Moving bedtime

My LO currently goes down about 7pm, we have a good routine and he's always ready for bed (can be a bit twisty in the hour before too if he doesn't get a nap in the late afternoon). But he's waking so early, around 5am and I'm thinking of moving his bedtime to later, in the hope that he'll sleep later.

I know it's not guaranteed to work and would appreciate it if you could share your experiences. Also, what's the best way to do it. Should I go cold turkey and move it back to 8pm tonight and see how we go, or should we got back 15 minutes every few nights?

Would welcome your thoughts and any advice, thanks xx


  • Hey, you don't say how old your LO is but I think older than Sara (5months) . We moved her bedtime until much later and it worked a treat for about a week - she slept from 9pm - 8am...however for the past two weeks she's been waking earlier and earlier so getting less and less sleep and so in turn was so grumpy all morning I found things impossible so we're in the process of moving it forward again. The problem we're now having is that she's treating going to bed early like a nap (even though we do full bedtime routine) but is fairly easy to settle again.
    I think it works well for some LO's, a friend of mine puts her baby to bed at 9pm and she sleeps til 9.30am - how they all manage to get up dressed and out to work without waking her up I have no idea, but it means she can sort other children for school and get herself sorted in the morning.
    Apart from Sara being grumpy in the mornings, I also found that I really missed my baby-free evenings, its usually my time to sort out the house, have nice dinner with OH, catch up on here (priorities!!!) do washing etc etc...I got to the point where I felt it was baby baby baby 24 7.
    Sorry to have put such a negative slant on it, i\m sure its great for some people, I would even say give it a go and see what happens, maybe we kept her up too late.
    Good luck if you do do it!

    Liz xxx

    p.s. sorry for spelling/punctuation/grammar...holding baby...(yes I have rocked her to sleep!!!!!-lovely cuddle)
  • My LO goes down between 7.30 - 8.00pm and wakes up around 7am which works for me.
  • Hi Lawso,

    When your Lo wakes at 5am does she cry quite distressingly? I ask because my DS went through a phase of waking at 5am. When he whinged I just left him and sometimes he would go back to sleep. Other times, I'd have to do PU/PD several times to get him back off. He does have the odd shout out but I just leave him now (not if he cries distressingly).

    I've not moved LO's bedtime forward but it'd prob be better to do it in 10-15 mins every few nights so as to prevent overtiredness. How are his naps during the day now?

    Do you feed him at 5am? I've been told not to feed your LO between 5am-6am as this does encourage early waking as they will continue waking for that feed. Instead I've been advised before to try and keep re-settling them until 6am and if unsuccessful, get them up for the day and give them their first feed of the day. Don't let them nap too soon after they wake (about 2 hours min after waking) and when you do only let them nap 1 hour max as some babies treat this as an extension of night sleep. If you keep consistent with this they will eventually understand that they need to sleep!

    Good luck Lawso x
  • Thank you, I must admit it's such a dilema to know what to do for the best.

    My LO is 6 months and has never slept through yet. I don't mind getting up once a night to feed but just lately it's been far more and then the early morning as well, it's just a killer. I could cope with 5am if I didn't have to get up during the night too.

    I do like my nights after LO has gone to bed, by the time I've cooked dinner, sorted around, expressed, it's bedtime, which will probably mean I get to bed later - so is there any point?

    We've moved it back 15 minutes tonight so we'll see if that makes any difference at all. Would appreciate any other advice or experience. Thanks x
  • Thanks Gichu - no I definitely don't feed at 5am! He doesn't cry out but whimpers a bit instead. I do leave him but after 5am, he never settles back, he's awake for the day and is happy to lie there. But I can't sleep through it and after 45 minutes I just have to get up. He'll get fed about 30 minutes after we get up and he does like to go for a nap, bang on 2 hours after waking but this was the same when he used to get up at 7am.

