As a sleep consultant, I ALWAYS suggest early bedtimes. I know, I know, my kids go to bed by 6:45pm, how can it get any earlier? Well, when a client’s child is overtired, I always recommend an earlier bedtime (AS EARLY AS 5:30!). Most parents are scared that this means the child will just wake up earlier, but in fact, the baby will sleep better… and possibly even later! I know early bedtimes work because my kids have been sleeping through the night and have been happy babies since they were 10 weeks old.
But I will be honest, when the words “Even as early as 5:30pm, if needed” for bedtime come out of my mouth to clients, it STILL sounds early to me.
Well, my friends, IT WORKS! My daughter, who is 1.5 years old is transitioning from 2 naps to 1 and she has been “refusing” 1 nap for the last week and a half. (It is good to wait at least 2 weeks before actually transitioning them because they could just be going through a milestone or something that is effecting their sleep, and if she’s not truly ready to transition, we don’t want her eliminating a nap when she actually still needs it… plus, their Twins.. waiting as long as possible so they’re not on different schedules is a huge perk for this family!)
Anyway, she hasn’t been acting cranky during the day, still sleeping well at night so I was going to keep riding out this phase, until yesterday! Oohh man!! 4:50pm came around and she was EXHAUSTED! I had never seen her like this before and that is when I knew! By 5:20pm, I decided, okay, let’s put her down and see what happens. I didn’t know what my plan was. I was thinking either a 20-minute catnap OR down for the night. I didn’t feed her dinner, I didn’t put her night diaper on, so I really didn’t know where I was going with this, I just knew she needed sleep. 6:15pm roles around, and she hasn’t made a sound, and here my son is, ready for bed. So, we snuck in, put him down, and shocking, she wakes up (can’t be easy right?). I put her blanket back on, closed the door. And they were both OUT! Every minute that passed I was just waiting for her to wake up. She didn’t make a PEEP until 6:30am. THIRTEEN HOURS SHE SLEPT!
Needless to say, I was thrilled to experience something first hand that I recommend. So, If your kids are acting out and exhausted, don’t be scared to put them to bed early!! And as always, if you need assistance getting them into that routine, don’t hesitate to contact me!