I get asked this question almost daily so thought it was about time I cleared this tricky sleep question up. But it’s not just a simple question of timing is it….
When should they have a regular bedtime? Does it matter if it’s not quite the same every night? How long does their bedtime routine need to be? Is it okay to skip having a bath sometimes?
It’s not surprising that we can tie ourselves up in knots trying to find that perfect equilibrium that will result in a good nights sleep!
So when should bedtime be? Some little ones go to sleep at 6pm, some go to bed at 10pm. Some little ones wake up at 5am, some wake up 9am. There really isn’t a right or wrong time as long as it is working for you and your family.
If you think your little one is going to bed overtired, maybe bring their bedtime forwards by half an hour. If you think they are actually not quite tired enough then push it back by 30 minutes. It can be a process of trial and error when it comes to what is the right bedtime for your little one but when you find something that works for you then ignore what everyone is doing, they are probably just trying to find what works for them too!
When babies are very little is perfectly normal for them to stay up with you until you decide to go to bed. Some will naturally find their own bedtime but many won’t until around the age of six months when they start weaning and their circadian rhythm matures.
Having a bedtime routine can help to establish this, but spending hours doing a bath, massage, story book, singing lullabies and then feeding can often be wasted on little babies. Simply have a few key steps that you follow each time and that will set them up for much smoother bedtimes (this goes for older kiddies too!).
If you think you need help with your little ones bedtime contact me HERE for your FREE 15 minute telephone consultation