While all the mothers wish for a “Sleep Angel” to enjoy a stretched sleep schedule for their children, the appropriate bedtime has remained a mystery. Is there any actual ideal time frame for bedtime for your dearest child? As a mother, this question must have crossed your mind several times.
Every child has his biological clock and circadian rhythms; the sleeping patterns of any baby are widely dependent on these factors.
I have cracked my daughter’s sleep hygiene schedule over the years. This demanded extensive research, hours of intense reading, and personal experience. Now, as per all my research and according to science, every child has their particular sleep and wake windows. Maintaining the bedtime considering the window is the most effective process.
But to be precise, bedtime from 6/7 pm to almost 5:30/6 am is standard and anything that does not go beyond 8:30 pm is an applicable bedtime in general.
Is 6 pm too early for 2-month-old bedtime?
In short, 6 pm is not too early as bedtime for a 2-month-old (in fact, no time is too early for newborns). And also bedtime from 6 pm to 8.30 pm is considered to be ideal for children regardless of age.
A 2-month-old baby can be fallen under the newborn criteria, and as they don’t have any circadian rhythms or established biological clock, determining, a sleeping table for them is not possible. A newborn baby usually sleeps for two to four hours at stretch and can sleep for almost 14 to 18 hours in a day.
As a parent, you just have to be there with the baby and make sure to soothe all their sleeping needs. Within this age, the overall development of a baby is at the highest pace, the child needs to sleep more often. Parents must try to make the child differentiate between the days and nights instead of trying to form any sleep habits. You can simply keep the curtains on and put the lights on during the day and keep the light dim during nighttime feeding. This way the baby will be able to differentiate days and nights.
Is 6 pm too early for 8-month-old bedtime?
An 8-month-old baby shows stretched sleep patterns at night and a couple of naps during the daytime. At this age, the parents must try to build the habit of bedtime as per their preference. Babies of such age usually sleep for 10 to 11.5 hours during the night. Now, if you want your baby to wake up at 5.30 am, you can simply put your baby to sleep at 6 pm. And if you wish the baby to already fall asleep by 6 pm, the bedtime should be anywhere between 5.30 to 6 pm.
Also, if you want your kid to wake up early or later than 5.30 am, you may adjust the bedtime accordingly. According to most of the reliable data, for an 8-month-old baby, bedtime from 5 pm to 7.30 pm can be considered ideal. Thus 6 pm is never too early for an 8-month-old bedtime.
My child doesn’t want to sleep early: What to do?
The most common complaint for any new mother is the sleeping problem of the babies. Let me tell you if you are a mom, this is kind of the life now. Yet, there are certain factors, that you may check and these helped me successfully to put my daughter asleep early consistently.
First things first, make a Proper Bed Time Routine
No matter whether you want your child to sleep early or late, you just need a bedtime routine for the baby. Otherwise, you can never get your baby to fall asleep maintaining a certain time. Usually, the sleep period between 7:00 -7:30 won to 6 am is the most ideal. But you can adjust the time as per your convenience just make sure it is the same every day.
Bed Time Procedure to soothe the baby
You can give your baby a warm bath or washcloth rub; it keeps them feeling fresh. Also, clean bed sheets are very necessary for sound sleep. Before going to bed put the nighttime pajamas on; this will gradually become a habit for them. Over time, they will be able to determine sleep time when you put on the nighttime pajamas. Sweet lullabies, cuddles, and hugs play a great role to calm the nerves and make the kids fall asleep.
Sometimes comfortable non toxic baby crib also helps your baby to sleep early.
Switch off the Screen 2 Hours before the bedtime
Screens of phones, TV, tabs and other gadgets can hamper the process of producing Melatonin (sleep hormone). Thus it is advised for all parents to turn off all the screens at least 2 hours before they intend to put their baby asleep.
When to offer your child a later bedtime?
Bedtime of a child is largely affected by forming the habit from the very childhood, though many scientific nuances are present yet the habit is the main factor undoubtedly. Often parents think putting their children later in bed may result in bad bedtime habits but this is not the complete truth. In certain situations, even setting a later bedtime can be very helpful.
If you are more into early sleeping habits
Well, yes, if you facilitate the idea of sleeping early, you may sometimes have to set a later bedtime for your children. Often toddlers while growing up may experience some changes in their sleep patterns and tend to rest less during the daytime. As a result, if they sleep early in the nighttime (imagine from 5.30 pm to 6 pm), they may wake up at midnight. Under these circumstances, the most effective option for the parents is to keep the baby awake a bit late at night so that they can sleep till the morning. Also, ensuring some daytime rest can help solve this problem at a great level.
If your child gets up early in the morning (I can feel the frustration!)
Often, due to the changing circadian rhythms among the children, they tend to sleep less at the night and may get up very early in the morning. In such cases, you don’t have any other options than to put the baby on the bed later than the usual time.
Caution: Forming any habit regarding sleep may take time for almost 4 to 5 days (different for every child). As a parent, you must act with ample patience and avoid being harsh on the kids.
Do babies sleep longer if they go to bed earlier?
You may think putting your baby late on a bed will impact waking them up late in the morning. This trick may work for adults but for babies, it may not work always. Babies are prone to sleeping early in the evening. If you try to keep them late in the evening, this will make them cranky and fussy.
Also, extreme late bed habits can cause sleep deprivation. On the other hand, early bedtime allows the baby to complete his sleep duration and often results in more sleep.
In my case, my daughter when put early for sleep used to sleep longer most of the time. As sleeping earlier lets them allow sleep well, it calms their nerves and eventually helps them to get some bonus nap as well.
Do formula-fed babies sleep longer at night?
Though World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended breastfeeding any child up to 6 months, formulas are very famous among mothers as a substitute for breast milk. There has been a long debate, about whether breastfeeding or formula is more suitable for sound sleep.
In 2017, a study resulted that breastfed babies within the age of 3 months slept more peacefully at the night compared to formula-fed babies.
The same study shows the opposite result for babies of 6 months. These babies were found to have hard times during sleep and were breastfed. Also, breast milk contains melatonin the sleep hormone, which helps the babies to fall asleep easily. In a word, there is no such result that shows formula-fed babies sleep longer.
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Being a mother myself, I can relate to the importance of an appropriate bedtime for any child and also the necessity for parents to know all about the sleeping patterns of their children. This content will give the readers a thorough idea regarding the proper bedtime routine for children and also I have answered some of the most asked questions regarding the sleep habits of the babies.