Soothing bedtime reads to lull little ones to sleep

11 October, 2023

Reading the same story every night as the “last book before bedtime” can become a comforting signal to your child that it’s time to fall asleep. Trust me, you want that in your toolkit!


There’s perhaps nothing more soothing to a child at bedtime than snuggling with a loved one and hearing their voice reading a familiar story as they drift off to sleep. Here’s five bedtime stories filled with love:


I’ll Love You Always

This sweet rhyming ode reassures little ones they’re loved so much – for longer than minutes, hours, days and weeks. They’re loved at night, tomorrow and, of course, forever. It’s a simple story, bursting with love and ensuring contentment – the perfect message to fall asleep listening to. I’ll Love You Always is written by Mark Sperring, illustrated by Alison Brown and published by Bloomsbury Publishing.


My Sunbeam Baby 

This perfectly rhyming story has a soothing rhythm that radiates with love. The story is exquisitely illustrated with the sweetest drawings of gorgeous babies – and lots of them. Little ones will delight in choosing which baby best represents them as they’re lovingly shown as sunbeams, lollipops and apples on a tree. The illustrator has carefully included babies with various hair colours and skin tones. There are babies with glasses and a few sets of twins too. My Sunbeam Baby is written and illustrated by Emma Quay and published by Harper Collins.


Check on Me

Perhaps make this book your second last – it is a little bit cheeky! It’s an endearing story about bedtime and all the things a little guy needs before he settles down for the night – a story, a cuddle, a chat about the day… And then a kiss, a drink of water and a trip to the loo! Sound familiar?! Little ones – and grown-ups – are sure to relate and love it. Check on Me is written by Andrew Daddo, illustrated by Jonathan Bentley and published by Harper Collins.


The Magic Kiss

From the “Mmmwwwaaa” endpapers to the bold blue and red palette, this book is a delight. It’s filled with alliteration and onomatopoeia and has a lovely rhyming rhythm that’s a pleasure to read aloud. The story follows a kiss on an adventure into the ocean, up to the clouds and through the jungle, before it transforms from a kiss to a yawn that’s absolutely contagious when read aloud. It’s just right for bedtime. The Magic Kiss is written and illustrated by Bonnie O’Hare and published by Affirm Press.


Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes

This much-loved Australian classic is a great book to first introduce to babies when they’re awake, perhaps at nappy changes, as it includes an irresistible invitation to wiggle and count each of your child’s ten little fingers and toes. Return to it at bedtime for its wonderfully soothing rhythm and love note to “a sweet little child who was mine, all mine”. Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes is written by Mem Fox, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury and published by Walker Books.

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