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What are the downsides to a late bedtime?

(45 Posts)
ElleDubloo Mon 12-Jan-15 19:02:05

We have a 2.5 month DD (only child for now) who doesn't have a set bedtime. We're thinking of getting a routine started now. I know most babies sleep 7 pm to 7 am, or thereabouts, but I'm wondering whether it would be OK to let her sleep 10 pm to 10 am instead?

Upsides: DH and I both work long hours. When I go back to work, I'll get home after 6 pm. DH gets home 7 pm on a good day, after midnight on a bad day. It breaks my heart to think that DD will be asleep by the time we get home, and only just waking up when we have to go to work again. If she sleeps at 10 pm, we'll be able to have some family time in the evenings. And she can continue sleeping when we go to work.

Downsides: She'll miss a few hours of daylight in the mornings. Also, the routine will need some re-adjustment when she's old enough to go to school.

What do you think? Will this bedtime mess up my child?

ElphabaTheGreen Mon 12-Jan-15 19:07:33

Waaaay too early to be worrying about a long-term sleep plan at this point! By all means start a bedtime routine if you like but you've still got teething, illness and multiple sleep regressionsto bugger with everything yet to come.

Your baby will most certainly have her own ideas about what her ideal sleeping times are and you'll have a much easier life if you follow her lead on those!

TheOriginalWinkly Mon 12-Jan-15 19:10:50

You may find that your baby finds her own waking time naturally. My 6mo DD wakes around 7.30 am regardless of bed time; if I tried for a 10pm bedtime she would be overtired and cranky.

TheOriginalWinkly Mon 12-Jan-15 19:10:55

You may find that your baby finds her own waking time naturally. My 6mo DD wakes around 7.30 am regardless of bed time; if I tried for a 10pm bedtime she would be overtired and cranky.

dyslexicdespot Mon 12-Jan-15 19:12:52

Most babies sleep whenever they want to, if they want to.

WhyOWhyWouldYou Mon 12-Jan-15 19:14:57

As long as they are getting enough sleep in 24hrs it doesnt matter when.

We did 9-9, then later on changed it to 8:30-8:30, then when he dropped his last day time nap and was sleeping late into the mornings, we changed it again to 7-8:30. Its easy enough to change so do what suits you and DC at any given point then alter it when necessary.

BTW we've always altered it by moving it by 15mins a day until we got to the time we wanted.

KittyandTeal Mon 12-Jan-15 19:18:22

My now 2.3yo dd has finally (after many sleep battles) decided she sleeps 8.15/8.30ish till 6.30, 7 if we're very lucky.

She also naps for an hour and a half in the afternoon.

It had taken us the best part of 18 months to get into any sort of sleep routine and till 2yo for her to sleep through.

Number 2 will be here in 4ish months. I have had about 3 months of full nights sleep since I was 7months pregnant with dd1. not bitter at all

My suggestion would be go with what you're given!

youmakemydreams Mon 12-Jan-15 19:21:19

Still really early to be thinking that far ahead tbh. Like elephaba said there is a lot of things to throw into the mix between now and even a year old.
I have 3 dc and all of them are very different in terms of sleep. Ds was always a great sleeper at night but rubbish napper during the day. Ds1 was a good napper and is still a very early bedder and riser he was your typical portable baby and toddler because he would sleep anywhere. When he was ready to sleep he'd do it. Ds2 has never been a morning person since he was tiny and still isn't. He prefers to go to sleep a bit later and lie in which is unfortunate because since day 1 he has had to get up in the morning to take the other two to school. You'd think he'd get I to the routine but no he's nearly 5 and as the week goes on he gets whingier and whingier until he can have a long lie at the weekend.
So you may find that your baby has their own ideas on what sort of sleeper they are and it will change so much over the next year or so.

Haggisfish Mon 12-Jan-15 19:35:15

Ah ha ha ha! 'Most babies' - honestly, most babies do NOT sleep 7 till 7! Don't believe everyone, particularly parents with children older than ten, who may have forgotten the awfulness!!

Pico2 Mon 12-Jan-15 19:42:25

It might also depend on what childcare you are using and whether you want your DD to be able to engage in activities. Most activities and out of the home childcare are arranged to fit around more common patterns of sleep.

GotToBeInItToWinIt Mon 12-Jan-15 19:45:31

We tried this early on, however we found that she woke up early naturally and was overtired by 8pm. Also it meant that her daytime naps were completely out of sync with all of my friends' babies the same age which made socialising/going to groups difficult and this was really important to me. It's also really, really nice to have an evening to yourself. DD naturally settled into sleeping around 7.30pm to 7am (although still wakes once a night at 14 months). If she does go to bed later she'll occasionally sleep later but then that throws our routine out of sync the next day.

ElleDubloo Mon 12-Jan-15 19:47:42

Thanks for the replies!

I guess what I mean by "bedtime" is "the time when we put her in her room in the dark", as opposed to pottering about the rest of the flat with her in a wrap and chatting to her constantly.

During the day she feeds every 3 hours, and naps for 30-60 mins every 3 hours. During the night she still feeds every 3 hours, but she knows she has to go back to sleep immediately after feeding, and in general she's pretty good at doing this.

addictedtosugar Mon 12-Jan-15 19:56:51

If she doesn't wake til 10, you will struggle to get to any morning baby groups. Don't know if that would be a problem.

Are you going for a nanny? Otherwise your daughter will need to be woken to go to childcare when you go back to work.

You and DH wouldn't get time together without a little person about probably more for when she is older.

But personally I'd do anything differently if I thought it would give me a child who wakes at 5.30 whatever (he's now 5)

worserevived Mon 12-Jan-15 20:40:53

With sleep you largely get what you are given, and for most of us that is most emphatically not a baby who sleeps from 7pm, to 7am.

