Does your child struggle with falling asleep? Sometimes, changing the time you put her to bed can make it much easier. But you may need to go later or earlier to get the full benefit. Even though it sounds complicated, it doesn’t need to be. Fixing bedtime is one of the best ways to fix toddler sleep problems. Note that I have a whole chapter on finding your child’s ideal bedtime in my book, It’s Never Too Late to Sleep Train.
Later bedtimes work for a lot of kids
If you’ve read my work for a while, you know I’m a big fan of matching your child’s bedtime very closely to the time she falls asleep. For a lot of kids, this means moving the bedtime later.
Imagine a 3 yo whose parents put her to bed every night at 7pm. This typically produces a short tantrum, then multiple trips out her her room where she demands a cup of water, a cuddle, or another story. In the sleep field, we call these field trips “curtain calls” and they are the hallmark of behavioral insomnia due to limit setting. (For the best curtain call ever, read about a boy you used to throw his glass eye out of his crib).
Eventually, she falls asleep by 8 pm, sweaty and tired. Perhaps her parents feel guilty for yelling at her.
This is a situation where a later bedtime will be helpful. …