11 Bedtime Stories That'll Put Kids to Sleep

These nighttime classics and new-releases are sure to inspire Zzs

Does your child’s bedtime feel like a battle? Try cracking open a book. Research from The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that pre-bed reading could be the key to developing a healthy bedtime routine (bye-bye tantrums).

Reading can serve as an important cue that shut-eye is coming, explains Lauren Yelvington, pediatric sleep consultant and author of the newly released book Can You Yawn Like A Fawn? “Further, there is a direct correlation between reading to a child and the positive development of language skills and healthy reading habits,” she says.

Add these dreamy suggestions to your child’s pre-snooze plan.


On the Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman

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Ages 1 to 4 years

Melodic and richly illustrated, this board book will give you the warm and fuzzies as you read how animals celebrated on your child’s birthday.

To buy: $5, amazon.com.


Shhh! This Book is Sleeping by Cedric Ramadier

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Ages 2 to 3 years

A mouse offers instructions on how to lull the very book you're reading to sleep in this interactive read. Don’t forget to tuck it in with a hug and a kiss!

To buy: $9, amazon.com.


Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night? by Brianna Caplan Sayres

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Ages 2 to 5 years

Fire engines, monster trucks, and tractors need rest too! This rhythmic tale is perfect for preschoolers who admire big rigs.

To buy: $5, amazon.com.


The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton

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Ages 2 to 5 years

Evening routines are made fun in this book about an ark of animals preparing for bed after the sun sets. Read along as they take a bath, pull on pajamas, and brush their teeth before saying goodnight.

To buy: $3, amazon.com.


I Love to Sleep in My Own Bed by Shelley Admont

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Ages 2 to 7 years

Does your little one insist on sleeping with you? Try reading this calming picture book about a bunny named Jimmy, which empowers and inspires children to sleep solo.

To buy: $9, amazon.com.


Can You Yawn Like a Fawn? by Monica Sweeney and Lauren Yelvington

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Ages 3 to 6 years

Kids are prompted to yawn along while reading this book co-authored by a sleep consultant. Bonus: The book’s forward includes a helpful bedtime routine.

To buy: $16, amazon.com.


The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep by Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin

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Ages 3 to 7 years

Roger Rabbit gets help from Uncle Yawn and friends to get to sleep in this almost meditative pick. The text even includes places where you can add in your child’s name for a personalized effect.

To buy: $14, amazon.com.


Sleep Like a Tiger by Mary Logie

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Ages 4 to 7 years

A restless and quizzical little girl is at the center of this intricately-illustrated book. Follow along as she discovers that all of the world’s creatures (even bats!) must sleep.

To buy: $11, amazon.com.


How to Put Your Parents to Bed by Mylisa Larsen

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Ages 4 to 8 years

You can put pint-sized sleep protesters in your shoes with the help of this newly released picture book. In the role-reversing read, children help sleepy parents put down the cell phone, stop washing dishes, and turn off the TV—all in the name of bedtime.

To buy: $13, amazon.com.


Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book by Dr. Seuss

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Ages 5 to 9 years

A bitty bug sets off a seemingly endless chain-reaction of yawns among a village of Seussian characters. Warning: Adults may also feel sleepy after reciting this classic read.

To buy: $10, amazon.com.


A Book of Sleep by II Sung Na

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Ages preschool and up

Join a curious owl on his quest to see how other animals settle in for the night. Vibrant illustrations and a sweet narrative make it an easy pick for bedtime.

To buy: $6, amazon.com.