Katie Fischer Certified baby, toddler and children's sleep consultant for Crouch End, Muswell Hill, Highgate & North London

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The difference it has made to all of our lives has been incredible

Richard, father to Megan, aged 15 months

My favourite bedtime stories. busyspider

The benefits of a bedtime story ...

Story-time is a really special way to connect with your child before they fall asleep, as well as a calming sleep cue. My children always look forward to cuddling up and sharing a book at the end of their day.

Some babies may be ready for a story as part of their bedtime routine from around 6 months old, but others may get more benefit from around 8 months when they can stay awake a little more easily at the end of the day and are less tempted to chew the book!

Children LOVE repetition and this is also a great learning tool, but if you’re looking for some inspiration, here are 10 lovely books:

  • Guess how much I love you – Sam McBratney
  • If your dreams take off and fly – John Butler
  • The Very hungry Caterpillar – Eric Carle
  • Goodnight Moon – Margaret Wise Brown
  • The Very Busy Spider – Eric Carle
  • On the Night You Were Born – Nancy Tillman
  • Dr Seuss’s Sleep Book – Dr Seuss
  • Goodnight Digger – Michelle Robinson
  • Love You Forever – Robert Munsch
  • Make a special, personalised book for your child telling the story of how they fall asleep. Take photos at each stage of the bedtime routine from calming play, through to bath time, story time, tucking in, peacefully sleeping in their cot or bed during the night, waking happy in the sunlight for morning cuddles etc and bind together to make a simple book.

My favourite bedtime stories. sleepbook

If your child is quite sensitive or experiences anxiety around bedtime, do an audit of their bedtime stories and try to avoid anything potentially scary (monsters, big bad wolves, dragons, dinosaurs, ghosts etc) or where characters feel afraid.

For younger babies, try some simple picture/word or touch-and-feel books, rhymes, massage or sensory songs before bath time instead.

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