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Moving Bedtime Earlier

moving bedtime in children

I just wanted to thank you for posting information on your website about putting newborns to sleep.  We put our daughter down each night around 10:30 with the same routine (bath, dress, bottle, rocking baby to sleep), which worked well for the first six months.  When she turned 6 months, we decided that it was time for her learn how to fall asleep on her own.  We follow a similar routine at an earlier time 8:30 to 9 (bath, dress, bottle, reading, prayer).  The first night was the most difficult, because she cried for half an hour and we forced ourselves not to console her.  She began to settle down in the subsequent nights.  Now that we've been putting her down this way for about two weeks, she seems to understand that she is responsible for falling asleep on her own.  She tosses and turns for 15-20 minutes, but she falls asleep on her own.
Would you recommend putting her down at an even earlier time?  Like 7-7:30?

I’m glad to hear that she is sleeping well and has learned to settle herself down at night. How long is she sleeping? I would try putting her to sleep earlier if she is consistently sleeping later than you want her too.

We moved our children to 7 or 8 pm bedtimes when they either
- became physically tired from learning to crawl or spending time outside and/or
- dropped down from three to two naps a day

There is really no right or wrong in this situation. There is little harm in trying an early bedtime and seeing how she sleeps.

Follow up 2 month later

Good news! We slowly but surely moved her bedtime up to 7 pm. It was working, and then the time change happened and that really got her there. As for advice to other parents, slowly acclimating your child to an earlier bedtime and timing your child's birth to coincide with daylight's saving schedules should accomplish the intended results.

Written September 2011 by
Dr. Gordon, Orlando Pediatrician







gregorygordonmd.com is intended to help parents understand the needs and behaviors of children. The information presented in the site is the opinion of Gregory Gordon, M.D.and does not reflect the opinion of his partners. This website is owned exclusively by Doctors insights LLC. The advice in this site does not apply to all children. Always consult your healthcare provider for your individual needs.

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