Sleepy Bedtime Stories for Little Ones

Looking for that quintessential bedtime story that your little one will listen to every single night before going to bed? These books have gentle, rhythmic text, sweet illustrations, and timeless themes about bedtime and sleep.

Sylvia Long’s lovely new version of the classic lullaby Hush Little Baby has an amazing nature theme. A mother rabbit soothes her little one to bed by pointing out the natural beauty around them. A great improvement on the mercenary motif in the traditional version of this popular bedtime song!

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Each beautiful page of Time for Bed shows a mother baby and her animal preparing for bed. We love the gorgeous illustrations in this soothing book.

In Baby’s Boat, an adorable little boy sails across a sleepy sea in his moonboat, fishing with star bait. A sure recipe for sweet dreams.

In Little Donkey Close Your Eyes, animal mothers urge their babies to close their eyes in this simple, calming poem by beloved author Margaret Wise Brown.

A soothing poem about falling asleep by Eric Metaxas is complemented by Nancy Tillman’s gorgeous illustrations in It’s Time to Sleep, My Love. Animals around the world prepare for bed and coax their babies to sleep.

In The Sleep Ponies, a grandmother teaches her rosy-cheeked grandchild to calm her body and mind by picturing a herd of adorable ponies carrying her off to sweet dreams.

Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site is a favorite with the boys! Each might machine on a construction site prepares for bed and goes to sleep in this goodnight story.

Bear Can’t Sleep and Bear Snores On are two adorable books about a bear who can’t sleep (and then oversleeps!)

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown is the quintessential bedtime classic that children love hearing again and again.

Donald and his rabbit both can’t sleep! Donald begins to emphasize with his mother as he keeps trying to settle down his rambunctious rabbit friend in Are You Asleep, Rabbit?

In this gorgeously illustrated bedtime story, a little boy asks his dad how each animal on the farm goes to sleep. I love the patient, sleepy dad and the curious boy in Going to Sleep on the Farm.

4 thoughts on “Sleepy Bedtime Stories for Little Ones

  1. Staci

    This was a lovely list and I’m definitely looking into getting a few, but I’m quite surprised that you would recommend Good Night Moon. Not only is the book overly simplistic to the point of saying “Good night Nobody” but the illustrations aren’t all that engaging let alone in the ‘beautiful’ category. We ended up tossing the book, we disliked reading it that much.

    1. Gracie Buckner

      There is definitely room for a variety of reactions to Good Night Moon. Each of my kids thoroughly enjoyed that book, and its simplicity seemed to really calm them down at the end of a busy day.

  2. Hello! May I submit my children’s book for consideration in a future list? It is “God Made the Moonlight,” a journey story from the city to the country, where a young girl appreciates the changing moon over a summer with her grandparents. My book just received the Catholic Writer’s Guild Seal of Approval. Let me know if you would like to read a pdf copy. Thanks!

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