Children's Books on CD: Personalized for Your Child

My grandma used to record books on tape for us and I loved listening to them before bed. We read to ...

My grandma used to record books on tape for us and I loved listening to them before bed. We read to G before bed, but  he seems to have trouble settling right away once we leave the room so I decided to try recording myself reading to him. That way at night we can turn on the recording once we leave the room in hopes it will be helpful to calm him. He can follow along in his books if he's really awake. 

I picked about 10-15 of G's favorite books for this and tried to make the books as engaging as possible. I love the "Little Blue Truck" books because you can really exaggerate and have fun with the noises. I also like anything that rhymes nice because it has a soothing flow to it. 

I used to record books on my computer, but I found it was hard to commit to sitting at the computer to do it and I didn't like the sound quality I was getting- or the program I had to use. 

The easiest way I found to record this was to record it using my iPhone. The iPhone comes with an application called "Voice Memos." In the photo below, you can see it right beside the iTunes Store. 

Is it weird to be awkwardly
embarrassed by my apps?

Open the application and you can click the record button (the red one) to start recording. I made sure there weren't any aggravating background noises. 

As you record, you can pause as needed to take a sip of water or to grab the next book. You just push the red button to start and stop. When you're done, click DONE (to the right of the big red button) and title your recording. 

You can click on your recording now and you will see three options. The weird box with the arrow through it on the bottom left is what you want.

 Click on it and choose "mail"... Then you can email yourself the recording. My 20 minute recording was a small enough file to send through to my gmail account. 

Once you send that, you can go to your computer and download the file from your email. The file is a .m4a file. I saved it to my desktop and then right clicked it to open it in iTunes. I right clicked to add it to a playlist called "Godric's Books on CD," then opened the playlist. You can then right click the title of the playlist to see an option--- "Burn playlist to disc." Click on that. 

For my computer, it popped up with "Burn Settings" and I selected "maximum possible speed", "audio cd" format. Insert a blank CD-R into your disc drive and select "burn." When it's done, just eject it and write a label for it (or print one if you're REALLY motivated).

this is how I put books on cd for my son to help him sleep

Now you can just put the CD into a CD player in your child's room to play. Alternatively you could just put this on some type of device (iPhone, iPod, whatever) for your child. Probably easier, but G is only 2 years old so he can't use headphones and I don't have any spare devices that will play them aloud through speakers (unless I purchase speakers that work for my old iPod... not happening right now).

UPDATE: Daddy had an old iPod that plugs into the CD player so we switched to using that so it'll update easier than burning a CD as I add stories. We've done this for two nights and one nap now. First night, he fell asleep to 30 minute cd, woke at 3:30am, I went in and turned it back on, and he stayed in bed to listen to it. He eventually went back to sleep, although he was still a little awake when the 30 minutes ran out. For nap, he woke up at the end of his nap and I turned it on... he slept for another hour. Score! Second night, he went to sleep listening to it and didn't wake at all until 6am. I'm not sure how long it stayed on because it was on the iPod so theoretically it could've been on all night. Daddy said it was off when he went in this morning. 

I'm going to follow up to this blog post with a post on how to transfer cassette tapes to cd at some point because I'm trying to transfer all of my grandma's cassette readings onto a cd for my sons (and I'll probably be sending them to family as well) to listen to as they get older. I do think, however, that I will continue to use my phone rather than the computer to do my own recordings as I'd like to add to the boys' collection of books on CD. Maybe someday they can hand down the recordings of their great grandma and of their mom (me) to their kids and they can get passed down from generation to generation. What a great gift that would be. I hope they have an easier time transferring formats than I'm having transferring the cassette tapes to digital format though!



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DIY Danielle: Children's Books on CD: Personalized for Your Child
Children's Books on CD: Personalized for Your Child
DIY Danielle
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