10 Must-Have Bedtime Books for Babies and Toddlers (Just In Time For the Holidays!)

10 Must-Have Bedtime Books for Babies and Toddlers

The holidays always seem to be right around the corner! And those of us who celebrate by buying gifts for our little loved ones are probably all thinking the same thing right about now…


If you’ve barely made a dent in your shopping list, no need to panic — today, we’re suggesting some fantastic bedtime books for your babies and toddlers. Some are tried-and-true bedtime classics; others are new books that are on their way to becoming beloved favorites. And they’d all make great gifts, parents!

And those of you organized types who finished your shopping weeks ago will want to check this out, too. It’s never too late to add a gift or two to your Christmas list, right? 😉

The Baby Sleep Site’s® Top 10 Baby and Toddler Bedtime Books

Bear Snores On

Bear Snores On Karma Wilson’s Bear books have always been favorites in my house, and Bear Snores On ranks right at the top. Bear can sleep through anything — even all the commotion his animal friends cause as they crowd into his cave to escape a storm! My kids’ love the warm, cozy feel of this book, as well as its lilting rhymes.

How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?

Dinosaurs Jane Yolen’s “How Do Dinosaurs” books are sure to fire up the imaginations of little boys and girls alike. In this book, Yolen’s dinosaurs engage in some good (and not-so good!) bedtime behaviors that parents of “little dinosaurs” will surely recognize. Combining bright, cheerful illustrations and wonderful rhymes, How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? is bound to become a household favorite.

Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site

Goodnight Book This one is a great choice if you have a truck-lover at home! With Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site, your little one can bid goodnight to bulldozers, backhoes, cranes, and cement mixers who’ve worked hard all day at the construction site and are ready for bed. The pictures in this one (by the super-talented Tom Lichtenheld) are perfect — each truck has tons of personality! 🙂

YouTube video

How Will I Ever Sleep In This Bed?

How Will I Ever Sleep In this BedIf your toddler is close to making the transition from crib to bed, you’ll definitely want to check out How Will I Ever Sleep In This Bed? In it, a little boy is (understandably) anxious about moving from his tiny crib to a great big bed. He tries filling it with his stuffed animals, to make it seem less huge and empty — but then, he’s not sure there’ll be enough room for him! Your toddler will be comforted as he watches the book’s hero conquer his fear of the “big bed” and snuggle in for a night of peaceful, happy sleep.

Goodnight, Moon

Goodnight Moon Really — is any child’s bookshelf complete without a copy of Goodnight, Moon? This is probably the most beloved, classic bedtime book of all (and one that I know by heart, I’ve read it so many times!) Margaret Wise Brown’s enchanting rhymes and Clement Hurd’s unforgettable illustrations combine to create a memorable little book.

Kiss Good Night

Kiss Good Night This is such a cozy, sweet little book. Mrs. Bear is putting her little cub, Sam, to bed, but she’s not quite getting it right. Sam is still waiting for something. Mrs. Bear tries milk, a blanket, a book…what could she be forgetting? Perhaps a Kiss Good Night? A lovely book about bedtime routines and the special bond between a mommy and her little one.

Time For Bed

Time For Bed This has always been one of my all-time favorite bedtime books to read to my kids (especially when they were babies!) Mem Fox’s sleepy, dreamy text pairs perfectly with Jane Dyer’s beautiful illustrations of mommy animals snuggling up with their babies. Time For Bed is the ideal book to help quiet and calm your baby at bedtime.

Goodnight, My Duckling

Goodnight My Duckling I read Goodnight, My Duckling to my oldest son all the time. We read it so much, in fact, that we wore out our first copy and had to replace it! Mama Duck calls her ducklings to follow her home to bed, but one little duckling gets separated from his family. A wise old turtle saves the day and returns the little duckling to his nest, just in time to claim a special, snuggly spot beneath his mama’s wing.

The Going To Bed Book

Going to Bed BookWe had to include at least one Sandra Boynton book in this list. 🙂 (Visit her site, when you get a chance — it’s hysterical!) The Going To Bed Book, in true Boynton fashion, is pure bedtime silliness. Your little one will love reading about the ark full of animals who are preparing for bed by taking a bath (in one big tub), brushing their teeth, and doing exercises on deck.

What! Cried Granny

What Cried GrannyWe’re ending our list on a funny note with this one. What! Cried Granny is, according to the cover, “An Almost Bedtime Story”, and it lives up to its subtitle. Little Patrick is all set to have a sleepover at his granny’s house, until he points out that he doesn’t have a bed at her house. Granny cries (you guessed it), “What!?” and races outside to chop down a tree and build him one. Problem solved…until Patrick points out that he doesn’t have his teddy bear (or his blanket, or his pillow…) Good thing Patrick’s granny is so resourceful! If a grandparent in your family needs help with gift ideas for your toddler or preschooler, this would be a great book to suggest.

For more bedtime book ideas (and plenty of other sleep-related links!) be sure to visit The Baby Sleep Site®’s Pinterest page.

Thanks for reading! We hope that you can enjoy these bedtime books with your family!

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