D.C. Area Babies

how to incorporate storytime into bedtime?

Hi Ladies,

I'm trying to get into a routine of reading to DS before he goes to sleep. The issue is that he's like a light- squirmy and then all of a sudden, he's out. It's made for very difficult storytime. Am I starting to read to him too early? He seems to like books- he loves opening and closing them and touching the touch-and-feel board books. But as far as sitting somewhat still and being read to, not so much. Any tips would be appreciated!

Re: how to incorporate storytime into bedtime?

  • DD is somewhat similar. She's always trying to grab the book, close it and throw it. Sometimes when I read to her at night, she just gets fussy because she's tired and wants to go to bed. I tried the touch and feel books but she's not really into it yet. I have some board books with the flaps where she gets to open up the flap to see what's under it. Those seem to be her favorite right now so we read those a lot. I've also switched to mainly reading to her in the morning after her bottle. She's awake and alert. Now after her morning bottle, she sits up and says, "Booo Booo" (for book). At night, we don't even do a routine. She's usually so exhausted that we just put her to bed and she goes to sleep.

    So, maybe try at a different time of day? Or try different kinds of books? And yes, I think all of the research says to start reading early so you are doing the right thing. What I had to remind myself is that I don't have to read every word and I don't even have to finish the book. Even if she's getting the motions of turning the pages, or hearing words which I might not say in day to day conversation (hippopotamus), or just being exposed to looking at pictures, it's all good for her development.

     

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  • I was a reading freak and started reading to DD the day we came home from the hospital. We read every day; recently she's not too interested at bedtime but as long as we read sometime, it's fine. I let her choose the books now that she's older (19mo); she not only has her fave books but her fave pages and images in the books. She can tell me which book she wants to read. Sometimes I read out loud while she plays on the floor, next to me (I'm in a glider) and I know she's at least getting something out of it.

    It's never too early to start IMO.

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  • Since I work, on weekdays we read books before bed.  My DD can be similar to your LO.  She likes turning the pages and sometimes she isn't focusing-  she fidgets or throws the book, but that's OK, it is the habit we are building.  I'll tell you her favorite books at this age are lift the flap, Dear Zoo is almost nightly, and this little cheap board book at Borders that has one picture and word per page called Bedtime (there are others ones too, they are square with a puffy bright colored cover).  She really loves that one.  I think it holds her attention.  I also rarely read all the words at night, we just make up stories as we go along.  On weekends, we read a few times a day and then we do the longer books that I was able to read her when she was younger (and less fidgety) like Bear Snores On, Brown Bear, and Boynton's Books.  She is more awake and more able to focus then.  I also leave books out for her to play with and she often turns the pages and points to things in her quiet play with herself.    
  • My DD is also extremely squirmy, so I feel your pain. We still give her a bottle before she goes down, so I read to her while giving her the bottle. She basically sits still for it because she's also busy drinking. She also likes to hold the book and play with the pages, and when she's done with the bottle, I'll let her sit with the book and play with it for a little while, but I do the actual reading while she's drinking.
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  • Our bedtime routine is bath, jammies, go downstairs to the living room couch for stories and some milk.  We started this routine when she was still getting a bottle, so she got used to it early. 

    I would just read to him or let him feel the books or get books that you sing stories/songs as you read.  We had a Wheels on the Bus and Thomas book that would keep her interested because she sang along.  I would also get really repetitive books like Brown Bear, Brown Bear.  She was always more interested in stories that she could "read" with us and participate.  We also had/have to remind her sometimes about behavior during story time.  No playing with toys, running around, not paying attention.  Over time he will learn and begin to enjoy it. 

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  • We started reading to Maggie around 9mo.  At that age she really didn't pay much attention.  At the squirmy ages she really just wanted to turn the pages super fast or grab the book away.  We just kept trying - kept it to quick books without too many words per page. We would do bath, then books, then bedtime.  The order is still pretty much the same for Maggie and Molly gets a bottle before the book (does help to calm her down a bit).

    How long have you been reading at night with him?  It may be he just needs to settle into a routine with it.   Right now Molly is nearly impossible to read to - she would rather crawl all over me than sit and listen to a book - and Maggie went through that stage too.

    We do read at other times of the day though too for Molly.  Maggie is pretty much just bedtime (but we read for 20-30min then) and at other times she looks at books herself or uses her Tag Jr. system.

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  • We started DS right away, so I believe it's never too early to start reading to them!  Officially, we started bedtime stories at right around 3 or 4 months.  We do bath, books, bed.  When DS was still BFing or taking a bottle, it was bath, food, books, bed.

    He has gone through many squirmy phases.  Just do the best that you can.  At 12 months old, he loved books with lots of pictures with labels.  First words books were great.  Don't worry about getting all of the words in.  Let him turn the pages and read what you can on each page, or just identify things on the page.  

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  • We have been reading to Warner since he was born--it's never too early!! And we used to read 3-4 books to him every night before bed (unless he was clearly too sleepy). Reading to him was our number one activity for most of his first year.

    Then he started walking.

    Now he almost never has any patience to sit and let us read him a book. Occasionally, we can get through a whole book, but usually it's just a couple pages and then he's done. At night, now I still always try to start a book with him, but he usually will just grab for it and then try to eat it or throw it--anything but reading!! So we keep trying, I know he'll come back to liking it at some point.

    ETA: one thing I read was that kids will sometimes respond better to books if you sing the words. I'm not quite talented enough to do this for all books, so I'll usually just use a sing-song voice and Warner does like it when I do that :-)

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  • rnin02rnin02 member
    I read  him one book before bed, usually while I am holding him right before he goes into his crib. We read "the good night book" by sandra boynton (i think that's the title...). Its short, decent pictures and its also a good opportunity to associate words with items (when they brush their teeth, I touch DS's teeth, when they put on their pajamas, I touch his pjs, etc). He's rarely in the mood for a longer book, but we have them available for him to look at whenever he wants, and he is starting to bring them to us more and more to read.
  • image Sofka:

    I was a reading freak and started reading to DD the day we came home from the hospital. We read every day; recently she's not too interested at bedtime but as long as we read sometime, it's fine. I let her choose the books now that she's older (19mo); she not only has her fave books but her fave pages and images in the books. She can tell me which book she wants to read. Sometimes I read out loud while she plays on the floor, next to me (I'm in a glider) and I know she's at least getting something out of it.

    It's never too early to start IMO.

    this.  i didn't know what else to do with her even at 1 month, so i started reading to her.  i read to her every day.  as far as the bedtime routine goes, i think it's trial and error with books, eventually they'll get interested. 

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