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Shifting bedtime later? Wishing for an 8PM bedtime

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

My girls are nearly eight months old. Right now they have a melt down every evening at 6:30, and we aim at in bed by seven. They then sleep until around seven the next morning (lots of waking up, but I can usually get them back down again...occasionally the five AM wakeup ends up being morning for one or both, sometimes there's a two-hour anti-nap in the middle of the night)


There's a world in which we look at the melt down and say we need a 6:30 or even 6 bedtime. But I can't handle getting up that early in the morning (and that's assuming 12 hours at night; I doubt they'll sleep longer than that). And my husband would never see them.


What I would love is if they could go to bed at 8, and sleep until 8. We're traveling this week, and if I need to be back in the hotel room by 6 (before my husband finishes work), then I don't get to have dinner, and one of us can go out in the evening, but not both. If bedtime were eight, we could have dinner with folks, then the girls and I could come home and go to bed.


Am I just crazy? I know others who have late-shifted babies, but maybe they just won the lottery. Any thoughts on how this might work? I've tried just shifting them later, but it's really hard given the meltdown and the fact that I am outnumbered.


Suggestions on whether trying to slip in a third nap to help with the shift might work would be great too.

post #2 of 14

its a misconception that shifting the bedtime later will cause them to wake up later.  It sounds to me like a 630 bedtime might be the way to go.  Babies under one generally wake up naturally sometime between 6 and 8 am and there isn't much you can do about shifting the morning wake up time later.  They have circadiam rhythms too!

post #3 of 14
I have "slipped in a third nap" for a later bedtime, but my DS (10mo) still then wakes at 5/6a. his normal bedtime is 6p give or take a half hour. it works well for us b/c DP gets home fairly early from work, we have dinner, they play, then to bed for him and we have some adult time. we all wake in the morn while DP gets ready; so this works for us. we've only done the late nap for late bedtime a couple of times for extinuating circumstances, so I don't know if you kept at it if you'd eventually accomplish what you are setting out for. seems worth the try, for your family/situation. if it was a later bedtime that worked for us, I'd try it for sure! smile.gif

post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 

I'm just frustrated that an earlier bedtime means that they won't really see their father during the week. And it means that I will always have to do bedtime alone; it's hard to do it while outnumbered, and I can't really hire someone to come every day from 6-7. And it means that on vacation I can't have dinner. (because I'll need to sit in the dark in the hotel room from bed time on)


Sorry. Babies are important. But I do wish that sometimes my needs counted for anything.


On the other hand, I can go to bed when the babies do while we're on vacation, because my husband will be out with our friends, so there will be no hope of spending time with him. And then it won't hurt so much to get up at six with the girls.

post #5 of 14

I'd definitely try it. SOME babies will still wake early even with a late night but that's not true for all. My ds has always been able to sleep in more after a later night or two & it has made things easier for us.

post #6 of 14
Different things work for different babies, and IMO a later bedtime is worth trying. If it doesn't work you can always go back to what you're doing now.

Maybe some (most?) babies wake up at the same time regardless of when they went to bed, but both of my children (28 months and 6 months, now) absolutely DO sleep later if they go to bed later!

Having a toddler and an infant is different than having twins (probably easier in some ways & harder in others) but I honestly do understand how overwhelming it is to be on your own and outnumbered. I think people who have never had 2 small children at the same time can't truly understand.

Besides, different mamas have different needs and different abilities and different breaking points. If things are not working for you, you KNOW it. Your needs do count and if you need to make changes, DO it! Worst case, the changes fail. You've got nothing to lose.

It's hard. Just keep reminding yourself that it is supposed to get easier and easier as they get older.
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much for the support. I get overwhelmed sometimes. It sounds like some experimentation is in order. And some blackout curtains.


And, in the near term, some clean diapers.

post #8 of 14

Try it and it either works or doesn't work either way you know! It has never worked for my kids, but I still try here and there.

post #9 of 14

OP, please post back if you find something that works. DS (5 1/2 months) goes to bed anytime from 5:30-7:30pm and wants to wake up at 4:30-5 every morning (with plenty of night wakings, but mostly just to nurse and then go back to sleep). Thankfully, DH and I switch off whose turn it is to do early morning duty, but it's getting really tough. But I don't come home from work unti 4:30, so I get such limited time with him at night before bedtime. If I try to keep him up later than he wants to, he is such a monster.


Maybe being on vacation can shake things up? Different bedroom, different schedule? We are traveling next month and I am hoping that will help us reset this sleep cycle.

post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 

We're one night in, so this means nothing, but I squeezed in a third, very short nap at 4:30 (until 5:30, but they didn't actually sleep much..mostly sat quietly as we walked to the library), then we worked very hard to keep them up and happy. (engaging and talking and singing) At 7:15, they were tired, and by 7:45 they were asleep. Which is a bit later than their usual asleep by 7. One girl wanted to get up at 6, but I nursed her back to sleep, and then the other decided she was up up up at 8:15 (which meant we all were). Which is brilliant. But, of course, one day isn't a new plan.


We'll try to get the blackout curtains up today. And the challenge will be to keep them up and happy tonight on my own.

post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 

Then again, morning nap was 15 minutes today (rather than the 45 minute too short nap or the 2 1/2 hour long enough nap). So...I don't think there's an answer.

post #12 of 14

i find black our shades are one of the only things that help my twins sleep a bit later. and actually i find a tad earlier bedtime and they actually sleep longer and even sometimes wake later. it is not what i expected at all.


after my twins wake in the early morning, often around 5:30-6 when dh is getting ready for work, i just lay with them and nurse back and forth as much as i can and shhh them and dont engage, i usually get them back to bed after about 20 min i would say, we then sleep till 8:30-9:30. in reality i think it would be considered a very early nap.


now that they are 1, they only fall for it abut half the time, the other half the time thankfully they are old enough to go have a blast in the totally childproofed living room and a snooze, they call out to me usually about an hour later and let me know they would like to come back to bed for a nap and i go get them.

post #13 of 14

What time are their naps?  My DD is 11 months now but we've had this rough routine for about the last 2-3 months.  She goes to bed at 8:30-9, usually wakes up at least once a night, and is up around 8:30, if I'm unlucky it's 8.  Her morning nap usually starts around 11-11:30 and goes till 12 or 1.  Afternoon nap normally from 4:30-5:30 until 6:30-7.  Then she is good to go till 8:30 or 9 for a bedtime but no later or she's too tired and cranky.  That's just following when she is tired and willing to fall asleep, I can't say that I picked these times cause she did it. winky.gif  But I think you can definitely try to tweak your schedule to make it work better for you.  Just maybe try shifting them gradually, that may work better.


And hey, I don't mean to make it sound like we're all perfect in the sleep dept cause we surely are not!  Some days she wakes 20 minutes into her nap and won't go back to sleep or keeps waking up at night.  But mostly it seems to work for us.  DH and I are more late/night people so I guess DD has sort of adjusted more in that direction with us.  I would die if she thought 6:30 was a good time to wake up for the day!

post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 

We were very lucky. We spent a week being very engaging between seven and eight, a little latter each night, and now bedtime is eight o'clock, and they sleep until eight in the morning. Very roughly. Naps at ten and two, usually one long and one short, plus a quiet time around four or five, especially if the naps were short, that is sometimes a third nap, sometimes just an awake walk or a quiet play time.



The eight to eight is sleeping time...they wake up during that time, but the wake ups are to eat or to get a snuggle, and they go right back down in general.


So happy!

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