There are so many bedtime books out there that you could spend hours searching online and maybe come up with one or two really great bedtime books for toddlers. (Ask me how I know.)
Yes, I did the work for you (and for myself – as we’ve been searching for some new ones too) and picked out the best of the best. This isn’t just my opinion either – thousands of other parents feel the same way about these cute, cuddly and contagious bedtime books. They’re so good that you won’t mind reading them over and over again for the next 4 or 5 years!
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The Best Bedtime Books for Toddlers
1. Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book – by Dr. Seuss
As I mentioned in this article, this book is one of my very favorites!
Celebrate sleep with Dr. Seuss’s classic rhyming bedtime story picture book. Van Vleck, a very small bug, is getting sleepy, and his yawn—contagious as yawns are—sets off a chain reaction, making all those around him feel sleepy, too! With typically Seussian nods to alarm clocks, sleepwalking, and snoring, this charming ode to bedtime will lull listeners (and readers) toward dreamland. Zzzzzzzzzz.
2. Good Night I love You – by Caroline Church
Caroline Jayne Church and her loveable, huggable toddlers are back! A bestselling author and illustrator, Church’s books have been enormously successful across all channels, but none of them have done better than her padded board books: I Love You Through and Through and How Do I Love You? Now Church brings us Good Night, I Love You–the quintessential get your children ready for bedtime book. With the charming illustrations that we have come to know and love and wonderful rhyming text, this book will no doubt be a success through and through.
3. Can You Yawn Like a Fawn? – by Monica Sweeney
This is not just another bedtime book. Help your child to sleep with expert techniques!
When getting your child to sleep can be a nightly challenge, Can You Yawn Like a Fawn? uses clinical sleep strategies for a calming, restful reading experience to tell a story of sleepy animals getting tucked in at night. Follow the recommended bedtime routine from Certified Sleep Consultant Lauren Yelvington, cuddle up with your child, and read the soporific language with a soothing tone to ease your child into slumber. With each dreamy illustration of yawning baby animals, your child will be prompted to yawn along with them. This suggestive, tranquil repetition will have your child sleepy and snug as the story comes to an end. From yawning like a fluffy lamb to getting snuggly like a kangaroo, bedtime reading will be a loving, relaxing way for your little one to settle into dreamland.
The Best Bedtime Books for 1 Year Old Babies
4. Llama Llama Red Pajama – by Anna Dewdny
In this infectious rhyming read-aloud, Baby Llama turns bedtime into an all-out llama drama! Tucked into bed by his mama, Baby Llama immediately starts worrying when she goes downstairs, and his soft whimpers turn to hollers when she doesn’t come right back. But just in time, Mama returns to set things right. Children will relate to Baby Llama’s need for comfort, as much as parents will appreciate Mama Llama’s reassuring message.
5. The Going to Bed Book – by Sandra Boyton
The sun has set not long ago.
Now everybody goes below
to take a bath in one big tub
with soap all over—SCRUB SCRUB SCRUB!
This classic bedtime story is just right for winding down the day as a joyful, silly group of animals scrub scrub scrub in the tub, brush and brush and brush their teeth, and finally rock and rock and rock to sleep.
6. Where do Diggers Sleep at Night? – by Brianna Caplan Sayres
The bedtime rituals of these little diggers and dump trucks will be quite familiar to kids saying goodnight. Young readers will surely identify with little fire engines, tractors, and monster trucks as they ask for one more story while their mommy trucks tuck them in, and their daddy trucks sing a goodnight song.
7. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star – Kate Toms Series
Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star is a beautiful, soft-to-touch board book that babies and toddlers will love to share. It has a soft-to-touch cover with flocking and glitter and exquisite, hand-stitched illustrations throughout. The charming, rhyming text is loosely based on “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” – a book to read again and again.
8. What! Cried Granny – by Kate Lum
Patrick is having his first sleep-over at his grandmother’s house. It’s almost bedtime, but there’s a problem-Patrick doesn’t have a bed at Granny’s. So Granny goes out to her yard, chops down some trees, and makes a comfy bed for Patrick. Now he can go to sleep. Right? Not yet. He doesn’t have a pillow! So Granny dashes to the hen house, collects some feathers, and sews a fluffy pillow for Patrick. Now he can go to sleep. Right? Not yet. A few other things are still missing . . . . If Patrick is lucky, this could go on all night!
9. How do Dinosaurs Say Good Night? – by Jane Yolen
A playful peek into the homes of dinosaur babies and their parents at bedtime.`How does a dinosaur say good night when Papa comes in to turn off the light? Does a dinosaur slam his tail and pout? Does he throw his teddy bear all about? Most certainly not! Dinosaurs give their mums and dads big hugs and kisses, tuck their tails in and whisper, ‘Good night!’ Brimming with humor and familiar good-night antics, here is a playful peek into the homes of dinosaur children and their parents at bedtime. Mark Teague uses a variety of perspectives in his dramatic, full-page pictures of tyrannosaurus rexes, triceratopses, and pteranodons.
10. Bear Snores On – by Karma Wilson
It seems like Bear can sleep through anything. As a succession of animals enters his cave to escape the fierce storm, he continues to snore. Mouse makes a nice warm fire, Hare cooks popcorn and Badger brings treats… They are having a great time. But when Bear wakes up and realizes he’s missed out on the fun, his visitors fear the worst.Can Bear be persuaded to join the party? This read-aloud rhyming story has fun, suspense and a happy ending – with Jane Chapman’s beautiful, captivating illustrations and Karma Wilson’s absorbing, lyrical words perfectly depicting the companionship of the warm, cozy cave and the contrast with the wild storm outside.