    Naps during the day are still a bit hit and miss but he generally gets about 3 hours worth of sleep in the day (normally in 3 - 4 sessions). Funnily enough though the last couple of days he's had an hour and a quarter of sleep on his first nap, two hours after waking so I guess I should try and cut back on this, in case he is using this as an extension to his sleep like you say.

    Thanks again xx
  • is it may be the light mornings wakening him up??? with my ds1 we would use 15 mins each night when the clocks changed (lol) so his bedtime wasnt changing by a whole hour at night, or you could go cold turkey with the hour and if it doesnt work just keep thge 7pm bedtime xx good luck xx
  • Hi again,

    I know exactly what you mean! My DS normally wakes at 6.15am and he'll happily entertain himself till 7ish although once I'm awake, it's impossible to get back to sleep!

    Yeah, try cutting his morning nap back and see if that helps. You could maybe reduce his overall day sleep in small increments as it may be that has he's getting older, he'll require less overall sleep. I try not to let my DS nap beyond 4.30pm(unless he is really tired and needs it).

    Good luck x

    My DS daytime napping is usually 2.25-2.5 hours then he'll sleep from 6.45/7pm - 6.15am. I have found that if he sleeps longer in the day this can affect his nightime sleep.
  • Oooooo Gichu I didn't think that his daytime naps were the problem, as I thought they were meant to start having a couple of longer naps (1-2 hours) rather than the catnaps (30-40 mins) we've been experiencing. But thank you, I will definitely try to keep him awake a bit longer after getting up and won't let him sleep as long either.

    I've always been baby led in the hope that he'd settle himself into a nice routine which included sleeping through but it's never happened. I'm so envious of those (and you) who have been able to manage it and just pray it happens for us soon! xx
  • Hi Lawso,

    How was this morning?

    Yeah you're right about long naps. Thomas has 45-1hr in the morning then generally 1-1.45 hours. He'll have a catnap in late aft - duration depends on how well he;s alept previously. I definately don't allow more than 3 hours but generally it's more like 2.5 hours.

    Sleeping through will happen soon enough for you. Do you dreamfeed? This worked for us.

    Hubby would do DF at 11pm and I would do the nightfeed. When he'd wake at 3/4am he'd always have a good feed but it always affected his morning bottle resulting in taking just 3oz or so I used a gradual reduction in the night feed when he just decided to not have it and would sleep through till 7pm. Hubby continued the DF as he was taking a good 6oz and not drinking much at all in the day (usually totalling about 25-30oz including the DF) so wasn't willing to drop. Hubby had a night out a few weeks back so couldn't do DF so I thought rather than wake him (which we always had to - he would never wake for it) I'd wait for him to wake. He never did (despite me waking lots) so we dropped it! He was clearly comfort drinking. As a result he drinks so much more during the day! Just started weaning so I'll know that if he does wake any time crying in the night and is fully established on 3 meals (is currently on 1 meal a day), it certainly won't be due to hunger. Have you started?

    Keeping my fingers crossed for you x

    P.s do you have a blackout blind too? These are a godsend.
  • Well he went to sleep half an hour later, woke at 3am for a quick feed. I'm sure this is more comfort than anything, he took less than 3oz and is never hungry when he first wakes. I always try to give him the minimum amount of milk at this feed but still, I don't really mind if it gets him back to sleep and it's only once a night. We did try dream feeding in the early days but found he still woke later on.

    He then woke for the day at 5am! I took your advice though and left him to it. Well kind of, I kept going and putting music on, he has a slumberland bear that plays classical music really quietly. He couldn't see me do it and after 30 minutes, he went back to sleep and then woke up at 6.40.

    So I'm not sure the later bedtime worked but leaving him did, although I have done this before and it didn't, maybe he was more tired as he hadn't had as much sleep?

    Yes, I have blackout blinds and I now close his door to so that the light doesn't come from other rooms. Early sun definitely doesn't affect him.

    Yes, weaning started a couple of weeks ago and I do think this has affected his sleeping. He's now on 3 meals a day and plenty of milk still, so I'm certain he can actually go through the night.

