25 Best Bedtime Books For Toddlers Before Turning In

Bedtime books for toddlers

If you are like us, probably the time of the day when you read books to your toddlers is right before bedtime. We have quite a collection of bedtime books for toddlers at home. It is a must activity in our house every night and a great excuse to cuddle and spend some quality time together, regardless of what kind of day we’ve all had.

Well, if I’m being honest… we read ALMOST every night except for those nights on “family days” (that’s our daughter’s way to refer to the weekend) when we’ve watched a movie until a bit too late. These days storytime is a movie – and it is simply too late for mom and dad to read something (since we are craving some delivery and a film of our own and can’t wait for them to fall fast asleep).

Getting off-topic now 😅. Let me get back to bedtime.

So, most nights, we read a book. We started when our daughter was slightly under one, but we could see she started really enjoying it by the time she was reaching two. When we started building our little library, bedtime books were the ones we had the most. They are calm, help with the routine, prepare them for getting in bed and let them know we expect them to sleep.

Some we bought, some were gifted, and some we borrowed from the library or some friends. (Book exchanging with other parents is a great way to rotate and see new books without spending). We need to look after our pockets too 😉

*Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself, and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you; when you buy through the links, we may earn a small commission. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Thanks! 

Which are the best bedtime books for toddlers?

Here is our list of our favorite children’s bedtime storybooks. I thought it might be helpful to group them into the following categories

  • Love and family
  • Wishing goodnight
  • Bedtime routine
  • Vehicles
  • Fantastic books
  • Other

Love and family:

These are ideal bedtime books for babies. They are loving and sweet and perfect to start sharing storytime together.

Bedtime Books for Toddlers 01

1. Guess How Much I Love YouSam McBratley & Anita Jeram

This is the first book I ever bought for our little library, and it has a special place in our hearts. It is a sweet story of Little Nutbrown Hare and his father, Big Nutbrown Hare. The little hare asks his dad, “Guess how much I love you?” and it is a tender competition of who loves each other more: “I love you this wide!” “I love you this high!” “I love you that far!”. A charming story with gorgeous illustrations. “I love you to the moon… and back.”

Bedtime Books for Toddlers - If Animals Kissed Goodnight

2. If Animals Kissed Good Night – Ann Withford Paul & David Walker

It is a lovely story of animals and their babies kissing good night to each other in their own sweet ways. The peacocks would dance, the pythons would twirl and twist, the wolves would kiss and howl, and the bears would kiss and growl. Adorable.

Warning! Reading reviews on Amazon, I realized a few people find this book inappropriate for kids. I personally do not see an issue with hugging and kissing my children – I guess it is cultural, and we do it all the time – I thought it is a lovely book. But if you think it might make you feel uncomfortable, this book might not be for your family. Please check some of the others 😉 This book has 50 thousand reviews on Amazon and has 5 stars, so I believe it is very loved by many, but I wanted to share the warning just in case.

Bedtime Books for Toddlers - I've Loved You Since Forever

3. I’ve Loved You Since Forever – Hoda Kotb & Suzie Mason

This is a lovely book about the endless love felt between a parent and a child. Inspired by the author’s adoption of her baby girl, it is excellent for all families. So it is not a surprise that the book became a New York Times #1 Bestseller. It is a tender book to read snuggled up together, over and over again. Fantastic for one-year-olds and up. “There was you, and there was me… you and I turned into we”.

Bedtime Books for Toddlers - I Love You Daddy

4. I Love You, Daddy – Jillian Harker & Kristina Stephenson

Little Bear is getting older, and daddy encourages him to go after new adventures. He’ll need help and be brave, but daddy loves him and believes in him, and they make a great team. We have the board book, a simplified and shorter version of the original, and it is excellent for 1-year-olds. Great gift for daddy and son so they can read together.

Bedtime Books for Toddlers - I Love You To The Moon And Back

5. I Love you to the Moon and Back – Amelia Hepworth & Tim Warnes

Mama bear and baby bear love to spend time together every day, where they play, share and love each other very much. It is a concise rhyming book, ideal for one-year-olds. The only thing that slightly bothers me about this book is that you would assume the title (which I think is so sweet) would be an essential line in the book… but it is not; it doesn’t appear. The title is the last line and iconic quote of “Guess How Much I Love You.” I do not understand the choice of title. But I guess this is just me. Aside from that, it is a very gentle and loving story that you will enjoy for sure. I’ve kept it in the list as it is one of the top Amazon Best Sellers.

Wishing goodnight:

Bedtime Books for Toddlers - Night Night Farm

6. Night Night Farm – Roger Priddy

A charming short and rhyming story about all the farm animals going to sleep. This board book is a lovely way to show your toddler how to go from awake to asleep, filled with adorable illustrations and with lift-the-flaps. I think it is ideal for 1 and 2-year-olds.

