What Time Does Your Baby Go to Bed?

Julie Ryan Evans

sleeping baby
Photo by nikki_novocaine
My daughter goes to bed at 6 p.m. every night and has since she was an infant. Other mothers are often shocked by this fact, as am I when I hear that some of their babies aren't in bed for the night until 11 p.m.

It's interesting to see the wide variety of bedtimes that work for different families and how they arrived at the designated bedtime.

For us, it started when my son was young. He refused to nap in his crib at all until someone suggested the book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, which worked like magic for us. The basic philosophy of the book is if your child doesn't sleep well, he's probably not getting enough sleep. The suggestion is to keep putting him to bed earlier and earlier until he naps AND sleeps well at night. Basically: Sleep begets sleep.

And that's what we did. We kept pushing up bedtime until we stumbled upon the magical 6 p.m. hour when he went down beautifully, slept through the night, and FINALLY took naps. I never thought it would last, but he's now 6 1/2, and it's only been in the last year or so that he's started to stay up much later.

So when my daughter was born and started protesting naps, we went right back to the same tactics, and voila, 6 p.m. worked for her too. How long it will, I'm not sure; and due to my son's activities, her bedtime gets pushed back for an occasional evening. But for now it's working for us, and hopefully it will for a long time.

The downside is that she doesn't eat dinner with us as a family all that often, but it does give my husband and me some time to devote solely to our son ... and to each other once he's in bed at 8 p.m.

So I'm curious, when does your baby go to bed and why?

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