There are a few certainties in life. Taxes. Death. And the fact that when a group of new moms gets together, they will talk about whether or not their babies are sleeping, how much they’re sleeping and what tricks are best used to get them sleeping more.
Which brings us to the all-important bedtime routine. There are lots of different ways to get baby ready to go down for the count (which we’ll talk about in detail at some point, don’t worry), but one surefire component, and my favorite part of any night, is story time. It’s a time for cuddling, chilling out, laughing, wondering and—to be completely earnest for a second—instill a love of reading in my son.
For the first five months of my little guy’s life, there were a few books that had to be read every single night, in a very specific order, to send him into dreamland. All of which I can recite to you by heart and probably will be able to for the rest of my life, and which will hopefully be as helpful to you as they were to me. And they were—drumroll, please….
How do we love our little ones? Let us count the ways with all of the adorable things that they do, illustrated with bears. (Who, like the dinosaurs in all of my son’s favorite books, don’t seem to attack or eat anyone.) It’s sweet, simple and to the point, and your little one will love touching the plush star on the cover.
A more advanced book than you’d usually read to a baby, but my son loved it from the get-go. The poor protagonist thinks that all of the other animals at the zoo have more fun than he does and that the zoo’s visitors like them more, so he sneaks out of his cage and tries being a seal, a lion and a snake. But guess what: Being an emu—and being himself—is actually pretty cool. Cute rhymes, great lesson, and it’s still a favorite in our house a year and a half later.
A touch-and-feel book with chicks, kittens and puppies. By the time you get to the little girl pulling the covers up to her chin, your baby should be just about ready for bed, too.
All of the baby animals on the savannah are winding down and getting ready for bed and so should you. Even the mischievous monkeys, bartering for a few more minutes of play. Sorry, kiddos, not happening for them and not happening for you. To put it a little less delicately, as Samuel L. Jackson might say: I love you, baby, but now it’s time to, please, go the f*ck to sleep.