Bedtime Books for Toddlers - Goodnight Moon

7. Goodnight Moon – Margaret Wise Brown & Clement Hurd

This book is a classic. If you read it as a child, it will bring sweet memories, and you’ll probably know it by heart. However, it had not been read to me as a child, and when I saw it was a bestseller at the bookshop, I didn’t understand why it was so beloved – it looked outdated to me. But then I came across this reading by Susan Sarandon on Youtube, and my perception changed. With her soothing voice and rhythm, I now understand why it is a favorite bedtime book in many households. 

Bedtime routine:

These are great books with stories about bedtime and routine. Even if your way is slightly different, it is a great resource to talk about the steps we follow at home.

Bedtime Books for Toddlers - Llama llama nighty-night

8. Llama llama nighty – night – Anna Dewdney

A short and rhyming story about Baby Llama and his bedtime routine. From tidying up and brushing his teeth to getting into bed. Great for 1-year-olds.

Bedtime Books for Toddlers - Goodnight numbers

9. Goodnight, Numbers – Danica McKellar & Alicia Padrón

This is a sweet book that sneaks counting concepts from 1 to 10. We say goodnight to objects around the house – three wheels on the tricycle, five-pointed star – and hopefully make them sleepy while loving numbers.

Bedtime Books for Toddlers - Bedtime for Peppa

10. Bedtime for Peppa

Both my children loved Peppa when they were 2-3. So this is an excellent book to go over the bedtime routine with Peppa, George, and Mommy & Daddy Pig. It is a lovely book that we’ve enjoyed together for a long time.

Bedtime Books for Toddlers - Goodnight Daniel Tiger

11. Goodnight, Daniel Tiger – Angela C. Santomero & Gord Garwood

 This book is just like the episode “Goodnight, Daniel!” from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. You see, Daniel follows all the steps to get ready for bed: bathtime, pj’s, brush teeth, story and song, and off to bed! The book is filled with the lyrics from the songs sung during the episode (you can find it here, which will help you sing along and get your toddler engaged). The illustrations are scenes from the series. 

Bedtime books for toddlers - Time For Bed Elmo

12. Time for Bed, Elmo – Sarah Albee & Maggie Swanson

What I especially like about this book is that it mentions more than once that Elmo must clean up his room: put his toys away, close his closet’s door, pick up socks, find the missing puzzle piece… So on top of the bedtime routine that many books mention, this one does a particular focus on tidying up, and personally, I love a little helping book. Another thing that makes it different is that Elmo’s grown up in this book is a babysitter – so it works for all kinds of families. I think it is suitable for 2 and 3-year-olds.

Bedtime Books for Toddlers - Bedtime for Baby Shark

13. Bedtime for Baby Shark – John John Bajet

Ready for Baby Shark’s bedtime dance routine? With new lyrics to the famous song, we go through Baby Sharks’ bedtime routine, and although he doesn’t want to stay in bed, he falls fast asleep. Fun story to read/sing to your little musical one. If you are still enjoying the Baby Shark tune, this is a book for you!

Bedtime books for toddlers - Llama llama Red Pajama

14. Llama Llama Red Pajama – Anna Dewdney

This is a relatable story about Baby Llama and his mama during bedtime. Mama Llama kisses him good night and goes to do the dishes, but Baby Llama doesn’t want to be alone in his bed and calls and cries for his mama. (Sounds familiar? This happened to us almost every night 😅). It is a beautiful way to let your little one know that even if you are not there, you are always with him – and that mamas are sometimes busy, and they need to be more patient. We need our time and space too. Don’t we? 😉

Warning! Some people say it is scary, and others consider that Baby Llama’s tantrum is inappropriate and teaches their children to behave like that. In our case, we took it as an example of what not to do, and that’s it. Our children find it funny but don’t act it in real life. Yes, our son might call for us… but not tantrum-like like Baby Llama… but a soft and gentle “maaamaaaa”. So not all kids are affected by it. Nobody knows your toddler better than you. Your call. 😉

Vehicles:

These are toddler bedtime books to help them turn their engines off and dream about their friends on wheels.

Bedtime Books for Toddlers - Good night little blue truck

15. Good Night, Little Blue Truck – Alice Schertle & Jill McElmurry

I love this story about Little Blue Truck, his animal friends, and how they stick together when they are afraid of a thunderstorm right before bedtime. This #1 New York Times Bestseller is a lovely, friendly, and brave bedtime story for your little one.

Bedtime Books for Toddlers - Goodnight Digger

16. Goodnight Digger – Michelle Robinson & Nick East

A charming story about a little boy who says goodnight to all his toys and vehicles, especially his big digger. Joyful illustrations and easy rhyming words are a great choice if your toddler loves diggers, trucks, and vehicles. This book belongs to the Goodnight Series and is an excellent read for ages one and up. We love it.