As someone said above although your dd has a fairly reliable sleep pattern at the moment, that will change with 6 month sleep regression, teething, and then 18 month sleep regression. During these periods you'll have difficult bedtimes and broken nights.

My 2 yo has just got through the 18 month sleep regression phase and has settled down to a 9.30pm bed time (previously nearer 11pm). I'd like it to be earlier, but her body clock doesn't work like that. She wakes about 7am, and has a 1 - 1.5 hr nap most but not all afternoons. I think the general advice is most children of this age sleep approx a total of 12 hours a day split between night and naps.

The downsides of a late bedtime are:

Very little child free time as a couple. By the time she is asleep, we are exhausted and ready for bed ourselves.

Difficult to have a night out unless you can find a babysitter who is competent and happy to put a toddler to bed and settle them down to sleep. Most sitters want the dcs in bed when they arrive.

When do you eat? Very early all together, or very late say 10pm or 11pm after your dd is in bed? I'd personally like to be able to eat with DH when he gets home from work, but that's too late for dd, and she isn't going to sit around quietly while we have a later meal than her.

SweetsForMySweet Mon 12-Jan-15 20:46:11

Our 2 year old still wakes at night. Bedtime is usually at about 7.30pm, up at about 9.30am. 1-1.5 hours daytime nap. I tried cutting naps shorter so she'd sleep through the night but it made no difference other than to make her more cranky in the evening. Your dd might be a little young yet to set a routine but my friend swore by Gina Ford's routine (I found it a little too strict)

Andcake Mon 12-Jan-15 20:50:45

Can I order one of the 7-7 babies pleasegrin but then I'm particularly knackered today as ds 2.3 started his day at 2.30 this morning and I had to go to go to work. Ours is v random as he is starting to drop his nap but gets overtiredhmm
In the past 2 years He has gone through late bedtime thing but still waking at 7 or dong 6-8.15 at the earliest. Problems having a night out is definitely one as is some peace, watching any tv, hoovering without a toddler 'helping' when your busy at work and have a frantic toddler you need a bit if me time however much you love them.

Littlef00t Mon 12-Jan-15 20:56:46

I'm sure it's worth a try, but I'd recommend going for 9pm latest. Means you can do stuff on the weekend rather than waiting around for baby to wake up, and gives you time after she's gone to bed as a couple which is important.

PenguinsandtheTantrumofDoom Mon 12-Jan-15 21:20:16

I would say that, regardless of preference and whether your baby can do a 12 hour stretch, you don't necessarily get to pick which 12 hours. Many children seem pretty hard wired to a waking time , which in turn sets bed time.
Even in countries where children commonly stay up later, they often rise earlier than that and have a long siesta.

You will also need the best blackout blinds money can buy for a snow ball's chance. smile

PenguinsandtheTantrumofDoom Mon 12-Jan-15 21:22:58

Oh, also, in the middle of winter like now, pre lunch is the warmest and lightest time to go out and about. Much after 2 is a write off. So think about that.

ToomuchIsBackOnBootcamp Mon 12-Jan-15 21:36:35

"Most babies sleep 7-7" was what they said in the books and what the HVs try to tell you, but from the experience of my group of first time baby friends, it was anything but!! Variables from 4.30 am up for the day through to bed at 11pm (different children obv!) and everything in between.

My DS was a 8-8 or 9-8 baby roughly which was handy and envied by those with early wakers but didn't nap much during the day (40 mins tops, and only if moving in sling, buggy or car, I envied friends whose babies slept 2/3 hours in the afternoon and they could get stuff done!).

Yes teething, sleep regressions, illnesses, other upset, and getting bigger can often mean just as you are getting used to a routine, the little darlings go and change it again.

Go with the flow, your baby will prob have a time that suits her body clock and if you try to alter it too far, it's a recipe for cranky fractious baby. Not worth it IMO.

cpic Sun 18-Jan-15 17:14:30

we get 11h out of our 16m old, 7pm-6am plus 2.5h nap. his mornings used to be slightly later but post 7am is rare. After a full day with him I am deffo ready for my evening at 7pm! For lots of other practical reasons mentioned above, 8pm is probs as late as you want to push it. Incidentally the 7pm bedtime didn't happen til 6mo was more like 930 or 10pm til then.

slightlyconfused85 Mon 19-Jan-15 17:01:04

Didn't work for us, DD rises 6.30ish, even if she goes to bed late. Therefore she goes to bed 12 hours before this. A bit earlier than we would like but it is the way she gets most sleep, she's 2.2 now and still the same

HazleNutt Mon 19-Jan-15 17:54:09

we do 9-8.30/9 with our 18-month old. I work and would otherwise never see him. Second, it's also nice to have a bit of a lie in ourselves on weekends, and not get up at 6.30 like friends with earlier bed times. Still several hours of couple time in the evenings, so no downsides for us really.

Pastmyduedate0208 Mon 19-Jan-15 21:26:05

Intersted in these replies. My 2mo ds also sleeps 10-10 and was wondering whether to move this earlier. Tbh i quite like family evenings as we do everything we would do, dinner, music etc then put him to bed 1-2 hours before dp and i sleep. We are starting the day late though.
After reading here i think i won't bother messing about setting bedtimes etc because i rekon things will change so much over the next few months.
Enjoy what you got!

mrsmugoo Thu 22-Jan-15 17:31:00

My 10m old's bedtime is 8pm as this allowed a morning wakeup of 7am when he started sleeping through and would not sleep longer than 11 hours (entirely reasonable).

He's now started to pull the odd 11.5/12 hour night but we're keeping his bedtime as 8pm as it fits with my husbands getting home from work time (he does bedtime routine) and also we don't start work til 10 so really no need to be getting up at 6:30/7am if we can help it.

Do whatever works for you!

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