Baby Sleep Mistakes: The Late Bedtime

One of the biggest challenges that you’ll face early in your baby’s life is the simple task of getting your baby to fall asleep and to stay asleep. If you’re fortunate, your baby might sleep through the night (or at least through six or seven hours of the night) by the time she’s a month old. If you’re more typical, however, you’re going to have to wait at least a little while longer than that first month before you yourself can start getting uninterrupted shut-eye.

Along the way, there are plenty of things you can do wrong when it comes to trying to get your baby to go to sleep. One of the most common of these mistakes is putting your baby to bed too late at night.

Now, let’s understand something first: your baby doesn’t really grasp the concept of night and day just yet. That’s something that will come later. However, your baby’s sleep schedule is relative to your own. Today, parents are putting their babies to bed later and later, which is in turn leading to children who are getting less sleep overall as they grow up. The end result of these later bedtimes is that it’s often harder to get your baby to fall asleep, and that she’s more likely to give you trouble at nap time and to wake during the night.

This happens innocently enough. Many people work late, and so there’s not that much time after work to enjoy your baby’s company. So, you keep your baby up later, and that eventually leads to fatigue. Your baby can become overtired, which makes it harder for him to fall asleep. Ironically, if your baby is overtired when he goes to sleep, it’s likely that he’ll wake up earlier.

The key here is to make sure you’re allowing enough time for your baby to sleep. Pay attention to your baby’s sleep schedule, and even if in the short term it means sacrificing some quality time, over the long haul it will help her to grow up much more well-adjusted. A baby whose schedule is too busy will, as a matter of course, have sleep problems.