Top 8 Best Bedtime Story Books For Babies in First Year

7 min read

Written by Aparna Hari

Aparna Hari

Bedtime Story Books For Babies

Bedtime, for some parents, can be just magical and for some, a sheer struggle. Many babies fight bedtime. They want to continue playing and when tiredness finally hits them, they lose it and end up having a huge meltdown. Having a bedtime routine can be a great way to avoid such struggles on most nights. Bedtime story books for babies can be the best friend for parents in this situation.

A bedtime book can be the perfect way to calm down a baby and get them into sleeping mode. Books can be interesting, informative, and calming at the same time. If you are still debating about the need for bedtime books and which books to invest in, read on to know more.

In This Article

Are Bedtime Story Books Good For Babies?

Bedtime requires your baby to stop playing and settle down. Reading a bedtime book will take their mind away from toys and all other distractions that have them running around energized. They will eventually settle down and start paying attention to what you are reading.

For a baby to get a good night’s sleep, they need to relax after a day full of activities that are both mentally and physically tiring. If they are overstimulated or over-tired, they may not have a good sleep. Reading a good bedtime book can help them calm down and get better sleep at night.

So, bedtime books are indeed very good for babies. Not to forget, how these books can help improve your child’s vocabulary and language skills too.

[Read : Speech And Language Development Milestones]

When Should You Introduce Bedtime Story Books To Your Baby?

Introduce Bedtime Story Books To Your Baby

You can start reading bedtime stories to your baby, right from day 1. Yes, they will be sleeping most of the day in the first few weeks and a “bedtime” book may not make much sense. Having a routine from day 1 can be very helpful for both the baby and you.

Over time, your baby will start understanding the bedtime routine. So, when you settle into bed and read them a book, they know it is time for bed and will not fight it much. As they grow older and start understanding the stories, they may even eagerly anticipate the bedtime books.

Benefits of Bedtime Story Books For Babies

Some of the benefits bedtime books can offer are

1. Bonding

Reading bedtime stories can be a great way for parents to bond with their babies. It is the last activity of the day and something the baby goes to sleep remembering. It helps connect and form a solid bond, which is essential for the baby’s emotional development.

[Read : Bonding With Your Baby]

2. Language Development

Reading improves language. The more they hear words and sentences, the easier it will be for them to pick them up. You can even read in multiple languages if you want them to get familiar with more than just one language.

3. Helps Wind Down

When you make them lie down in their bed, remove all other stimuli from their environment and make them listen to your voice, it helps them calm down from all the physically and mentally stimulating activities they have been doing all day.

4. Listening Skills

Hearing a story every night will improve their listening skills. As they grow, you will notice how they start responding to details, asking questions and even picking out similarities. All this shows how much they are listening.

5. Imagination

Books give an opportunity to imagine the entire scenario and what follows. This improves creativity in a baby, especially when they have to fall asleep after hearing some story.

Top 8 Best Bedtime Story Books For Babies in First Year

Here are some of the best bedtime stories you can read to your baby.

1. Hush Little Baby by Sylvia Long

Hush Little Baby by Sylvia Long

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The book starts by asking the baby to be quiet and see what the mother is showing. It then moves from evening into the night, ending with the mother tucking the baby into bed. The rhyming words are very soothing and can help a baby fall into a deep peaceful sleep. The author has adapted the famous lullaby and added illustrations from her personal experiences, to make this an apt bedtime book for both babies and parents.

2. The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle

The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle

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The story is set in the nighttime and revolves around a ladybug that is grouchy and rude to all creatures around it. The author highlights different creatures of the wild and how they interact with the ladybug. The book is split hour-wise and tells the baby what the ladybug experienced every hour until it is finally time to fall asleep. The ladybugs go to bed and fireflies wake up for the night. This is a great book to not just learn the names of animals and to fall asleep but to learn the importance of politeness too.

3. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

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The story is about a hungry caterpillar and what he does for a full week until it is time to go into his cocoon. It ends with the caterpillar becoming a butterfly and flying away. The story has a start and a proper end that can indicate it is the end of the day and the baby needs to sleep. The book can teach babies the names of food items, counting, and the days of the week.

4. Goodnight, Gorilla by Peggy Rathman

goodnight, Gorilla by Peggy Rathman

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An animal story that starts with the zookeeper wishing the gorilla goodnight. The gorilla steals the zookeeper’s keys and gets out of the cage. He follows the zookeeper and lets out the animals one after the other as the zookeeper wishes each animal a good night. The story goes on to tell what the animals do once out of the cage and how they all finally go to bed. The book is sure to make your little one giggle with delight.

5. The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn

The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn

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The story is about a raccoon who does not want to go to school and wants to stay back home. The mother raccoon reassures the baby that it will all be alright, and he will learn to love his school. The story ends with the baby raccoon going away to school happily and reassured by his mother’s kiss. This is a beautiful book to read to babies and young toddlers.

6. Dr. Seuss’ Sleep Book by Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss’ Sleep Book by Dr. Seuss

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Dr. Seuss’ books are some of the most loved children’s books that both young and older babies connect with. This story is about yawning. The author tells us about how yawning is contagious and spreads from one little bug spreads across the fields and country. It slowly transitions into creatures deciding to rest and finally go to bed. This is a perfect bedtime story that can convince even a little baby that it is time to take a rest and go to bed just like all the characters in the book.

7. The Crunching Munching Caterpillar by Sheridan Cain and Jack Tickle

The Crunching Munching Caterpillar

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The story is about a caterpillar who is very hungry and goes on to crunch and munch on various leaves. The caterpillar encounters many other characters as the days go by. The book names these creatures, the sounds they make and explains how they are different from the caterpillar. The caterpillar falls asleep and dreams about growing wings to fly. The beautiful description of the dream will encourage a baby to close their eyes and try sleeping.

8. The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown

The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown

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The story is about a bunny who wanted to run away. The author goes on to tell how the mother rabbit counters the bunny every time it tells it will change into something else and run away. The book is very interesting and informative, constantly reassuring a mother will never leave her little one, no matter what it becomes. The book tells children they will be loved and cared for by their mothers no matter what.

Bedtime storybooks for babies are a great way to introduce various ideas and concepts and help them fall into a calming bedtime routine. It can help babies develop many skills and also get some good quality sleep.


1. Can Bedtime Stories Help Babies Sleep Better?

Reading a good bedtime story can help calm down your baby and give them some quiet time that can help them relax and fall into a deep good sleep. Big or small, bedtime stories can definitely help most Babies sleep better.

2. How do Bedtime Stories Help Babies?

Bedtime stories help babies improve their vocabulary, listening skills, and creativity. They observe and absorb when they are in a calm and relaxed environment.

3. How Can Reading Bedtime Stories For Babies Benefit Parents?

It gives them good quality time together, free of all gadgets and distractions. It also allows the parents to understand how their babies process information and bond well with each other. Spending quality time together as a daily routine can help strengthen their bond.

Read Also: Top 6 Best Bath Books For Babies in First Year

Aparna Hari,MBA in Marketing,P.G. Diploma in Human Resource Management from IGNOU Bachelor of Sciences (Home Science) from Nagarjuna University

Her experience in impactful writing combined with her background in Home Sciences makes Aparna the perfect candidate for content writing in the pregnancy and parenting niche.Read more.

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