What Time is Bedtime?
Updated: Jun 23, 2021
An ideal bedtime for young children and babies over 8 weeks old is between 6-8pm, depending on their demeanor in the early evening. I encourage sticking to the earlier side and aiming to get your baby or toddler down into their crib by 6:30pm, so they can take themselves into dreamland before 7:00pm.
Babies and children are hardwired to fall asleep early, and they get their most restorative sleep before midnight. This means that they fall asleep easier, sleep better, sleep longer, and wake up more well rested when they get into bed at a reasonable hour.
Sure, you can keep them up later. Their little bodies will respond by releasing stimulating hormones to give them a second wave of energy, and are then more likely to have trouble falling and staying asleep. This will happen time to time because of life, but I recommend making it an exception if you want a well rested little one.
If you are already using an early bedtime, but you can tell your little sweetie is hyped up before bed, more prone to tantrums, or more disagreeable, then, aim to start their bedtime routine even just 15 minutes earlier the next day. Even just 15 more minutes of that night sleep that happens before midnight can make a world of difference.
If you've been struggling with an overtired babe on a regular basis, an extra early bedtime is my best recommendation for you to get out of the weeds. Get that sweetie into their crib by 5:30pm for a few days. It may sound absurd, I get it. But give it a try. This extra sleep before midnight can really help to restore an accumulating sleep debt.
It would be crazy not to mention that parents can also enjoy the benefits of getting their little ones to bed early. Suddenly you can do your own thing, forget you’re a parent for a few minutes, or go straight to gushing over all the adorable pictures you took that day of your now sleeping beauty. These are much easier to enjoy when it’s quiet.