The Best Bedtime Read-Alouds to Get Kids Asleep

Prepare your child for a good night's sleep with these bedtime favorites.

Sep 29, 2023



The Best Bedtime Read-Alouds to Get Kids Asleep

Sep 29, 2023

Reading can be a primer for a restful night of sleep for little ones. Choosing serene read-alouds not only establishes a nighttime routine for your child (cuing them that it's time to doze off), but it can help lull them off to sleep with rhythmic prose and whimsical illustrations. Plus, your child will get to boost their language and reading skills before bed.

A consistent bedtime routine that includes reading books together can be a grounding experience for both you and your child, allowing you to bond and create precious memories that will last a lifetime.

And choosing from a wide variety of books to read every night adds novelty to a structured bedtime routine. Stories with sweet messages, such as With All My Heart, I Love You, can promote positive feelings right before a restful slumber.

Meanwhile, your child will enjoy seeing a familiar face in the books in Peppa's Storytime Box, a wonderful option that provides books on all types of topics from ballet to swimming. Reading books about different topics is a great way to calm down your child's curious minds — and now they will have multiple sources of inspiration for their dreams.

There is also Clifford's Bedtime Story Box, perfect for getting cozy with your little one and reading stories about the loveable Big Red Dog. From going to the circus to taking a trip during summer vacation, each book is packed with colorful illustrations, charming characters, and sweet adventures sure to leave a smile on your child's face before bedtime.

As children age, their bedtime reading routines will evolve, but here are a few tips for making it fun and keeping it fresh and age-appropriate from birth to the elementary school years.

Babies & Toddlers

  • Use board books to engage your little learner during storytime.
  • Choose melodic books like Baby Shark Board Book and Super Simple: Hush Little Baby.
  • Keep reading-time short, but don't rush. It should be relaxing!
  • Once your child has some obviously favorite books, be sure to include them.
  • When your child can pick out their own book, have them make their own selections.


  • Choose books that include your child's favorite themes.
  • Read a variety of print like comic books, magazines, nonfiction, and picture books.
  • If your child is interested in early chapter books, include them in small doses. If they can't describe what you read to them, put the chapter books away and try again later. There is no rush!
  • If your little one wants to read the same book over and over, go for it. Have them pick out a book or two and add variety with your own selection to balance old and new.
  • After reading, turn off the light and tell stories. Storytelling is an important literacy skill too!

Elementary School

  • Read as a team. Have your child read one section and you read the next, taking turns. As they develop their reading skills, make these selections longer and longer.
  • Don't abandon picture books. Picture books support new readers and will help even proficient readers continue to develop strong reading strategies.
  • Try reading a series to keep things fresh.

Looking for more tips? See all expert advice about establishing reading routines at home, including recommended bedtime stories for older kids.

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