Not to sound creepy but sometimes I wish I could be a fly on the wall and watch parents putting their kids to sleep at night. I’m always looking for better routines and habits for myself and my little babe. I guess I could just ask people to tell me their nighttime routines. That’s probably a safer option :).
There is one part of a bedtime routine that I would argue is something everyone should do…
and that’s reading to your kids.
Do you agree? Maybe you will after I talk about the benefits.
Benefits of Reading To Your Kids
It’s never too early to start reading to your kids. But it can be too late. Studies have shown that parents who talk more to their kids can impact their scholarly achievements in the future.
It has to do with something called language dancing. Language dancing is all about the way that parents talk to their children and how it can affect how they acquire intellectual skills in the future. It’s also known as “the 30 Million Word Gap”.
To sum up the study, it compared professional, working class, and low-income families and how much they spoke to their kids (before the age of pre-school). The results were astonishing.
Parents with professional backgrounds spoke an average of 45 million words to their kids over 48 months. Low-income families spoke an average of 13 million words to their kids over 48 months.
Over time, they noticed an achievement gap between children of professional parents and those of low-income families was growing. What does this all mean?
It means talking to your kids from ages 0-3 hugely impacts future cognitive capabilities. The craziest takeaway? The most important year is the first year of life when your child can’t really speak.
How can you help set up your child for future success? Read and talk to your kids.
Reading is a form of language dancing. It’s an easy way to talk more to your kids, help with imagination, improve vocabulary and language skills, help encourage a life-long habit, and is the best bedtime routine.
The Best Bedtime Books
Kids are super good at fighting off sleep. Creating a relaxing, repetitive routine helps your child wind down to get some good shut-eye.
There’s no ‘one size fits all’ routine that works for every child. But every kid can benefit from some relax-reading time with mama or papa.
Good Baby Books:
1. The Poky Little Puppy by Janette Sebring Lowrey
2. Love You Forever by Robert Munsch
3. Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss
4. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
5. The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton
Good Books For Older Kids:
1. Harry Potter (all of them) by JK Rowling
2. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
3. Matilda by Roald Dahl
4. Goosebumps Series by R.L. Stine
5. Wonder by R.J. Palacio (this book isn’t on the all-time best selling list but it’s massively popular)
These are just a few classics but there are SO many great books out there. Leave your favorite books in the comments and include what age they work best for!
Ready Beddy Bye
Naptime and bedtime are sacred hours. As much as we love our babies, it’s nice to have some time for ourselves. Before you know it, you are skipping the routine and rushing your kids to sleep.
Kiddos don’t like being rushed and the faster you want them to go, the slower they react.
Bedtime routines are one thing that should not be rushed. Take a few minutes to read, relax, and wind down. Whatever your routine is, add reading to it!
Want to add bathtime to your bedtime routine? Try our foaming oil bath wash: