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How Bedtime Stories Improve Children's Development and Well-being

In light of World Book Day (and yes my kids are very excited!), I thought we'd touch on bedtime stories.

Bedtime routines can often feel quite rushed, especially as working parents and I've been there too with my second child where it's harder to fit the stories in! I've also seen cases where stories can even be quite stimulating at bedtime for kids, and it has the opposite effect. If this is you - don't worry! Story time can be done at anytime, in a way that works for you. But there are huge benefits of incorporating it into your day with your child.

  1. The Wind Down Whether this is bedtime, or needed quiet time in the day - it can help them feel more relaxed and part of that wind down especially at bedtime. It's calm, and brings us that full connection time with our child ahead of bedtime which often they need to feel that for that contentedness and sleep.

  2. Secure Attachments Did you know that having that connection time help promotes that secure attachment with our kids? And it's not just in the connection - it's in the routine and boundaries too! Have you been in that position with your toddler where they ask you for "one more story" a million times? We say no every time, until we cave and give in! And yes, they are glad they got the story! But the reason why they push that boundary is mostly to ensure we are true to our word and it keeps that secure attachment. So consistency in the routine is also key for them too - and for the ease of the routine!

  3. The Rhythmic Routine Where you have a solid cue in the bedtime routine such as a story/song - they know the next stage is sleep! Their bodies can relax, and start to recognise sleepy cues knowing sleep time will be coming soon.

  4. Cognitive Benefits There are lots of evidence to show that reading stories to our kids from the early years helps improve their cognitive function, memory, language and numeracy skills. And this increased learning shows benefits up until age 11!

Two children reading on bed with fairy lights in background
Bedtime Stories

The bedtime routine itself - should always be brief! 30-40 minutes at a maximum so not to overstimulate. And I know this can be harder, especially in the toddler years where procrastination is key. Ensure to start at the time where they are starting to feel tired, and aim to have them asleep within that 30 minutes. I know this is easier said than done - and there are great Toddler Bedtime Solutions here in this program!

For older kids and pre-teens, you may find audiobooks a great alternative too for this wind down time ahead of sleep. I highly recommend "Your Floating Bed" as a fantastic podcast/meditation listen ahead of bed for those who struggle to switch off!

I know bedtime battles can be tough though for any age - and if you'd like support in this please do reach out or book in a chat below!

Jade Sleep Nanny

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