Have you heard about the children’s book that claims to help your kids fall asleep, making bed time go really smoothly as they drift off while listening to the story? I was pretty intrigued by this, and had to try it for myself! We were sent a copy of the now-famous book ‘The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep’ and I tried it out with my four year old, who sometimes has a tendency to get out of bed after bed time to wander around and try to play with toys.
When I first heard of the book, I was confused about how one particular story book could really help children to fall asleep over another? But once we got the book and I took a look at it, it all became clear and as I started reading through it to myself I could totally see how it was going to work.
You see, The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep is not a typical bed time story book. It has some really unique features, and is almost hypnotic in nature.
It’s written by Carl-Johan Forssén Ehrlin, a behavioral scientist with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a teacher of communications at a Swedish university. He’s used his knowledge in these fields to put together this story that also works as a sleep aid.
What are the differences between The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep and other bed time story books? It is definitely a lot more repetitive, and the story keeps emphasising sleeping. The basic premise of the story is that the little rabbit wants to go to sleep and goes to see some friends and relatives to help him manage that. Each page mentions sleeping multiple times, and you’re given information at the start of the book on which sentences and words to emphasise and which to say in a slow soft voice.
The information about how to read the book for maximum effect is really helpful, and I did find that using these suggested voice tones was really effective with my boy.
The book also leaves a space for you to personalise parts of the story with your child’s name, but for me every time I said his name my son would get over excited and it seemed to rouse him again – undoing the benefit of the previous page or so, so after trial and error I decided to ditch the personalisation when reading it with my son and just ignore that part. It might work better for your child to keep that aspect- try it and see.
The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep is quite a bit longer than most toddler and preschooler picture books, so that gives more time for it’s magic to work too. I’ve heard of children falling asleep just a couple of pages in! But with my son, he stayed awake right until the end of the book, but was lying very quietly and still (apart from the parts with his name – which we quickly ditched, as mentioned above!)
As soon as the book was finished, he rolled onto his side, closed his eyes and settled straight down to sleep. It really does seem to put him in a calm and peaceful mindset ready for sleep, and makes him feel too sleepy to get up and try to play. I was pretty impressed with the results.
I will say, the book is not the most exciting (obviously – because it needs to be calming and not over excite) so my son didn’t love it as much as some of his other books, but I was really amazed with how effective it is in making a child feel sleepy. For us, it does do just as it promises and helps them to fall asleep!
I’m not using this every night, but as a secret weapon to keep on the book shelf for those times when you really want to be sure that your child will settle down quickly and get a good sleep, it’s golden!
Image source: Sleeping girl in bed Shutterstock (modified)