That’s the message from BookTrust – the UK’s largest children’s reading charity - which is aiming to put bedtime stories firmly at the centre of a good night’s sleep.
Bath, Book, Bed is a national campaign being supported locally by Children’s Centres, Libraries and The National Literacy Trust’s Middlesbrough Hub.
One of the biggest challenges facing parents and carers with young children is lack of sleep – so getting the little ones off to the land of nod is critical for all involved.
Research by BookTrust reveals new parents are severely sleep deprived in the child’s first few years, losing out on a staggering 657 hours per year which equates to almost four weeks of lost sleep.
Bath, Book, Bed aims to equip parents and carers with the tips and techniques they need to get their youngsters down without the need for a bedtime battle.
Benefits include earlier bedtimes, shorter amount of time in bed before falling asleep, less night-wakings and longer sleep duration.
And regular language-based bedtime routines such as singing, reading, or storytelling are associated with children’s increased sleep duration and improved cognitive skills.
But it doesn’t stop there. The same routine every night involving a story won’t just help them fall asleep – it will also feed their imagination, creativity and confidence.
Book Trust’s Bath, Book, Bed booklet contains tips and advice from TV parenting guru Jo Frost and features the wise words of Daddy Pig on reading with children and bedtime routines.
Middlesbrough parents can pick up their free copy, along with Peppa Pig stories, donated by Penguin Random House through the National Literacy Trust’s Middlesbrough Hub, to read at bedtime, from any Middlesbrough Healthy Child Clinic during the week beginning Monday, October 2.
Councillor Mick Thompson, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Culture and Communities, said: “We all know the importance of a good night’s sleep, but for parents and carers with young children it can take on a whole new complexion
“A proper night’s sleep means little one will learn and develop more quickly, and children who are read to every night have a head start at school compared with those who aren’t.
“Bath, Book, Bed is a great way to help parents find a routine that works, and will stand their young ones in good stead for the rest of their lives.”
For more information visit fis.middlesbrough.gov.uk and search for ‘baby and child health clinics’