Bed time used to be something I dreaded. Before we established our amazing bed time routines with both children, bed time meant rocking a Rock ‘n’ Play with my feet for a half hour or longer. I truly dreaded it, and my kids probably sensed that.
Now, bed time is is one of my favorite times to share with my babies. They take baths and play in giant bubble mountains. They get dressed in the cutest jammies. And we snuggle up under covers to read a few books before singing our favorite song and going to sleep. It’s the best.
My kids and I love to get a new set of books from the library every week, but there are a few favorites we keep on the shelf next to my son’s bed. We read them over and over again and never tire of them. A few of them are even books I read with my mom during my own childhood, and that is a cool thing to share as well.
My Favorite Bed Time Books
Good Night, Moon
By Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd
My all time favorite bed time book happens to be my son’s favorite as well. Good Night, Moon is a classic. The book has simple, yet engaging illustrations and poetic lines that are perfect for tucking in little ones. I know this book by heart and will sometimes recite it to my children to get them to fall asleep on long drives.
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is another favorite from my childhood. The rhythm of this book is perfect for little ones, and they get to practice their alphabet too! We pat our laps while reading this book and the kids love to read along too.
Llama Llama Red Pajama
by Ann Dewdney
Llama Llama Red Pajama is just fun to read. A cute story about a baby llama who is worried when his mother leaves after tucking him into bed. The message of reassurance is comforting to children who might be scared to fall asleep.
Also, please go watch this video of Ludacris rapping Llama Llama Red Pajama. Go. Right Now.
Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?
by Dr. Seuss
Oh, Dr. Seuss. One of these days, I will write a post dedicated to just my favorite Dr. Seuss books. There are so many great ones. But I think this one might be my favorite. I love children’s books that encourage them to dream, to reach for the sky, and let them know that they are amazing people already. Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? is a fantastic message for young people and adults alike.
Wherever You Are: My Love Will Find You
by Nancy Tillman
From my perspective as a mother, Wherever You Are: My Love Will Find You holds a very special place in my heart. Nancy Tillman’s poetry is lyrical and delicate. Her illustrations are detailed, light, beautiful. She conveys the depth, the gravity, the endlessness of a mother’s love. I can’t read this book without crying. I give it to every mother-to-be for a shower gift.
You Are My I Love You
by Maryann Cusimano Love and Satomi Ichikawa
I love this book. A simple poem about the relationship between a parent and child. It expresses the wonder and beauty and timelessness in this relationship. You Are My I Love You explains what love is to your child in words they understand.
The Importance of Reading
Reading to your child is the best way to build their vocabulary! While we all speak to our children, the words we use may be repetitive. Even the smallest infants benefit from reading, the sounds of the words and colors in the pictures stimulate their brains and help them to learn about their language and their world. Reading a variety of books will build their vocabulary and encourage them to be comfortable with and excited about reading on their own.
More than the educational benefits, reading to your child every night is a great way to bond and spend time hugging on your little one. Children who are read to regularly are even known to exhibit less aggressive or hyperactive behavior.
Go Read a Book!
My mother read to me often, and by doing so, she sparked in me a love for language, for stories and the magic within them. A book can teach you things you need to learn about science, history, or math, and a book can show you the beauty of the human experience with a story. Books have always been my escape from the world, and I hope to pass that down to my children as well.
PARENTS Magazine has a guide for what types of books to select for your child based on their age.
The public library in Richland, South Carolina has a detailed list of book suggestions based on age.
Your own local library is also a great resource. No matter what age your children are, there is a book they will love. We make a weekly trip to our local library and pick out five books for each of my children. Not sure what to pick? Ask a librarian!