Express Sleep Plan

Bedtime Stories for Babies and Toddlers

Best Baby and Toddler Bedtime Books

One of the best moments of the day is when you are tucking in your toddler into bed and telling him bedtime stories. It’s one of the most treasured moments of the day when you can snuggle up together, explore, go on an adventure, or be silly in your favorite bedtime story book.

My eldest son’s favorite bedtime stories are actually the ones I make up. And, it can be challenging to think of homemade bedtime stories at the end of a long day, let me tell you! Thankfully, toddlers love repetition and I can perfect the same bedtime stories over and over or make small changes to them and he is happy. As he’s getting older, though, he’ll say “I want a bedtime story.” and I’ll say “What about?” and he’ll say “Make something up.” and he now means from scratch. It used to be things like “Lightning McQueen.”, or “Race cars.” But, they grow up and start wanting unique bedtime stories in order to drift off to sleep. Don’t get me started about the few times I started a story and it takes a somewhat “scary” turn (for a toddler) and I have to quickly eat my words.

Bedtime stories can be educational, too, without them even knowing it. I’ve told bedtime stories about saving your money, treating others nicely (or as you’d like to be treated), and being a good big brother. It is my belief that bedtime stories can be a really great way to bond with your child and snuggle at the same time, which we do every night. After our bedtime stories, we ask each other our favorite part of the day, so we end each day on a positive note. Many times, the very moments of cuddling and chit-chatting with my sons are my favorite part of the day. Since he goes first, it melts my heart when he says that moment is HIS favorite part of the day. Sigh. Love. Simply Love. And, after our bedtime stories and cuddling, I tell him good night and most nights he drifts off to sleep within 5 minutes after I leave (even nights he claims he’s not tired. Yeah. Right.).

But, if telling homemade bedtime stories isn’t a strength of yours, it’s great that other writers have done this work for us. Reading is so important for your child to learn the love of reading. The fact that we started so early, I believe, is a big reason my son was reading at four years old. Here are a few great bedtime story books for babies and toddlers that I thought I could share with you:

Bedtime Stories About Bedtime – Babies


Bedtime Stories About Bedtime – Toddlers


Dr. Seuss Bedtime Stories


Bedtime Books with Activities


Classic Bedtime Stories


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Share your favorite bedtime stories!

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  1. Elisabeth says

    My favorite bedtime stories growing up were Madeline, Richard Scary, and of course Dr. Suess. I have great memories of my dad reading to me before bedtime and making funny voices for all the Dr. Suess stories. He can even recite “Big A, Little A, what begins with A??” by heart! Now my husband reads to our 16 month old every night as she drinks her milk. Her favorites are now Dr. Suess as well. It’s so meaningful to know that we’re enriching our child’s life with this memory-making experience. It definitely helps her relax, gives good snuggle time and teaches her rhyming!

  2. says

    I’ve found the book “Papa’s Bedtime Story” by Mary Lee Donovan to be a great bedtime book for my little toddler.

    With cute, nature illustrations, a charming tale, and a calm, soothing tone, this book always ends with a smile and a quick good night!

  3. Jennifer Henderson says

    As your toddler gets a little older, and you are looking for variety, be sure to check out The Lion Storyteller’s Bedtime Book. These are short tales from around the world, well-worded for reading aloud, and each just the right length for bedtime. You’ll find they lend themselves very naturally to dramatic voices and goofy accents, even if that is out of your personal comfort zone. : ) My 7-year-old son still loves these, and they’ve become a special bedtime ritual with Daddy.