What time does your baby go to bed? What time would you like baby to go to bed? Probably two different answers for many of you I suspect. Last question: what time should your baby go to bed? Read on to find out...
Consistent bedtime is important
When it comes to babies and children, being consistent is key. It goes for everything- house rules, meal times, bedtimes, nap times. And consistency at bedtime is SO important if you want to foster good sleep habits for life. Babies who have variations in the time that they go to bed are less likely to have a good day time routine, and find it harder to fall asleep in general. Babies (and adults) thrive on routine so its vital we take that into consideration when we're winding down at the end of the day.
What time should bedtime be?
Too early and your little one is going to get up too early as a result, or she's going to find it hard to fall asleep in the first place. Too late, and over tiredness can become an issue. So how do we know what exactly is the right time to go to bed? It's all linked to how much sleep a baby needs at different stages of their lives, and once you have that on board, bedtime is obvious.
A newborn baby is a different kettle of fish altogether, because they need to literally eat around the clock for at least the first few weeks. So as your baby is waking for feeds so often, bedtime is much harder to pin down. This can be tricky when you have older kids though, so make sure you stick to their bedtime like glue!
Slightly older babies need around 14-15 hours sleep a day, and this means that they can start to have what resembles a bedtime. Although it can be anywhere between 8-11pm. What works for you and your family works.
From around 4 months of age, babies need on average 14-15 hours sleep, with 2-3 hours awake time in between. So this means that bedtime can become a little more predictable for some, with your baby needing go down between 6-7.30pm. Again, the time will depend on you and when they had their last nap of the day.
Older babies need around 12-15 hours sleep a day, with on average 3 hours awake time in between. Again, you can determine bedtime based on this rule. So the average 8-10 month old can be expected to go down around 6/7pm in general.
At this age, babies need 12-14 hours sleep, with 3-4 hour awake time, so you have a little more flexibility and probably more of a structured routine, since you need to fit naps into the day too. A usual bedtime at this age is between6-8pm.
15 months- 3 years
As your baby turns into a toddler, sleep needs change. So at this age, she will still need around 12-14 hours sleep a day, but she'll have a good 5 hours awake time in between. A good bedtime is again around 6-8pm, and this means that at some point she'll drop to just one nap a day too. As she adjusts to less sleep, your baby is likely to need to go to bed a little earlier than usual, probably from 6pm, but she should be able to settle a little later as she gets used to less daytime sleep.
What time does your baby go to bed?