Bedtime Books for Toddlers - Goodnight goodnight construction site

17. Goodnight, goodnight, Construction Site – Sherri Duskey Rinker & Tom Lichtenheld

If your toddler loves trucks and diggers be sure to get this story. All the vehicles at the construction site are ready to finish their day, rest their wheels, turn off their engines and get ready for sleep. This gentle rhyming book with vibrant illustrations is ideal for truck-crazy toddlers.

Bedtime Books for Toddlers - Goodnight Tractor

18. Goodnight Tractor – Michelle Robinson & Nick East

This is a charming story about a little boy who wishes goodnight to his truck, his toys, and animals around the farm. With a very serene rhyming text and beautiful and relatable illustrations, this can become your toddler’s favorite if he loves all things farm-related. This book also belongs to the Goodnight Series and is an excellent read for ages one and up.

Bedtime books for toddlers - The Goodnight Train

19. The Goodnight Train – June Sobel & Laura Huliska-Beith

This is a funny, whimsical book about a train with beds as wagons that takes off and rolls into the night… until everyone is asleep. Its text is soothing, and the illustrations are enchanting. Highly recommended for 2-year-olds.

Fantasy:

These are lovely picture books filled with magic and fantasy that your child (and you) will enjoy looking at.

Bedtime Books for Toddlers - Ten minutes to bed little unicorn

20. Ten Minutes to Bed Little Unicorn – Rhiannon Fielding & Chris Chatterton

This is a book from the Ten Minutes to Bed series, which we adore. Little Unicorn doesn’t want to go to bed. In this countdown story, you’ll go to beautiful places and meet magical friends until the countdown is over and Unicorn is fast asleep in his bed. The rhythm is soothing, and the illustrations from Chris Chatterton are simply marvelous.

Bedtime Books for Toddlers - Ten minutes to bed little Dinosaur

21. Ten Minutes to Bed Little Dinosaur – Rhiannon Fielding & Chris Chatterton

Another fantastic book from the “Ten Minutes to Bed” series. Rumble the dinosaur doesn’t feel like sleeping yet, and through his mother’s countdown, he has fun, splashes around, and even sees a volcano explode! This one is great for dinosaur-crazy toddlers, and the illustrations are vibrant and fantastic.

Bedtime Books for Toddlers - Ten minutes to bed little mermaid

22. Ten Minutes to Bed the rest of the Series – Rhiannon Fielding & Chris Chatterton

We love this series and can’t get enough of these books. However, I believe older toddlers will enjoy them more. The books are engaging, and the illustrations are marvelous and full of magic. We highly recommend Ten Minutes to Bed Little Mermaid (grandpa is counting down), Ten Minutes to Bed Little Monster,  and Ten Minutes to Bed Little Dragon (with a pair of sibling Dragons).

Bedtime Books for Toddlers - Goodnight Princess

23. Goodnight Princess – Michelle Robinson & Nick East

A goodnight story for princessy toddlers that dream with gowns, slippers, and crowns. Short and simple rhymes accompanied by sweet and (mostly) pink and purple illustrations. This book is ideal if your toddler is into pink and purple things. This book is also from the Goodnight Series.

Other bedtime books for toddlers:

Bedtime Books for Toddlers - Baby Bedtimes music book

24. Baby Bedtime’s Music Book – Sam Taplin

Sometimes it is not easy to get their attention. That is when I found sound books like this one great. The music is serene and soft, and the illustrations are also very peaceful. I enjoyed playing this book when my daughter was tiny; it soothed her and soothed me (and we know that we need it more often than not).

Bedtime Books for Toddlers - Usborne Lift-the-flap What is Sleep?

25. What is Sleep? – Usborne

This is not a traditional bedtime book, but it is related to bedtime, so I thought I would share it with you. This wonderful lift-the-flap book from Usborne explains what sleep is and why it is so important. I have few complaints about my children’s sleeping, but both started sleeping worse before their third birthday. This book has been a good resource to explain why we need to sleep and what sleep is to our bodies. I would say this is for older toddlers (around 3) and preschoolers.

Bedtime books for toddlers – a great resource for bonding and ending the day

I hope you will have enjoyed our selection and that you will have found it helpful. I wish to have been able to help you find a good book to share those warm and magical moments with your toddler before they drift into sleep.

YIn my opinion, you can not go wrong with any of the books on the list (although please consider the warnings and judge if they are a right fit for you and your family values). They are excellent bedtime stories for toddlers that can help you bond and cuddle before your children and baby sleep each night. If you would like to read our list of favorite books for 2-year-olds, you can check it out here.

I would love to hear if you’ve enjoyed any of these or if you have any other book suggestions that work great for you and your family. Please share with me in the comments section below! We are always interested in reading new books at home!

Night night *

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