What Time is the Right Time for Your Baby to go to Bed
Sometimes after a long, fun-filled day, bedtime can be a lovely part of the evening, when your baby gets to re-charge their batteries and you can have a bit of “me” time and relax.
Everyone needs a good amount of sleep in order to function properly. Babies and children are growing day by day, so they need even more sleep than adults –playing with toys all day takes energy!
When is Bedtime?
It is important to have a good napping routine for babies, as ensuring naps and feeds take place at the same time makes creating a bedtime routine much easier. All babies are different, so what works for one of your children may not necessarily work for the others.
As a rule of thumb your baby should go to bed when they start to become sleepy – some babies may become calm and cuddly, so this is a good opportunity to put them to bed rather than keeping them up once they are being quiet.
With some children it can be hard to tell when they are tired, as they appear to be wide awake and full of energy. If this is the case, then try a few different bedtimes and see what time they fall asleep the easiest, then note their behaviour before that time.
If you try and put your baby to bed at a certain time and find they don’t go to sleep, don’t necessarily presume this means they need to go to bed later next time, as it could actually indicate that they need to go to bed a bit earlier.
Bedtime for your child should be between 6pm and 8pm, but a good place to start is by working out how much sleep your baby needs. If your baby is 6 months old, then they will need 4 hours sleep during the day and 10 hours sleep at night, you can then plan your sleep routine from there.
Every baby will differ, and younger babies will need more regular feeds throughout the night, so their sleeping routine will work around that. Once you have worked out how much sleep your baby needs you can decide on a time to try and see how it goes.
It is important to be consistent with your bedtimes in order to build up a recognisable routine. Your baby’s internal clock will get used to their routine and will encourage them to sleep at the same time each evening.
Your baby will be able to develop positive sleep habits from as early as 6 weeks old, so you can do a few things to help them get settled. Teach them the difference between night and day by creating noises and playing with them regularly from the morning until the evening. At night time stay as quiet as possible and keep all lighting as low as possible to encourage them to sleep.
Think about how you are going to encourage your baby to go to sleep. You may find that rocking them gently until they fall asleep works well, but you need to remember that they will start to expect that every night, so choose a strategy and stick to it.
As with the gentle rocking, don’t let your baby fall asleep with their bottle, even if it does help them to nod off. Your baby will become dependant on having their bottle and start finding it difficult to nod off without it. Falling asleep with their bottle could also cause physiological problems that cause sleep disturbance and will also mean you may have to change them more regularly.
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