Does my baby NEED a consistent bedtime?

A baby's bedtime does not always have to be consistent. You can keep your baby on track by modifying it based on that day's nap schedule.

Lovebug, LLC

Let's talk about baby's bedtime💤! A question parents are ALWAYS asking us: does my baby NEED to have a consistent bedtime? ⁠

Our answer: not always! ⁠Let us explain. ⁠

A consistent daily bedtime can help to keep your little one's body clock🕐 regulated once they are over 4 months adjusted, and we like that! But it is actually more important to have a consistent wake time. A flexible bedtime can be a great item in your toolkit to keep your baby well rested, and it is important to know when your baby's bedtime should be flexible. It is a very good practice to watch👀 your child’s mood and activity in the late afternoon and react appropriately. What do we mean by this?⁠
Let's say baby didn't get a great nap today😩. Perhaps they took a shorter nap than usual? Or they fell asleep in the car🚙 or on a walk🚶🏽‍♀️when you didn't want them to? (THE WORST).
It happens! Don't stress! Missing or taking short naps means baby likely didn't get enough sleep that day to fill their sleep cup🥤. This can often result in a crabby baby 🦀. ⁠This is when we can rebalance sleep at night to fill the cup.
It is good practice to pay close attention to your child's mood and sleepy signs. If you find yourself with a crabby baby, a hyper baby, or a crying baby during their bedtime routine, it’s likely a sign that they’re overtired. In this case, try putting your little one down for bed 30 minutes to an hour earlier than normal. ⁠

Now, let's look at this from the opposite perspective. Baby absolutely CRUSHED their nap and slept longer than they typically do (YEEEHAW🤠). Is it OK to push bedtime back a bit to compensate for this? Not by very much. Keeping an upper limit on bedtime will help them keep restful sleep and avoid early wakings.

Want us to let you in on a cool little secret about the Lovebug app📱? WE'VE GOT YOUR BACK HERE. You'll never have to wonder when to put baby down again! You log baby's daily sleep - and Lovebug will tell you when and how to shift your bedtime is to keep a well rested, brain boosted baby. Pretty cool - right!! 😎

Ready to apply these tips? The Lovebug app gives you tools to help! 
Start your free trial.

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