A good bedtime routine has many benefits. Setting a bedtime routine with your baby right from the beginning makes it easier to keep up healthy habits as your child grows. A predictable routine provides your child with a sense of security and helps them learn to fall asleep on their own.
Research shows that children who follow bedtime routines are more likely to go to sleep earlier, take less time falling asleep, sleep longer, and wake up less during the night. These benefits to sleep quality are still seen years later in children who followed bedtime routines when they were younger.
In addition to improving sleep, bedtime routines teach your child self-care and lay the ground for working memory, attention, focus and other cognitive skills. They also foster parent-child bonding and may help improve mood, stress levels, and behaviour. In the long term, these benefits translate to better readiness for school, as well as better academic performance and social skills.
And every good bedtime routine includes at least one bedtime story! And singing a song or lullaby together also has beneficial effects.
Llamas in Pyjamas
Written and illustrated by Matt Cosgrove
This is a funny, engaging and entertaining bedtime story. All parents know that bedtime can be a battle. And the parents of a rambunctious pair of llamas, twins Tru and Tori, leave this job to babysitter Dharma. Will Dharma be able to get the two unruly little llamas to bed? Luckily Dharma is up for the challenge and knows the importance of reading and a good bedtime story. With lots of llama bedtime drama, clever rhyme and bright, comical illustrations, this a fun picture book to read aloud.
Written by Sharon Giltrow and illustrated by Katrin Dreiling
It’s bedtime and Daddy Bear doesn’t want to go to bed. Little Bear discovers that putting Daddy to bed can be hard work, especially if he starts crying! Full of advice on how to battle bedtime excuses, such as wanting a snack, needing the bathroom, fearing monsters, pleading for one more story and other ploys to stay awake, Daddy is taken step-by-step through the bedtime routine. This is a funny and clever role-reversal story of relatable and familiar tactics children use to stall bedtime. The playful and engaging illustrations add to the humour and fun. The author grew up in South Australia, but now resides here in Perth.
A Tiny Light
Written and illustrated by Alison Lester
This newly published picture book by talented children’s author Alison Lester is a delightful and comforting bedtime story. It tells the tale of the magical Twinkles who come to play as night approaches. The Twinkles are tiny bright fairy-like fireflies that chase away the dark and bless you with the sweetest dreams. The lyrical rhyming verse is soothing and calming and the Twinkles are adorable and captivating. This is an endearing and highly recommended picture book, perfect for bedtime and reading aloud.
Bedtime is Boring
Written by David Campbell and illustrated by Daron Parton
Billy Bunny really doesn’t want to go to bed. He’s not tired. Not even a little bit! He is way too busy for something as boring as bedtime. He has much more important things to do, like bouncing, burrowing, building and bulldozing! This picture book captures the dual perspective of tired parents and energetic child. The bright, bold and expressive illustrations complement the minimal text and add to the humour of the story. This book was inspired by David’s own energetic son.
Ten in the Bed
This well-known bedtime song will have you counting down from ten to one as the bears roll over and fall out of bed one by one. How many bears are left each time?
A Crafty Idea
Dress up like the Llamas in Pyjamas. This activity is courtesy of author Matt Cosgrove. The template can be used as a mask or headband.
- A4 cardstock
- Llamas in Pyjamas template
- Crayons or markers
- Glue or tape
- Print the llama template onto some cardstock.
- Colour in the head and ears.
- Cut them out. Good luck with the eyelashes! If they are too tricky to cut around, just snip them off.
- Glue or tape the ears in place.
- Cut some cardstock into 2-3cm wide strips to use as a headband.
- Staple the headband to the base of the llama template and to size.
- Don’t forget to wear your pyjamas! You will also need a pillow, teddy bear and bedtime book!