Kids Book Review: The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep by Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin (translated)

For anyone who has tried unsuccessfully to get your kids to sleep at a consistent and decent time, this book is worth a try. Every parent knows that each child is different and what works for one may not work for the other. So I can only tell you about my experience with bedtime in our house, which has always been an issue. Hopefully, this helps you.

Roger the Rabbit is so very sleepy, but just can not fall asleep. His Daddy and his siblings never seem to have trouble falling asleep, but Roger can not seem to fall asleep like them. He sees that Mommy Rabbit is still awake and she suggests that Roger put all of this questions and thoughts into a box that can be opened in the morning. Then, they take a walk to see Uncle Yawn, who has powerful and mystical powers to make rabbits and people fall asleep. Mommy Rabbit and Roger encounter the Sleepy Snail and the Heavy-Eyed Owl along the way. Roger gets more and more sleepy as the story unfolds. When they reach Uncle Yawn, he sprinkles his magic sleeping powder on Roger and instructs him to go straight to bed. However, Roger is getting so sleepy that each step on the way home becomes harder and harder. He is so tired by time he gets home that he has a hard time even opening his door. Once in bed, Roger slips into a deep sleep without any problems. Each night in the future, sleep comes easier and faster for Roger.

This book is written by someone who clearly understands how to get children to relax and calm down enough for a peaceful and restful sleep. It was first written in Sweden and became so popular that it has been translated to several other languages, including English (thank goodness!). The story and illustrations are adorable and uncomplicated. There is even a page of easy-to-follow instruction for parents on how to read the story each night. Cues throughout the story tell parents when to emphasize phrases and when to speak softer and slower, creating a relaxing and restful atmosphere. There are even cues on where to insert a yawn, but I challenge you to not actually be yawning on cue!

Anyone who knows my son knows that he likes to stay up and play all night long, especially if someone else is awake. Bedtime has always been a struggle in our house. We have tried the lavender baths, white noise, dim night-light, humidifier, consistent bedtime, no snacks a couple of hours before bed, etc. We discovered Dr. Seuss’ Sleep Book last year and had tremendous success with that book. My son loves the rhyming story and silly characters yawning and going through their bedtime routines. However, he always went to bed at the end of the story because he wanted to see all of the illustrations. Dr. Seuss’ Sleep Book, along with out bedtime routine, was always enough for us because at least he was falling asleep in his own bed by the end of the story, which took about 25-30 minutes to read.

We introduced The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep one night recently and the result was almost instant. The first night, he stayed awake through the entire story, but it was a struggle for him to do so. The next night, we went through our bedtime routine – teeth brushing, potty, and a story – around 8pm. I expected him to be asleep by 8:45 or 9:00, but I was surprised that he was sound asleep by the third page, around 8:30! The following night, he seemed so tired by 7:30 that we started our bedtime routine earlier than normal. He was asleep by the third page again, by 8:15! A week into reading this book consistently at bedtime, my son is now asking to go to bed around 7:45 and looks forward to hearing about Roger and Mommy Rabbit. Not only is he going to sleep earlier, but his sleep is much more restful and he is in his own bed!

The sleep psychology in this book is hypnotic and safe in creating a reasonable bedtime. It is clearly written by intelligent people who know what they are doing when it comes to the topic of sleep. I highly recommend this book for any parent that has trouble with bedtime in their house! My only regret is that I had not ordered this book sooner!

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