Early Bedtime Appreciation

I love an early bedtime! As a sleep consultant and a mom, I’ve seen the benefits.

Children will get more sleep with an early bedtime.

Some parents are afraid that earlier bedtimes will mean earlier morning wake ups. But the opposite is true. Early bedtimes can help to solve night waking and early rising. For babies, sleep really does beget sleep. (see What Causes Night Wakings?)
When babies are over-tired they don’t sleep well. (see Is your child over-tired?) The best way to repay a sleep debt is to make the bedtime earlier. Trying to give extra naps in the day interferes with the optimal sleep windows and won’t result in high-quality, restorative sleep. (see The Science of Sleep)

An early bedtime gives parents valuable, kid-free evening time.

We all need some time at home without our kids. Your children’s early bedtime also gives you the opportunity to give yourself an appropriate bedtime so that you can get great sleep too!

But how early?
Set a regular bedtime for children from 4 months to 5 years old, between 5:30 and 7:30 PM, erring on the early side. By “bedtime”, I mean crib time, lights out, leave the room. The bedtime routine starts around 20 minutes before that. When your child is waking throughout the night or when naps are too short, sleep consultants will recommend bedtimes as early as 5:00 PM to help combat over-tiredness.

Schedules and sleepy cues
We balance age-appropriate, time recommendations with parents’ keen observational skills. So while keeping ideal bedtimes in mind, watch for your child’s sleepy cues. Each child can give different cues. Sometimes yawns are late cues that tell us they are already over-tired. So start watching early to learn your baby’s messages. (see Age-Appropriate Sleep Schedules)

Make some changes.
It seems our society conspires against those of us who want to provide an early bedtime for our kids. It can be difficult to do in these busy lives of ours. But their sleep is so important that you might consider drastic changes to your work life or child care options.

Providing great sleep for your child is as essential as providing great nutrition, and an early bedtime is part of the recipe. Think about giving an early bedtime a try for at least four nights in a row. The proof is in the pudding!

I can help you provide a great sleep schedule and healthy sleep hygiene for your family. Check out my SERVICES.