The Benefits of Bedtime Books
As you may know, I love a good bedtime routine. In our family, bedtime books are an important part of our bedtime routine. I’ve been reading to my kids since day one. I’ve always included it as part of our naptime and bedtime routine. I started this routine simply because I wanted them to have a love for reading, but honestly, I loved the cuddle time too.
When I help the families to create healthy sleep habits for their children, I always suggest reading as part of the bedtime routine. The main reasons that I suggest this will be the first three reasons below for the benefits of bedtime books, but there are so many more benefits. Read on to learn more:
… is communication that bedtime is coming
Reading as part of the bedtime routine and at the same place in the routine helps your child to understand that bedtime is coming. I always recommend keeping the bedtime routine in the same order so that through predictability your child can become comfortable with the process of bedtime through knowing what is coming next.
… helps to set the stage for bedtime
Another important reason for the bedtime routine is to start calming down from the day and settle in for a good night’s sleep. A good book or two can help to do that. Winding down from a day of running errands, school and playing outside is important. Making the transition from that time to a relaxing bedtime routine is vital in preparing your child’s body for sleep.
Also, as a learning tool and a matter of understanding, there are great books that talk about bedtime and importance of bedtime. What Is Sleep? is one of our family favorites for this purpose.
… is quality time
Yes, this is one of my favorite reasons! It is a time in the day where you and your littles are distracted by nothing else. The dishes can wait and it’s time to cuddle up with a good book. Too often our lives are cluttered with to do lists and activities. It is important to find time to sit with our children and give undivided attention.
Though while the time it takes to read a book to your child may only be a handful of minutes a few times a day, it may be more meaningful to your child that you will ever know.
… helps to develop language and literacy
In a recent American Academy of Pediatrics study, it was found that reading to your child at young age can boost literacy and have an impact even years later. What you read to your child as an infant will impact them as they start school, now that is cool!
““These findings are exciting because they suggest that reading to young children, beginning even in early infancy, has a lasting effect on language, literacy and early reading skills,” said Carolyn Cates, PhD.”
… cultivates the imagination and learning
In books, children are able to dive into worlds outside of what they know. They can also learn about things outside of their day to day life. Through books, our kids can become inquisitive, creative and imaginative.
Albert Einstein once said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For while knowledge defines all we currently know and understand, imagination points to all we might yet discover and create.”
… helps their behavior
Yup, you heard me right. It was recently stated in a New York Times article, based on a study published in the American Academy of Pediatrics; “The researchers, …showed that an intervention, based in pediatric primary care, to promote parents reading aloud and playing with their young children could have a sustained impact on children’s behavior.”
The article goes on to say: “The children whose families had participated in the intervention when they were younger were still less likely to manifest those behavior problems — aggression, hyperactivity, difficulty with attention — that can so often make it hard for children to do well and learn and prosper when they get to school.”
As Dr. Seuss once said, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” Books are good for so many reasons. Take some time to read to your child today and tomorrow. I promise, you won’t regret it.
Our family favorite…
Here’s to healthy and happy sleep!
Certified Sleep Consultant
Good Night Sleep Site Florida