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How to Best Lull Your Child to Sleep with Stories

Updated: Jan 31

A mother reading a story to her sun in bed

Brushing teeth, getting into pajamas, and then listening to a bedtime story: this is a common evening routine in many children's rooms. Especially the story is eagerly anticipated by the children. To ensure your child drifts off into dreamland each night, we reveal some tricks you should keep in mind when reading aloud.

Reading Aloud Before Sleep

Do you and your child have a bedtime routine you follow every night? Bedtime routines prepare your child for going to bed and falling asleep. It acts as an evening ritual. Reading a story can be an integral part of your bedtime routine.

Reading to your child in the evening helps them calm down and fall asleep faster. The story also serves as a great distraction from swirling thoughts and worries, especially if your child is afraid of the dark. Thus, your child focuses more on the story you're reading, allowing them to drift off without worries.

Making it a habit to read to your child every night can be beneficial:

Studies have shown that a bedtime routine helps your child:

  • Fall asleep faster

  • Sleep through the night more often

  • Get back to sleep quickly if they wake up during the night

Choosing the Right Bedtime Story

In the evening, the story should help your child relax. Exciting books can keep your child awake, eager to find out what happens next. Opt for familiar stories in the evening. Knowing how the story ends, your child won't feel the urge to stay awake till the conclusion. This allows them to relax and listen.

Fairy tales are undoubtedly classics for reading aloud. However, many traditional tales, like Hansel and Gretel, contain spooky elements. Mindful fairy tales, which omit the scary parts, are an excellent alternative to ensure your child sleeps peacefully.

Today, there's a vast selection of relaxing stories designed to aid your child's sleep. Guided dream journeys and meditation tales are structured to ensure total relaxation, making bedtime a breeze.

Use Your Voice Effectively

The way you read a story can influence its impact on your child. Reading aloud with enthusiasm and using different voices for characters can captivate your child. However, in the evening, it's okay to take a more subdued approach.

Reading slowly and softly creates a calm atmosphere, helping your child relax. Many sleep stories gradually decrease in volume as they progress. Try incorporating some of these techniques into your nightly reading routine.

3 Tips for Evening Reading

  • Read slowly with a calm voice

  • Gradually lower your volume towards the end of the story

  • Occasionally yawn to emphasize the sleepy ambiance

Should You Show Pictures in the Evening?

Many children's books feature beautiful illustrations. While they can enhance the storytelling experience, sometimes they can also distract, especially if children comment on them or flip ahead. If this is the case, consider reading without showing the illustrations. You can always revisit them the next morning.

Drift into Dreamland with Audio Stories

Audiobooks and narrated stories can be seamlessly integrated into your bedtime routine. Your child can listen to these stories independently or with you. Not having to read yourself allows you to give your child undivided attention. You can cuddle up and relax together.

In the ZuZu app, you'll find an endless range of bedtime stories, dream journeys, and mindful fairy tales that will ensure your child falls asleep quickly, even on nights when you're not reading.

A bedtime story is a cherished evening ritual. It aids in quicker sleep onset for your child. If you ever don't feel like reading, ZuZu offers a vast selection of suitable tales, allowing both you and your child to relax. We wish you and your little one a restful night 🌟.


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