Today’s video chat is how to move an early bedtime later. Click the video below to watch.View Transcript
The struggle is, every time she tries to move bedtime later, baby still wakes up at the same time every morning. I tend to be a person who doesn’t really think there is such a thing as too early for bed, but I agree that 5:30 PM bedtime is a little bit challenging. Especially for a family, if you’re busy working.
It’s pretty tough to get home and have a baby in bed by 5:30. Also, getting up at 5:30 AM, probably not that fun either. The thing you have to keep in mind about bodies in general is that our body clocks have some resistance built in. We don’t like a whole lot of changes or surprises to our schedule. The more we are consistent with our sleep schedule, the more ingrained it becomes.
Because she is so consistently going to bed at 5:30, we really need to move into this slowly. One thing also, to keep in mind is just because one night you tried for a later bedtime, and morning didn’t change, that’s not unusual. That’s the way our body’s work. It takes time to reset a body clock.
It really takes about four to six weeks to adjust a body clock fully. What I want you to do is work into this really slowly. I want you to move her bedtime by 10 minutes, every three nights, until you get closer to let’s say 7 PM. That’s one of my favorite bedtimes.
Don’t panic if morning doesn’t follow exactly in that same pattern. I find that morning tends to be slow to follow, and it might even take an extra week or two before you see some changes to morning wake up. Another thing to keep in mind about mornings is make sure that it is dark in there, and I mean dark.
Even the slightest change in lighting will stimulate a wake up in every one. That’s why I say for adults as well, make your room as dark as you can to hold out that morning light so that it doesn’t stimulate you to wake. You want to do that to help prevent this 5:30 wake up. Black out blinds, tin foil, it doesn’t have to be pretty, but it just has to be dark. That should help you get to a more appropriate bedtime.
Another thing to think about is naps. We’ve got to also move naps down accordingly as well. You have to really keep in mind, how much time awake can your child tolerate before she gets too overtired. You might need to move afternoon nap down slowly as well, 10 minutes every 3 days until the spacing is better, so that there’s not too much time before bed.
It’s doable. It’s going to take a few weeks, but I agree with you. I’d like to see her going to bed closer to 7PM. Thanks so much. Sleep well.
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If you’re looking for a step-by-step guide designed to get your child straight through the night, you can check out The Sleep Sense Program.