While nearly three in four parents believe the night time ritual offers an important bonding experience and helps them connect, a quarter of Aussie kids are only read to once a week - or not at all, according to the Oxford Children's Language Australia study.
Three out of four parents in the 1000-strong survey said they struggled to find time to read with their primary school-aged kids.
More than half also said they were nervous about reading to their child because of their own reading abilities.
But as a result, children are missing out on vital skills that could disadvantage them later in life, says a concerned Lee Walker, director of publishing at Oxford University Press.
"It's not just the advancement of literacy and communication skills bedtime reading provides to children, it also provides a special moment at the end of each day where parents and children can bond," she said.
"It's worrying that these moments are currently being lost across Australia because parents are struggling to find the time in their everyday routine."
Expert literacy educator, Annie Facchinette, says reading with a child doesn't have to be an arduous task - it could be as simple as reading the shopping list, road signs or posters on a walk.
Siblings can also help read to each other, if there is insufficient time for parents to, and nervous mums and dads might benefit from doing a practise run to familiarise themselves with trickier words and expressions, she says.
But the benefits of daily story times are innumerable.
"It shows your child you value reading and helps them become better and more confident readers," Ms Facchinette says.
"It also increases their vocabulary, opens them up to new ideas and is great bonding time for parents and their children.
"Make it a habit you both look forward to."
AAP with The Project