Try An Earlier Bedtime

Try An Earlier Bedtime

Yes, you read the title right.  If your baby is having a hard time going to sleep at night, you might want to try an earlier – not later – bedtime.

Many parents assume that if their baby doesn’t go to sleep easily at night, then getting them even more tired out will be a good solution.  While it is true that giving your baby lots of opportunities to be active during the day can help them sleep better, it is also true that when over-tired, babies will actually sleep worse than when less tired.  We’ve all probably experienced a time when our baby has stayed up too late, or had too few naps during the day, and has “melted-down” at the end of the day.  Well, did you know that many babies are actually probably ready to go down for their nighttime sleep as early as 6:30 or 7:00 pm?

Most parents (including yours truly) operate under the faulty assumption that 6:30 or 7:00 pm is too early for their baby to go to sleep at night.  Or, we mistakenly believe that if we put our babies to bed that early, they will wake up extra early.  Well, I’m here to tell you that research shows that we’re wrong.

Research clearly shows that babies sleep better, and longer, the earlier they are put to bed at night – within reason, of course.  And, the research also shows that “early to bed” does not necessarily mean “early to rise” for a baby.  In fact, most babies who are put to bed with an early bedtime, actually sleep longer than those who are put to bed with a later bedtime.

So, I guess this just goes to show that common sense may not always be the best strategy in parenting.  I’m guessing that you’d want to experiment with this idea a bit, gradually adjusting your baby’s bedtime earlier and earlier by 15 minutes or so each night, before committing to it 100%, but the research clearly states that early bedtimes help babies sleep better and longer.

Plus, think of the side benefits of getting that extra hour or two at night to do as you please:  Time to watch your favorite TV show, some extra time with your partner, a little more time to take a bath and unwind before your own bedtime…  Not bad for an idea that’s supposed to help your baby sleep!

Andrew Dolbin-MacNab

About the Author:

Andrew Dolbin-MacNab is a father, web developer, and one of the founding members of Pediasleep, a leader in the production of white noise and other soothing sounds to aid the healthy sleep of infants, cosleepers, and parents. Having successfully survived his daughter and son’s early sleep problems with the help of white noise, he is also an expert on infant sleep problems and their solutions.

Pediasleep can be found online at

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