Stella is almost 9 months old and has been consistently taking two long naps each day. I’m blessed with a great sleeper; she’s an awesome napper and she’s snoozed through the night since she was about 8 weeks old. Recently, I’ve noticed that her routines for naps and bedtime correspond with a common activity: reading! I can tell when Stella is getting tired in the morning because she will abandon her toys on the floor and crawl over to my lap. I know that’s my cue to cuddle up in a chair with her and read a book before she passes out. Likewise, she will lay perfectly still in her crib before her afternoon nap while I read out loud. And you should see her peaceful face when my husband and I tag-team a goodnight book before she nods off for the evening. Occasionally we mix up these stories, but the following pre-nap and pre-night/night books have continually been in our rotation. Try these out during your child’s sleepy routines!
The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton – This is a lighthearted look at getting ready for a good night’s rest. The characters partake in the usual evening routines, but also have some fun prior to rocking to sleep. We usually read this before her morning nap. It’s engaging enough to keep her interest, but it’s rhythm conveys a peaceful tone and doesn’t overstimulate.
A Child’s First Bible by Kenneth N. Taylor – Reading a few Bible stories out of this book has been our recent afternoon nap ritual. Stella will lay in her crib while I read and show her the pictures. While this is a book for older children, I still desire to speak scripture into her life on a daily basis. I hope that her early exposure to these Bible stories will translate into spiritual inquiry as she grows.
Sleepyhead by Karma Wilson – This is our favorite book to read to Stella before she goes to sleep for the night. It has a perfect combination of humor, sentiment and intention for peaceful sleep. When the main character asks for one more hug or one more kiss, we are sure to comply by showing Stella our affection before she falls asleep.
Pajama Time by Sandra Boynton – This book basically throws a big pajama party! Characters dance, sing and put on their favorite PJs. Chris and I discovered that we can’t read this to Stella before bed because (due to the way we project and animate the text) it hypes her up a bit too much. However, for an anytime story, this is one of our favorites!
Rabbit’s Bedtime by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace – I discovered this book in one of my grad school classes. I love how it showcases order and conveys meaning to children: there is a time and a place throughout each day for playing, dancing, creating, sharing and listening (among other things). I plan to keep sharing this book with Stella, hoping that she will soon come to recognize the activities she sees in the book actually taking place throughout her own life.
What are your favorite sleepy books? Please share below!