I’m expecting a third baby soon and with every pregnancy I find myself reflecting on my parenting choices. What did I do right? What can I improve? I also know that even though I’ve done this twice, I’ve never parented a newborn with an elementary student and a preschooler before. I’ve parented a toddler and a newborn before, but now the game is different. The rules and the playing field have changed. Still, there’s one thing I won’t compromise in our bedtime routine.
That will be my reality this fall. But before that, I must survive the summer with 3 kids at home with me, 24/7. Frankly, I’m concerned about surviving with my sanity intact.
So, in preparation, I’m trying to remember all of the things I did right for my first two. A lot of my parenting successes I attribute to setting myself up for success and establishing a solid routine.
The routine may look a little different this time around, but there’s still one major constant I will never compromise.
Why Bedtime Stories Are Essential to My Family’s Bedtime Routine
With the birth of my oldest son, I made a commitment to read to my kids every day. I even took that commitment as far as saying, whenever my son brings me a book, I will read it to him. I love reading and learning and want my children to share that love too. It starts with reading aloud to them from a very early age and bedtime stories are the absolute easiest way to incorporate this tradition into your new life with kids. It helps them develop literacy skills and vocabulary. I could go on and on about the benefits of reading aloud to your children, especially babies.
Reading bedtime stories together helps us connect. I don’t want to miss story time with my boys when the baby arrives, so I’m already brainstorming ways to make that happen with all 3 of them.
As a veteran parent, I know that bedtime can’t be rushed. Stories give us time to wind down and relax before I expect the kids to shut off the crazy switch and lay quietly alone in the dark. They serve as a cue and help transition from day time to sleep time.
In fact, I think bedtime stories are so important that it’s the very first thing I start doing with my babies to serve as a cue for sleep, at naps and bedtime. It’s the one thing in our bedtime routine I won’t compromise, both for my older boys and the newborn I’ll be bringing home soon.
Need help choosing a bedtime story?
Bedtime stories don’t have to bore you to tears or even make you cry with sappy sentimentality. In fact, some of our absolute favorite bedtime books are super silly.
Here are a few more that I enjoy:
- Steam Train Dream Train
- I Love You Stinky Face
- Fairy Tales for Bedtime
- Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site
- B is for Bedtime
- Goodnight Daniel Tiger
- Five Minute Bedtime Stories
- Animal Stories for Bedtime
- Dear Zoo
If you’re struggling with baby sleep, introducing a bedtime story is a great place to start, but you probably need all of the tips you can get, right!? Sleep deprivation is no joke mama. Get your free baby sleep tips here!
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