Fun fact about me, I am pretty obsessed with books and reading… and by pretty, I mean completely. No shame in my book-obsessed game! But there is a slight problem with an obsession like this when it comes to bedtime because I can never say no to requests for more reading! I have a long list of favorite bedtime books for toddlers and up.
Sometimes my kids and I find ourselves beneath a storybook avalanche while falling asleep. To keep ourselves from being buried under books, we try to stick to the safe number of four books a night, and we select our bedtime books carefully.
When picking out bedtime books for toddlers, I try to find ones that are engaging enough to keep my children’s interest, but still have the sleepy vibe we need for bedtime. My favorite bedtime books for toddlers have comforting art and simple storylines that make my kids feel like they are being wrapped in a comforting blanket.
Though I love a super silly story just as much as the next, I usually save the funniest ones for daytime when belly laughs are encouraged and keep the gentler stories for when we are ready for dreamland.
Our bedtime book stack usually consists of one book from each of my kids, one from me, and one “old reliable” bedtime story. Now that my six-year-old has been getting into chapter books before bed, sometimes we throw in a chapter if there’s time. Here is a list of our tried-and-true faves that are sure to make an appearance in our bedtime book rotation:
Everybody In The Red Brick Building by Anne Wynter and Oge Mora
This book is an instant classic and a favorite at bedtime in our house. When a baby wakes up in the red brick building, it sets off a chain of sounds from each apartment signaling they are awake, and then that they are going back to sleep. The art is fantastic and the book itself is engaging but also relaxing. Good for preschool and up.
Sleep, Sheep! By Kerry Lyn Sparrow and Guillaume Perreault
While counting sheep, one sheep just won’t jump with the others. What can help this sheep figure out what it needs? This one is pretty long, so might be better as a “one and only” bedtime book or in a very short stack. Good for kindergarten and up.
Bedtime For Sweet Creatures by Nikki Grimes and Elizabeth Zurion
We love this book so much! It shows how a child heading to bed can also embody many other sweet, or fierce, creatures. This book is just silly enough, and really reminds us of our own bedtime routine. Good for preschool and up.
So Sleepy Story by Uri Shulevitz
My kids think the pictures in this book are so funny! It is always a laugh when we break this one out. As everyone goes to sleep, a house wakes up and has its own nighttime shenanigans. Good for preschool and up.
The House In The Night by Susan Marie Swanson and Beth Krommes
A lyrical poem of a book with simple but engaging art. I think this is one of my favorites to read out loud at bedtime because it feels so cozy and gentle. Good for toddlers and up.
Moon by Britta Teckentrup
A gentle story of forest animals watching the phases of the moon, just right for bedtime. Sweet illustrations and simple words that bring the moon inside your child’s bedroom. Good for preschool and up.
I’ll Love You Till The Cows Come Home by Kathryn Cristaldi and Kristyna Litten
Silly and heartwarming, this is one of the sweetest little odes to love. It’s just right for reading to your kiddos before they drift off to sleep. It lists all the silly ways that you will love your children until the end of time. Good for preschool and up.
Will Sheep Sleep? By Hilary Leung
Short, silly, and very sheepy, this is just the right book for baby and toddler bedtimes. Wonder along with sheep’s friends about what will help sheep fall asleep. Parents of all species share this question! Good for babies and up.
Bus! Stop! By James Yang
Not a traditional bedtime story, this book is about a child that misses their bus and watches as a large ship, a covered wagon, and a strange space bus float by. This book is very dream-like and just the right length for bedtime. Good for toddlers and up.
Again by Emily Gravett
If you have a little dragon in your house, and a tired dragon parent, this is the book for you! Little dragon wants the story read over again and again, but the tired mama dragon falls asleep. Little dragon is upset, and what happens when a dragon gets upset? They breathe fire, of course! This is a simple story with cute art. Good for preschool and up.
I love picking out bedtime books and seeing what my children ask for over and over again. It helps make our bedtime routine so comforting when there are some repeat favorites on the bedtime book list! There are so many good stories out there, this list could go on forever! What is your favorite bedtime book for toddlers?
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