The Best Holiday Bedtime Books

The Best Holiday Bedtime Books

‘Tis the season to sit back, relax and enjoy a good holiday book with baby. After all, baby’s got enough holiday spirit to fill the North Pole – their bookshelf’s gotta represent.

So we rounded up some seasonal reads that would be perfect for a cozy winter’s night. Here are eight of our favorites – from the very sweet to the very oddball – that’ll leave both baby and you dreaming of sugar plums…

  1. The Little Gift of Nothing

This board book about nothing by Patrick McDonnell is everrrrything this holiday season. It tells the story of a cat on the search for the perfect gift for his dog BFF. It’s a small book that packs a pretty big message. Warning: The last part is so touching you might have to practice your “I’m not crying, I’ve just got allergies!” speech before reading it to baby.

  1. Samurai Santa: A Very Ninja Christmas

Hands down, our favorite holiday read to hit bookshelves in recent years. It’s about a little ninja named Yukio who plots to kick Santa out of Ninja Village so he can orchestrate a truly EPIC snowball fight. We won’t ruin the end for you, but let’s just say that Yukio gets everything he hoped for and much, much more. The Japanese-inspired art and hilarious plot from Rubin Pingk are sure to capture the whole family’s imagination.

  1. I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Dreidel

The premise of this Chanukah tale by Caryn Yacowitz about an old lady who swallowed a dreidel (that she thought was a bagel, of course) is original enough. But the witty illustrations that reference famous works of art – by Rembrandt, Andy Warhol, Edward Hopper and more – make this book just the thing to read before dreamtime.

  1. Baby Reindeer: Finger Puppet Book

Taiwanese illustrator Yu-hsuan Huang’s miniature finger-puppet board book is impossible not to adore, no matter your age. It follows Baby Reindeer on a typical day, as he explores the snowy tundra and icy river. It’s so gentle and calming that we’re kinda thinking of reading it to help ourselves fall asleep too!

  1. Snowmen at Christmas

How do snowmen celebrate the night before Christmas? This charming, completely enchanting read by Caralyn Buehner uncovers the truth (hint: it involves snow cones and freeze tag!). Aside from the oh-what-fun storyline, you’ll love picking out all the details in the illustrations with your little one.

  1. Penguin Problems

We’re sorta obsessed with this book by Jory John about a very pessimistic – and yet totally adorable – penguin who literally can’t even deal with his life. The snow, his cold beak, the salty ocean, oh the horror! Underneath all the complaining, though, is a sweet message that’s perfect for the holiday season.

  1. Gracie’s Night: A Hanukkah Story

Lynn Taylor Gordon’s story of a girl named Gracie, who gets a job at Macy’s to buy her papa a Hanukkah gift, will tug at your heartstrings (get that allergy speech ready again!). And the soothing rhymes and magical illustrations of New York City make it particularly perfect for bedtime. It’s no wonder it’s a Mom’s Choice Gold Medal winner.

  1. The Night Before Christmas: A Bedtime Shadow Book

The classic by Clement Clarke Moore gets a 21st century update thanks to an innovative shadow-book format. Shine a flashlight on the cut-out illustrations to bring the story of St. Nick and his eight tiny reindeer to life on baby’s very own nursery walls.

Got a bedtime book to add to our list? Share your favorite holiday reads with us on Facebook or Twitter!

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Natalie Barnett, PhD serves as VP of Clinical Research at Nanit. Natalie initiated sleep research collaborations at Nanit and in her current role, Natalie oversees collaborations with researchers at hospitals and universities around the world who use the Nanit camera to better understand pediatric sleep and leads the internal sleep and development research programs at Nanit. Natalie holds a Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of New England in Australia and a Postgraduate Certificate in Pediatric Sleep Science from the University of Western Australia. Natalie was an Assistant Professor in the Neurogenetics Unit at NYU School of Medicine prior to joining Nanit. Natalie is also the voice of Nanit's science-backed, personalized sleep tips delivered to users throughout their baby's first few years.

Kristy Ojala is Nanit’s Digital Content Director. She spends way too much time looking at maps and weather forecasts and pictures of Devon Rex cats and no-cook dinners. A former sleep champion, she strives to share trustworthy somnabulism tips with other parents—praying for that one fine day when no tiny humans wake her up while it’s still dark out. Her kids highly recommend 3 books, approximately 600 stuffies, Chopin’s “Nocturnes,” and the Nanit Sound + Light for bedtime success.

Mackenzie Sangster is on the Brand and Community team at Nanit. She supports content development and editing for Nanit’s Parent Confidently blog as well as other marketing initiatives. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her friends, cooking, being active, and using the Pro + Flex Duo to keep an eye on her fur-baby, Poppy!

Holly Hays is a contributor and writer for Nanit, channeling her years as a mama and former magazine editor to create fun, useful content for fellow busy, trying-to-do-their-best parents and caregivers. Holly has written for a wide range of brands and media outlets (Ergobaby, HGTV, Manhattan Toy Company, OXO), loves to cook and read mystery novels, and leans heavily on her two daughters to keep her up to date on all the latest slang.