What's a good bedtime for a baby?

Sleep   |   Age: 8 weeks 2 days

What's a good bedtime for a baby?

The crickets are chirping, the sky is a deep purple, and your baby has finished her last gulp of dinner. Since your baby is a bit too young to be tuning into “Game of Thrones,” the next item on her schedule will probably be bedtime. So how do you choose the right time to put her in the crib for the night? There’s no definitive answer: after all, every baby runs on a different internal clock. But here are a few important areas to consider before kissing your baby good-night.

  1. The sleepy window
    Certain activities will naturally put your baby in a restful state of mind. The next time she starts to simmer down and settle into a nap, think about what the two of you have been up to for the last hour. Nursing? Bathing? Diaper swapping? Try scheduling any of these activities right before your ideal baby bedtime hour. If your baby dozes off without much fuss, then you’ve successfully found her “sleepy window.”
  2. The sleep intermissions
    When putting a baby to sleep, the mutual sentiment isn’t “See you in the morning,” - it can't be when she is thinking “See you in a few hours!” Sleeping through the night is a learning process for babies, and as a parent to a young baby, you can expect to wake up for some feeding and cuddling at least once before sunrise. But with a little foresight, you can time your baby’s bedtime so that first “sleep intermission” occurs close to your bedtime. This means a more restful night of sleep for you!
  3. Adults-only hours
    There’s a reason why many parents put their babies to bed between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Turning off the nursery lights within this timeframe frees up a few hours of special adults-only time for you to enjoy however you please. Rest assured, there’s nothing wrong with prioritizing some “me time” when you’re looking after a growing baby. Being a parent can be exhausting, and having a regular chance to unwind and do things that you enjoy can make all the difference.

  • “Healthy Sleep Habits for Infants and Toddlers.” Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Retrieved June 28 2017.
  • “The Four B’s of Bedtime.” Healthy Children. American Academy of Pediatrics, March 26 2012. Retrieved June 28 2017. 

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