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Thursday, 27 April 2017

Books to Beat the Bedtime Blues #BathBookBed

Sleep deprivation has to be one of the hardest things to deal with as a parent and, with three children of my own, it is safe to say I have endured plenty of sleepless nights over the past 5 years. When we have had a bad night, parenting the next day seems so much harder. In fact everything seems so much harder! My patience levels hit rock bottom and I end up on autopilot fuelled by tea and biscuits.

In my sleep deprived state I have been known to drive to the wrong place, to find my car keys and phone in the fridge and I have even discovered (half way through the day) that my clothes are on back to front AND inside out! A sleepless night also means grumpy, tantrum prone children and the morning school run becomes a battle of wills. So a good night's sleep not only benefits the whole family but also anyone else that is unfortunate enough to encounter us the next day! 

A post shared by Kate (Along Came Poppy) (@kate.eccles) on

Getting desperate?

Over the past few years there have been times that I have gone to somewhat desperate lengths to settle my little ones. I have rocked, sang and fed them to sleep. I have carefully transferred them to their cots and beds. I have loving held their hands through the cot bars and even slept next to their beds on the floor. My funniest bedtime memories are of covertly creeping out of their rooms on all fours whilst desperately trying to avoid the dreaded squeaky floor boards. There was also that time I climbed over the cot bars and actually sat inside with my eldest daughter. Simply ridiculous and, if you are wondering, no it didn't work!

Establishing a routine

The BookTrust has recently launched this year's Bath, Book, Bed campaign by publishing their simple steps to achieve a better night's sleep with guidance from, parenting expert, Jo Frost. You can read all about their Bath, Book, Bed routine here. Establishing a similar routine certainly helped my children know what to expect at bedtime and therefore settle more easily on a night. Here are our tried and tested tips for a successful bedtime:
  • Keep bedtime as calm as possible, everything you do should take the children one step closer to falling asleep. 
  • Dim the lights where possible and, if children require a light to fall asleep, use a nightlight. We also have blackout blinds in the children's rooms.
  • Choose a bedtime story that is good to snuggle up with. I try to keep our choices engaging yet not too exciting. You can find our recommendations below. I let each child choose a book and then we read them all together.
  • Try white noise if little ones still struggle to settle. I'm not sure whether this is controversial but it has worked wonders for us. When our youngest was a baby I noticed she liked the sound of the vacuum cleaner and hairdryer so we started to use a white noise app to help her drift off to sleep. Now she is a little older (almost 18 months) she has a Sleep Tight Puppy that we programme to play the noise of waves. The best part about this is she has learned to touch its tummy to restart the waves if she wakes in the night.
  • Finally, once you find a routine that works for you and your family, stick with it as consistency is key.


Now for the best bit, our favourite bedtime books. For those of you that regularly read our blog you will know that we love stories, all types of stories but at bedtime I have started to try and keep our choices to books that are as calming as possible. Here are some of our current bedtime favourites:

1. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd 
2. Peepo by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
3. Pip and Posy The Bedtime Frog by Axel Scheffler
4. Goodnight Digger by Michelle Robinson and Nick East
5. The Last Book Before Bedtime by Nicola O'Byrne
6. The Owl Who Was Afraid Of The Dark by Jill Tomlinson and Paul Howard


You can find many more bedtime book recommendations from the BookTrust here

Have you tried the #BathBookBed routine? 
What helps you get a better night's sleep? 
Please do share your bedtime tips 
and especially your favourite bedtime books in the comments below. 
We love to hear from you!

*Disclaimer: This post is part of the TOTS100 #bathbookbed blogger challenge in conjunction with The BookTrust. All opinions are, as always, my own.

41 comments:

  1. Giving the kids a a bath then a bedtime story was always our routine right from the first of the three children. It just works!

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  2. Good night Moon is a fav of mine, routine has always been key in my house. Thanks for linking with #readwithme

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  3. I couldn't agree with you more with your little list. The white noise app we got for our daughter was the best. I would recommend to all new parents. #kcacols

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  4. Getting Jacob's bedtime routine sorted has really helped his sleep I think. I'm always looking for new books for him, thanks for the recommendations! #KCACOLS

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  5. lovely ideas. I adopted my children at age 6&7, but some of the toddler bedtime books work well for them as they missed out on so much before... #KCACOLS

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  6. Hello, Aww such a great post and i can relate my 11 month old who i thought was in a great routine now still wakes up 2 times a night at least. itsnot fun #kcacols

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  7. We've followed a bedtime routine from Rory been quite small, obviously it was quiet relaxed to begin with but we've never really had a problem with him sleeping. I like to think it has something to do with his routine and that it's helped him in some way #KCACOLS

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  8. Such an important routine. My son is 6 and we still do the routine- just the books have changed:) #kcacols

    Nicole | The Professional Mom Project

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  9. a good routine is so important isn't it. and parenting the day after a crap night is always so so tough. #KCACOLS

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  10. I agree that establishing a routine is really important. Thanks for the book recommendations - i'll be taking a look at some of these. #KCACOLS

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  11. I used to hate getting my daughter to bed, she was a nightmare. Eventually we used a routine like this and it helped get her to sleep in her own room. It just didn't keep her asleep all night! #kcacols

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  12. We've always used Bath, Book, Bed with ours but it doesn't always do its job! There are some interesting sounding books there that I hadn't heard of. I like the sound of "The Owl that was Afraid of the Dark". #kcacols

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  13. I can't agree more with the #bathbookbed routine. Children go through phases though. You think you have the routine nailed and then they start waking up again, it lasts a couple of months and then sorts itself out again. I enjoy a good book too though. Pen x #KCACOLS

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  14. Twins are almost three...still waiting for sleep.

