Getting an energetic child to wind down for sleep is a familiar struggle for many parents. That is why our previous article on Solving Toddler Bedtime Battles stresses the need for a consistent bedtime routine. Imagine a nightly ritual where, instead of resistance, your child eagerly anticipates the comforting embrace of a story. You can establish a rule of one to two books per night and choose your bedtime tale together for some parent-child bonding.
Physical books aren’t the only options available, however, and today you can choose stories to share from ebooks and even podcasts. This article delves into the transformative power of audiobooks, in particular, and how they can lull your child peacefully and productively into the world of dreams.
The power of audiobooks in bedtime routines
Establishing a calming pre-sleep activity is crucial for both the child and the parent. Audiobooks engage children’s senses in a way that traditional books or ebooks may not, with nurse educator Dr. Debra Sullivan confirming that listening to an audiobook can relax just about anyone. The rhythmic flow of a narrator’s voice can have a soothing effect, helping children transition from the activities of the day to a more relaxed state conducive to sleep. This gentle auditory stimulation allows for a gradual winding down, making it easier for energetic kids to shift from playtime to bedtime.
Furthermore, audiobooks offer flexibility in terms of when and where they can be enjoyed. Unlike traditional books that require a well-lit space, audiobooks can be experienced in the dim glow of a bedside lamp or through earphones, allowing for a personalized and adaptable bedtime routine. The absence of bright lights from screens, as in the case of ebooks, additionally allows for a more soothing pre-sleep experience while retaining the benefits of traditional reading rituals like literacy development and family bonding time.
The growing accessibility of audiobooks
It helps that finding a range of good audiobooks is easier than ever in the digital age. With online subscription services, parents can access a range of materials for an affordable monthly fee, eliminating the need for frequent trips to the bookstore. Everand has a collection of audiobooks by established authors, so children can choose among new releases like Once There Was by Kiyash Monsef or classic Newbery Medal Winners like The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. Even parents can find options to enjoy for themselves in Everand’s selection of e-books and podcasts, ensuring a variety of choices without the need for individual purchases.
This can be especially useful for parents whose toddlers shift reading interests on a day-to-day basis. Otherwise, another useful source of audiobooks is your local library. With a library card, parents can access the available selections online, with Publishers Weekly noting 111 million checkouts in the children/YA genre. Families can rent popular stories without a financial commitment, even if there may be occasional wait times for high-demand titles like J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter
and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
Are you ready to explore some popular audiobooks? Here are our three favorite picks to start off your nightly bedtime routine with your child.
This beloved tale captivates young minds with its clever mouse protagonist who encounters various forest animals. Engaging narration brings the various characters to
life, while lively sound effects add an extra layer of excitement. This helps ensure listeners remain enthralled until the very last word.
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
In this 1964 Caldecott medal awardee, children are invited into the imaginative world of Max as he journeys to the land of the Wild Things. The careful interplay of expressive narration and thoughtfully integrated sound elements ensures your kids are not just listeners but active participants in Max’s enchanting escapades.
Once There Was by Kiyash Monsef
For young minds seeking stories that ignite imagination and curiosity, Once There Was stands out as a unique and engaging audiobook filled with wonder, danger, and the quest for truth. Marjan’s discovery of the existence of magical creatures teaches children to be curious and brave, while also promoting cultural sensitivity given the main character’s Iranian-American identity.
To further support parents in establishing successful bedtime routines, check out Rockin’BLINKS Mag, and our Sleep guide by age. Resources include sleep schedules and a comprehensive look at sleep throughout every stage of a child’s development. Have fun as a family integrating audiobooks into a consistent bedtime routine and leveraging our personalized guidance, parents can create a holistic approach to bedtime that promotes a restful night for children and parents alike.