Over the past month or so, we’ve gotten Lauren into a pretty good bedtime routine. Is it perfect? Noooo! Does she just quietly drift off to sleep every night exactly at the right time? Noooo! But about 80% of the time we can get her wound down and relaxed enough so that when we put her in the crib, she go to sleep without a big fuss.
A part of that routine are the bedtime stories.
James reading to Lauren last night
In the beginning, I don’t think Lauren cared what books we read or how many times we read them, but lately she seems to be able to tell the difference. That said we have a nightly rotation of stories we read (over and over again), that I wanted to share with you guys.
As a bit of an introduction, I wanted to point out that these are all board books, books who’s pages are made of cardboard instead of paper. Typically I put Lauren in my lap and let her turn the pages as we read the story. And whereas she has some nice paper page books I don’t want ruined just yet, we read the board books. I also want to say that these are not the only books we read as Lauren has quite a few others that make their way into the rotation. these are just our staples (for now).
“The Belly Button Book” by Sandra Boynton
Have you ever heard of Sandra Boynton?? I hadn’t until we started this bedtime story routine. She writes cute short board books. This one is the story of how much hippos love their belly buttons. I didn’t even know hippos had belly buttons!! But on the nights when Lauren’s really wound up, this is fun enough to catch her attention before we move on to more subdued selections.
“Your Personal Penguin” by Sandra Boynton
This is another Sandra Boynton board book. It’s the story of a penguin weither falls in love or wants to be besties with a hippo. So it’s the penguin’s plea to be the hippo’s “Personal Penguin”. Apparently there’s a song to go along with it, but I’ve never heard it. I just read this book in my most calm voice and give LDH big hugs on the books’ cues.
Before I leave Sandra’s books I want to mention that they are all small and portable and packed really well for our trip to NYC.
“I Know My Mommy Loves Me” by Cathrine Beachwood
This is story of a little boy and his mother going though out the day. He tells the story of each part and afterward says “I know my mommy loves me”. Even though I’m not with Lauren nearly as much as the lady in this story is with her son, I like to read this to remind her how much I love her. My sister bought this for me when she came down the weekend right after Lauren was born and I’ve always thought it was really special
As another side note, by now I’ve read each of the above stories twice, maybe 3 times. So if Lauren’s still not rubbing her eyes like she’s sleepy, and mommy’s voice needs a break we move on to another one of our faves:
“Bright and Beautiful”, An Anglican Hymn
This is one of those Hallmark recordable storybooks. My mom’s voice is on the recording. She made this book when she came to stay with me right after Lauren was born. It’s a beautiful book based off an old Anglican hymn. It’s nice to wrap up the night by having my mom read both of us a story.
And by then, on most night’s Lauren’s tired. So we do our nighttime rituals: close closet doors, close blinds and curtains, ring dream catcher, and turn on her Myrtle the Turtle night light, and it’s lights out. We make sure she’s tucked in, maybe sing one Rock-a-Bye Baby, and then we’re outta there…. and by then so is she.
Lauren Sleeping (April 2011)