llama Llama Red Pajama 

I Took the Moon for a Walk

Ages 4-8

Once your child reaches school age, your choice of bedtime books can really expand! At this stage, begin to introduce books with strong moral lessons such as accepting differences, loving yourself, and being kind to others. Great children's books instill big lessons into picture books and simple words that kids can really understand. Here are some of our recommendations:

How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?

Rainbow Fish

Where the Wild Things Are

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