A Happy Toddler Sleep Routine

Experts agree that reading to your toddler is a great way to foster both fun and developmental learning. And incorporating baby books into your daily baby bedtime routine is a good idea for various reasons.

For starters, it’s hard to argue with the fact that a child’s reading skills are intricately linked to his later success. But reading to your toddler can also be an interactive way to spend time with him and cultivate his imagination.   

Especially for babies, who are developing their sensory skills, books that include pages of various textures (e.g., felt, fuzzy, smooth, soft) are a great way to introduce different touch sensations, too.

Reading to your child will also help with the following:

  1. Bonding. As you read to your toddler or baby, cuddle with him or hold him. This intimacy and the sound of your voice will help your child associate reading with good memories, making him more likely to take up the habit when he grows older as well.

  2. Picture association. Helping your toddler identify objects in a book and reciprocate words will aid in developing reading skills and visual accuracy.

  3. Developmental skills. Parent-child reading promotes social and emotional development. There are five essential early reading skills: phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, reading comprehension, and fluency. Your child will naturally absorb them all as you read to him before bed every night.

  4. Language development. Access to books and reading prior to school help facilitate language development in toddlers, which is an essential skill.

The following are a few great books for babies and toddlers:

  • A Good Day by Kevin Henkes
  • When I Was a Baby by Deborah Niland

  • The Birthday Box by Leslie Patricelli

  • One Naked Baby by Maggie Smith

  • This Little Piggy by Jane Yolen

  • The Wheels on the Bus by Paul Zelinsky

  • The Cow Who Clucked by Denise Fleming

  • Baby Talk: A Book of First Words and Phrases by Judy Hindley

  • We’ve All Got Bellybuttons! by David Martin

  • Hurry, Hurry by Eve Bunting

Soothe your baby or toddler with any of these books during his bedtime routine, and it’ll quickly become one of his favorite memories -- and yours, too.