How to get my baby to bed earlier

Updated: Jun 23, 2020

When I go and talk at parent drop in groups, there is often confusion over what time infants should go to bed for the night.

Many parents are concerned that their child goes to bed too late.

Reading a lot of literature can be confusing, as it seems that books and the internet recommend children going to bed at 7pm.

If your child is going to bed later, this can often cause concern for parents.

Although I am all for early bedtimes for children, not just for them, but its better for the parents too.

If an infant or toddler are napping later into the day, the reality is that they won't go to bed early, as they won't be tired enough to fall to sleep.

So if your child is stuck in what we would call a: LATE sleep phase - what do you do?

It's all about the last nap of the day. Infact, when analyzing client logs I often see parents treat what could, would or should be bedtime as the last nap of the day, then bringing their little one out of bed at the first brief partial arousal and bathing them, putting them back to bed for the night around 10pm.

If you want your baby to go to bed earlier you have to really work on their daytime routine.  

Here are 3 tips, that can help you adjust bedtime to an earlier time if that is your goal.

1. Morning wake up time

If you want to have an earlier bedtime, it's important that you also have a relatively early start to your day.

Your baby will not go go bed at 7pm and sleep in until 10am. Something has to give - early starts can be difficult if you are still up several times over night rocking, nursing, bouncing etc, but if you babies tend to sleep in the 10-12 hr range, with most doing 10.5-11 hrs, so if they are getting up at 9am or 10am, they won't fall to sleep until later in the evening.