It sounds like a simple question, but like all things baby-related, it’s not such a simple answer. The optimal bedtime for your baby can depend on a lot of factors which can vary from day to day.
In today’s video, I’ll give you some tips to help you figure out what those factors are and how they can help you determine the right time to say goodnight to your little one.
A question I get asked a lot is, “What time should I put my baby to bed?” That sounds like an easy question, doesn’t it? But it doesn’t really have an easy answer, so I’m gonna give you some guidelines today on when should your baby be going to bed.
Now, I like early bedtimes. I mean, I’m a huge fan of it, right? Because it means that my child is going to bed before she’s overtired, and I’m getting some sort of evening to myself. I mean, that is a necessity, in my opinion. Everybody needs time for themselves. So having my kids in bed by seven made a lot of sense to me and it was something I honestly enjoyed.
Most of the time I see babies going to bed too late, and children and toddlers and all children are usually going to bed too late. It’s very shocking sometimes to tell clients that seven o’clock is a great place for your baby to get going to bed. Eight o’clock I can live with as well as long as the daytime naps are supporting that.
And that’s really the bottom line here, is you have to look at what’s happening in the day. The better a baby sleeps during the day, the better she’s gonna sleep at night. Don’t let anyone tell you different, right?
If a baby becomes overtired, it is really the worst thing that could happen if you’re trying to encourage sleep. I mean, think about when you feel overtired. It’s a feeling of unrest really. You feel a bit jittery, your mind is kind of racing all over the place, and it’s very difficult to calm yourself down enough to let sleep come. And for babies, just amplify that by about 10. And they get wired and manic and jittery and hyper. All of those things show up.
And it can be a bit deceiving, because it looks like they’re in a pretty good mood and a look of parents think, oh, well, look at her. She’s just being a delight and racing around and really happy, or else really sad and waffling back and forth between those two all over the place.
That’s overtiredness, okay. So you wanna really keep a close eye on how much time awake is your child having? Now, there’s a great guide in The Sleep Sense Program that breaks it down by age range how much sleep a child needs, how much time awake a child can handle given their age. But let’s say for the sake of our discussion I’m talking about an eight month old. An eight month old, most eight month olds need about three hours of time awake, sometimes 3 1/2.
So if the last nap ends at three o’clock, right, then you know your baby’s gonna need to be in bed by about 6:30 in order to have a proper amount of fatigue and not too much. So, I guess the answer is somewhere between 6:30 and eight. But the most important thing to look at is daytime sleep and when the last nap ends. You don’t want too much time to go by between that last nap and bedtime, or you will run into a problem with overtiredness.
Thanks so much for watching today. Sleep well.
If your baby, infant or toddler is having trouble sleeping through the night, help is just a click away! The Sleep Sense Program has helped over 57,00 parents to get their kids sleeping 11-12 hours through the night AND taking long, restful naps during the day. If you’re ready to get started today – I’m looking forward to helping you!