    He is down for his first nap of the day, I kept him up a little longer, he went down 2.5 hours after first waking (9.10). I'm just not sure if I should only let him have 30-40 minutes or if I should let him have what he wants.

    It's lovely to get your thoughts, I can't tell you how grateful I am, thanks a million xx
  • Hi Lawso,

    It's ok...It's good to share your personal experiences in the hope that you can help others. This site has been a massive help to me so like to give something back.

    Personally, I think he is comfort feeding as my DS was as taking less than 3oz is certaonly not hunger. Have you tried just re-settling using PU/PD or PU/PD/CD? It may take a short while to get him back to sleep but hopefully not much longer than feeding and winding?

    Sounds a good result though that you managed to get him to sleep in till 6.40am. Perseverance is key and he will understand that it's just not time to get up at 5am! xx
  • Thanks Gichu, I agree, this site has been a wonderful help and still is.

    What is CD? I know what PU/PD is but as he doesn't really cry, I don't feel able to use this method because it's not like me picking him up would help settle him because he's not unsettled to start with, just twisty. If anything I think it would make it worse, as he'd then expect to be fed. Maybe I should just go in, show my face, put the music on and leave - might be worth a try.

    Thanks again xx
  • Hi Lawso,

    CD stands for cry down where after you've done 10 mins of PU/PD and if they're still crying, you walk out the room and leave them to cry for 10 mins before going in and doing it again. This doesn't apply in your case as your little man doesn't cry.

    Keep persevering with what you're doing, honestly he will get there. Sounds like he's doing really well all round. They go through phases I think. I had a nightmare with settling mine for naps not so long ago. Screaming as soon as we walked in to the nursery, now he goes back down like a dream after nearly 2 weeks of distress. Just remember that he used to it before so he'll get back there. Good luck xx
  • Thanks again Gichu, really appreciate the advice.

    Well our naps have been better today, a 35min morning one, a 1h 15min one around lunchtime and then a 35min one around 4pm, so 2 hours 25 minutes in total today.

    Bedtime tonight was just before 8pm, so we've shifted it back by half an hour already and will see how it goes tonight.

    Keeping everything crossed xx
  • Hi Lawso,

    How has the early mornings been? My DS decided to get me up at 5.50am today - happily chatting away! I did let him nap for quite a while though during the day- he had 3.5 hours in total so think that may be the reason why he woke 30 mins earlier than usual. It is a vicious cycle though cos when they're up earlier, they need to nap more so as not to become overtired by bedtime! xx
  • Hi Gichu and thanks for thinking of me! Well we've moved bedtime now to 8pm. Night before last he slept through to 5am - great that he didn't wake before for comfort feed! I let him twist to himself and he went back to sleep at 5.45 for 15 minutes. At 6am though he woke and started crying! He never normally cries so I was straight there, told him we were getting up, opened curtains, etc. and then everytime I left the room, he cried. I normally potter around for 5 minutes while he lies in his cot. I must admit I was a bit worried that he'd start doing this all the time but it seems to have been short lived, thank god!

    Last night he woke at 3.45, I fed him just under 3oz and he went straight back to sleep. He woke at 5am but went back over within minutes and then he woke at 6.15 for the day, which I can cope with.

    It is a vicious circle with regard to naps and I am taking your advice, trying not to let LO nap for too long and being awake from 4.30pm.

    Shame about your early morning, I hope it was just a blip xx
  • Sounds like a step in the right direction. Night before last was good as it's almost as though he 's ready to drop that nightfeed! He will have cried as he would've been hungry, at least you know he is capable of going for longer.

    I've emailed to see if they can offer any further advice on early wakings, I'll report back once they get in contact xx
  • Sounds like a step in the right direction. Night before last was good as it's almost as though he 's ready to drop that nightfeed! He will have cried as he would've been hungry, at least you know he is capable of going for longer.

    I've emailed to see if they can offer any further advice on early wakings, I'll report back once they get in contact xx
  • Thanks Gichu and I hope babysleepanswers are able to give you some advice, take care xx
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