S.S. asks from Franklin, MA on January 13, 2010
Seeking Advice on Bedtime for 21 Month Old?
Hi All- Just wondering what time you put your 1.5 - 2 year olds to bed? My son is now having trouble falling asleep and waking up too early. He's been going to bed @ 7, just wondering if I should push his bedtime to 8, or is that too late? Thank you!
1 mom found this helpful
J.S. answers from Boston on January 15, 2010
I agree with the sleep begets more sleep philosophy so I wouldn't push his bedtime later. I suspect he'd still get up too early and you'd have less of an evening is all. My daughter is 29 months old and I try to get her in bed by 7:30 each night though she doesn't fall asleep right away and she usually sleeps til around 7am. plus she takes a 2-3 hr nap anytime between 11am and noon. It's like she can only be awake for about 4 hrs before she's exhausted again.
Again, I think early waking often is a sign of not enough sleep.
K.I. answers from Boston on January 14, 2010
My boss went through the same issue with her daughter. She brought her daughter to a specialist at Children's Hospital in Boston and here is what she was told: Put you child to bed later!!! It worked great for her.
It seems so simple, doesn't it?
Also, lots of physical activity and fresh air helps! I know it's hard to do any outside activities this time of year, but consider an indoor playground, walk around the block, etc!
E.M. answers from Des Moines on January 14, 2010
my son goes to bed at 7pm and gets up at 7:30 am. He does not always fall asleep at 7pm but since we have always done it this way he just talks to himself and plays until he does drift off. it gives him time to wind himself down. People give me a hard time for putting him to bed so early but it is just what works for him. you might have to experiment by moving the bedtime like 15 mins at a time and see what works out :)
M.L. answers from Dallas on January 14, 2010
My 20 month old son is in bed by 7 pm. 8 is super late for him, and he gets up 7:30 to 8 am. He usually only sleeps about 1 hour during the day..he has had less than a dozen 2 hour naps in his life.
If he is really crappy, tired, or has broken sleep, I will put him down at 5:30.
Dr. Mark Weissbluth (Healthy sleep habits, happy child) has a mantra "Sleep begets sleep". If they need more sleep, or to sleep later, the trick isn't to keep them up, but to put them to bed 20-30 minutes earlier.
My son has nights where he talks/cries/complains for up to 2 hours, but many nights where he is asleep in 15 minutes.
All this being said, the early bed time is a pain for dinner, but a blessing for a quiet evening.
K.P. answers from Springfield on January 14, 2010
My son is 19 months old. He gets an hour and a half to 2 hour nap after lunch and I put him down at night b/t 8:30 and 9pm. I have to wake him up at 6:45 for day care. On weekends, he sleeps at least until 8am. Hope this helps.
G.B. answers from Boston on January 14, 2010
My 2.5 year old has had a 8:00 bed time since he was three months old. He naturally fell asleep at that time. We both work outside the house and never used to get home until 6:30 so putting him to bed earlier would mean we never would have spent any time with him. His nap lengths and wake up times have fluxuated but it has been 7am for awhile now. He has just recently given up napping and we are able to get home about an hour earlier so we are going to an earlier bedtime. We aim for 7:15-7:30. By that time he is wiped out.
M.M. answers from Boston on January 14, 2010
My son just turned 21 months and I think we are going through a transitional stage regarding wake up, nap time, and bed!
I'm sure part of that is due to our family being in "winter mode" (daddy is laid off for the season and we don't get up at 5am anymore!)
We had been very regular...up at 5am, breakfast at 6am, nap at 10am, lunch at 1pm...dinner was approx. 5:30pm and we started winding down for bedtime at 7pm. Lights are dimmed, in the jammies with milk and snack, etc...books were read at 7:30 and despite the fact I had to be a bit of a Super Nanny to keep putting him back into bed, there were no tears or real struggle, and he'd be asleep by 8pm.
We got really off schedule with the holidays and Daddy not working, and I'm nearly 8 months pregnant and just DON'T have the energy to chase the kid back into bed...so he was napping at 1pm, going to sleep at 10 or 11pm...it was a mess. We live in a railroad apartment, so we struggle with bedtime regardless, since none of us have privacy or solitude.
The moral of the story is, I think you're right, that at this age it's a bit of a transitional thing. I used to be able to get him to bed super early, and now it's more like 8pm-ish. I've started setting our alarm in the morning to help us get back on schedule, no matter how exhausted we are and it's definitely helping! Now I just wish I could get him to sleep through the NIGHT!!
L.S. answers from New London on January 14, 2010
My son has always had a bedtime of 9pm and wakes up at 8:30 or so. Ever since he was 10 months old. At 11 months he was sleeping 12 hours through the night. He still on most days takes a nap in the late afternoon. It used to be earlier around 1:30 but it has slowly crept up to about 3 or sometimes 4. He is 2 and half years old. In the summer he didn't really nap because we were at the beach most days. But we try to get a nap in at least every other day or every day.
L.S. answers from Hartford on January 14, 2010
Here is the question. Does he nap? I have been putting my kids to bed at 6:30-7 since they were babies. They stopped taking naps at about 1.5 mostly because of our busy schedule. I also LIKE them to go to bed this early :) I also have been known to put the littlest one down at 5:30pm if they are that tired. The kids are almost-3 and 4 now.
K.E. answers from Boston on January 14, 2010
We recently moved my 2-year-old's bedtime from 7-7:30 to closer to 8 because he's been taking really long naps (1-4 or sometimes 2-5) and has been very resistant to going to bed only a couple of hours after he wakes up! My nearly 4-year-old son just stopped napping (by force) a month ago and goes to bed at 7 (or earlier if he's really cranky and tired). Both boys get up around 6 in the morning.
The key is probably when and how long your son naps. Every kid also needs different amounts of sleep. But I'd try moving bedtime back to 7:30 or 8:00 for a week (don't make a judgment on just one night) to see what happens.
I'll add that I've noticed that my kids wake up at 6 no matter what time they go to bed.