Early Bedtime vs Late Bedtime: Which Is Better?
It’s the age-old question: what time should I put my baby to bed to ensure they get enough sleep and help them settle into a routine? Honestly, there isn’t one set answer. Like much of our lives, babies are unpredictable, and they don’t often follow the plans we’ve set for them. So, whether you think early or late bedtimes are best, the important thing is to be open to your child’s cues and help them feel comfortable whether they’re ready for sleep at dusk, dawn, midnight or noon. Here are a few tips for figuring out which bedtime, early bedtime vs late bedtime, will work best for you and your family.
Ensure your baby is getting enough sleep within each 24-hour period
If your little one isn’t getting enough sleep for their bodies to fully rest in a 24 hour period, they may develop what we call “chronic sleep debt“. This is just a short way of saying that the few hours of sleep they miss out on each day eventually add up to take a toll. When baby isn’t sleeping enough and they’re dealing with chronic sleep debt, their body clock is going to be all over the place, leaving you to deal with a messy, uncertain sleep schedule and the issue of not knowing whether they prefer early or late bedtimes.
Listen to your baby’s cues
Your baby isn’t going to stick with the same sleep habits forever. Sooner or later they may change from an early sleeper to a late sleeper. They won’t need as many daytime naps. They’ll begin sleeping through the night, every night. As they develop, take note of how they react to certain sleep routines and adjust accordingly. This will help you figure out (for the time being) whether they like early bedtimes or late bedtimes.
Adjust as they get older to suit your schedule
As your child grows and develops and starts to learn how to communicate, you can help them sync their sleep schedule with yours – for most of us that’s an earlier bedtime, but it does vary. Not only will this help them settle into sleeping in their own room (if they know you’re sleeping at the same time) but it will help them start to form their own internal sleep routine naturally via their body clock by watching and learning from yours.
So, when it comes to early bedtime vs late bedtime, it really depends on you, your baby and the many factors that contribute to their sleep routine. If you need any help at all getting your little one into a stable sleep routine, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I’m always here for you and your family.
Sleep sweetly and deeply, my loves! x
Find out the best bedtime tips for parents with more than one child!