A yawning baby.

What’s a good bedtime for a baby?

The crickets are chirping, the sky is a deep purple, and Baby has finished his last gulp of dinner. Since Baby is a bit too young to be tuning into “Game of Thrones,” the next item on his schedule will probably be bedtime.

Developing a good bedtime routine for your baby

So how do you choose the right time to put him in the crib for the night? There’s no definitive answer: after all, every baby runs on a different internal clock. But here are a few important areas to consider before kissing Baby good-night.

  1. The sleepy window
    Certain activities will naturally put Baby in a restful state of mind. The next time he starts to simmer down and settle into a nap, think about what the two of you have been up to for the last hour. Nursing? Bathing? Diaper swapping? Try scheduling any of these activities right before your ideal baby bedtime hour. If Baby dozes off without much fuss, then you’ve successfully found his “sleepy window.”
  2. The sleep intermissions
    When putting a baby to sleep, the mutual sentiment isn’t “See you in the morning,” – it can’t be when he is thinking “See you in a few hours!” Sleeping through the night is a learning process for babies, and as a parent to a young baby, you can expect to wake up for some feeding and cuddling at least once before sunrise. But with a little foresight, you can time Baby’s bedtime so that first “sleep intermission” occurs close to your bedtime. This means a more restful night of sleep for you!
  3. Adults-only hours
    There’s a reason why many parents put their babies to bed between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Turning off the nursery lights within this timeframe frees up a few hours of special adults-only time for you to enjoy however you please. Rest assured, there’s nothing wrong with prioritizing some “me time” when you’re looking after a growing baby. Being a parent can be exhausting, and having a regular chance to unwind and do things that you enjoy can make all the difference.

  • “Healthy Sleep Habits for Infants and Toddlers.” Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Retrieved June 28 2017. http://www.nationwidechildrens.org/healthy-sleep-habits-for-infants-and-toddlers.
  • “The Four B’s of Bedtime.” Healthy Children. American Academy of Pediatrics, March 26 2012. Retrieved June 28 2017. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/sleep/Pages/The-4-Bs-of-Bedtime.aspx. 

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