Baby & Toddler
Bedtime With Brightly:
Book Picks and Tips for Every Age
by the Brightly Editors
Bedtime can be the best moment of the day. You cuddle up in bed with your kids, enjoy a story together, and contentedly watch as they drift off to dreamland. It’s an idyllic scene that would make Norman Rockwell proud.
Then there are those other nights. They’re not tired at all, they say. Just one more glass of water, they ask. Tears, denial, pleading, bribing — it’s enough to make the most hardened negotiator crumble, and drive any parent crazy.
At Brightly, we want to make bedtime easier. So here you’ll find book recommendations for every age, plus exclusive Mad Libs-style story prompts for when they’re demanding “just one more,” and you’re out of ideas. We also have tips on what to do — and what not to do — to get your child tucked in and happily on the way to a peaceful night’s sleep.
Looking to improve your own bedtime? Discover books for grown ups to read before bed, along with sleep tips, on our sister site Penguin Random House. Sweet reads and sweet dreams!
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Best Books for Bedtime
Best Bedtime Stories for Babies and Toddlers
There are lots of beautiful bedtime books for babies and toddlers. Start exploring some of the best with these titles.
Best Bedtime Stories for 3- to 5-Year-Olds
Whether your kids need to unwind, bond, or have a few laughs before they start making Z’s, these titles are a great addition to their bedtime routine.
Best Bedtime Stories for 6- to 8-Year-Olds
It can be tough to find great books for bedtime, but we’ve found a few that will give every growing reader sweet dreams.
Bedtime Books for 9- to 12-Year Olds
Nighttime adventures await! Tuck into one of these classic or contemporary bedtime stories with your big kid tonight.
Non-Scary Bedtime Books for Independent Readers
This list includes funny, suspenseful, thought-provoking reads that are all kid-approved for a sound sleep.
Great Audiobooks for Bedtime Listening
Young readers are sure to have sweet dreams after listening to these audiobooks as part of screen-free family time before bed.
Bedtime Story Prompts for Parents Who Can’t Think of Any Stories to Tell
If you’re plagued with bedtime story stage fright, these should help everyone get to sleep a lot faster.
We’re Jammin’: 9 Playful Picture Books About Pajamas
These delightful books prove that “pajamas” is a funny word, and authors can find many amusing ways to put people and animals in them.
Why I Always Say Yes to “One More Bedtime Story”
No matter how long the day has been and no matter how exhausted I may be, I always agree to read “one more book” to my child — and here’s why.
Bedtime Stories: The Key to a Better Night’s Sleep for Kids and Parents
With repetition, bedtime reading triggers and enhances sleepiness and relaxation, making it a powerful sleep cue.
Night-Night No-No’s: Things Every Parent Should Avoid at Bedtime
As parents, our goal is to get the kids to sleep — but obstacles always get in the way. Here are things you should never do when putting your child to bed.