Five Signs Bedtime Should Be Earlier!
Hi Lovebugs! I find I am always getting the question: what should my baby's bedtime be? Let me tell you, there is no straight forward answer for this. You will find that your baby's bedtime will shift quite often in the first 2 years a life as their sleep needs change, and the number of naps per day change. Below, I outline the five signs that bedtime should be earlier. If you're curious on what your baby's ideal bedtime and nap times should be, I encourage you to download Lovebug, take advantage of our free trial, and find out for yourself!
- Your baby’s bedtime is later than 8pm. Babies, unlike adults, tend to fall asleep in the first few hours of the night (between 5pm and 7pm). If you keep your child up later than 8pm, you could be interfering and even disrupting their natural tendency to fall and stay asleep.
- Your baby is waking up in the early morning. I used to think that keeping a baby up later meant they would sleep late into the morning, but after working with tons of families, it’s not true. When your baby stays awake past their natural bedtime, they produce adrenaline to keep themselves awake. The adrenaline doesn’t wear off quickly, resulting in more wake-ups in the first half of the night and actually causing them to wake EARLIER.
- Your baby is fussy, grouchy, or hyper during bedtime routine. Your baby should be calm for the majority of their bedtime routine. If they go into a fussy, grouchy or hyper state, it’s usually because they are experiencing a surge of adrenaline.
- Your baby had bad naps that day. If your baby is getting less day sleep than we want, they can keep their sleep balance by sleeping at night. If you find your baby had short crummy naps, then an early bedtime will do the trick.
- You have a cat nap in the late afternoon. A lot of times, we offer our babies a cat nap in the late afternoon, thinking they just want a nap, but really they are ready to go down for the night. If you are always offering a nap after 4:30pm, try switching that to a 5-6pm bedtime instead.
If you think it’s time to move to an earlier bedtime, try starting your bedtime routine 15 minutes earlier each day. You may find that an earlier bedtime means longer nights, fewer wake ups and that they fall asleep more quickly after you put them in their crib.
How Lovebug will customize to your family to determine your baby's ideal bedtime:
- All you have to do is log your baby's sleep, and Lovebug will provide you with a custom sleep schedule that updates hourly! Have a day of crummy naps? Lovebug will suggest an early bedtime! Miss a nap, thats ok too! Lovebug will adjust to your child & their sleep needs.
- Choose when you want your little one to wake up in the morning! Lovebug will adjust your your naps & bedtime to get you there.
What else Lovebug will do to help your family determine baby's ideal bedtime:
- Lovebug will sync with your entire care team! Grandma putting baby down so you can have a date night? Grandmas Lovebug app will notify her when it's time to start the bedtime routine.
Want to watch our video lesson series on what to do if you're struggling with bedtime battles? You can watch the entire series here.