    Pretty sure it is never happening for me.

    #KCACOLS

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  15. I think all parents can relate! I have the ability to use my keys to get into the car but discover that I have lost them by the time I get my seatbelt on! Getting children into bed and getting time to ourselves is vital. #KCACOLS

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  16. I love reading stories with my children. What a great campaign for you to be involved in. Perfect fit!:) #KCACOLS

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  17. We LOVE Goodnight Moon, it's a regular and I can now recite it off by heart! I don't know your other top 6 so I'll have to check them out as we love a bedtime story (or 3!) as part of our routine! #KCACOLS

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  18. We don't bath before bed - but we do have a story and Piglet seems to really enjoy his quiet time #kcacols

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  19. Our little George is pretty fabulous in that he takes after Mummy being able to fall asleep anytime anywhere with not too much effort. As a result, we have never instilled much of a routine.He goes to bed at roughly the same time each night and dependant on whether Daddy or Mummy is putting him to bed, the "routine" is completely different. He's very flexible but I know that means our next child will probably be a nightmare lol Karma! we do have a few particular stories we stick to if I do the routine though. Stories which help me to maintain a soft voice.

    Great read.
    #KCACOLS

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  20. We don't bath before bed, it just doesn't work for us. But we have lots of stories! I love Pip & Posy books! #KCACOLS

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  21. We have always done the bath book bed routine and our kids love having this wind down time and then sleep well :) #kcacols

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  22. Interesting point about not reading a book that is too exciting right before bed. I can't believe I've never thought about that before #KCACOLS

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  23. We always followed a bedtime routine when the boys were tiny. I do miss that bedtime reading now they are older

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  24. We have done bath, book and bed since mine were a week old! It has always worked brilliantly and has meant both my children are good readers too! I also sing to them too which I love to do. #KCACOLS

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  25. We keep a good bedtime routine now we have two, we were awfully slack with our first! We don't do a nightly bath as both have bad skin, however have a strict storytime, teeth brushing, toilet and bed routine! #kcacols

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  26. I think a bed routine is vital, some of my Mummy friends have chaos a bed time and it just no good for a settling child #kcacols

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  27. Great list of tips and books. We love Goodnight Moon I our house too. A good routine is definitely a MUST! #KCACOLS

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  28. Routine is so important. As is a good network of people around you, sometimes every trick in the world is not good enough and its those times that I found a soothing word from friends is just what I needed. Sometimes we just have to take a deep breath and carry on, it really does get better in time:)
    Mainy
    #KCACOLS

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  29. Hope the routine works for you, I totally agree with you about the sleepless nights having such an effect on the next day's mood. #KCACOLS

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  30. Worrying, women in my family have a habit of putting random things in fridges regardless of how mnay kids they have. Snappy likes his routine, needs it. #kcacols

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  31. Lights that dim and blackout curtains are a must for us. Peachy has always been a very good sleeper. We do have a routine though and I do think it makes a world of difference. #KCACOLS

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  32. Bath, book, bed sounds like the perfect bedtime routine, especially with the exposure to technology that often keeps kids minds racing! #kcacols

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  33. My children and partner especially would love the goodnight digger book! Will have to hunt that one down! I love routine, it's just as important for some chill time for us parents as well as the children! #KCACOLS

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  34. DAMN! I didn't even know this was a thing, this is simply what I did for my two anyway. I should have written a baby book, I could have made millions ;) LOL.
    #KCACOLS

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  35. Ah I'm glad I'm not the only one who has dressed with their clothes inside out.Sleep deprivation is tuly awful and used as punishment in some countries! #KCACOLS

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  36. definitely agree routine is key. My daughter has had the same routine for years and (touch wood) she is a great sleeper x
    #KCACOLS

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  37. Sleep deprivation is torture, there's no other word for it. I used to be deranged on a daily basis on no sleep with 3 under 5. But you are so right, reading before bedtime as part of a routine is a calming activity to get into the habit of doing. It lets my kids know that this is sleeping time and this is the last thing we do together before lights out. Love Goodnight Moon. #KCACOLS

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  38. I agree, a good bedtime routine is key and consistency in a routine definitely helps. A bath USUALLY calms things down unless my youngest is over tired and then it can end in carnage! We always do a book each before bedtime and these can range from anything and everything! My girls are currently into the Winnie and Wilbur books. Thanks for hosting #KCACOLS x

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  39. We've done the bath, book, bed routine for nearly 5 years now and it works for us. Even the times when my youngest wasn't sleeping through the night, she always went off really well. #KCACOLS

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  40. Sleep deprivation is such a killer! While we don't bath every night, we always do teeth, story, song and bed and I think the routine is important. We've not read any of your favourites, so I need to check them out! Thanks for linking up to #KLTR

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  41. Establishing a routine can be difficult with little ones but it's so so important and I agree a good bedtime story is a great thing for little ones! Thanks for linking up to #KLTR .

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