How to Shift Baby Bedtime Earlier

While it can seem like a daunting task, shifting your baby’s bedtime earlier is important for helping them establish healthy sleep habits. Having an established bedtime can help babies fall asleep quickly and stay asleep longer, setting the pattern for better nights in the future.

One advantage of shifting your baby’s bedtime earlier is that it can help them get more quality sleep. Babies need 12-17 hours of restful,

How to Shift Baby Bedtime Earlier

uninterrupted sleep in order to stay healthy and develop normally. By pushing the bedtime earlier, you give them a better chance at achieving this restful sleep than if they stayed up late. You can find step-by-step instructions on how to shift baby bedtime earlier in this blog article.

Step-by-step Instructions for How to Shift Baby Bedtime Earlier

Step 1: Inspect Your Baby’s Sleep Environment

Make sure your baby’s sleep environment is comfortable and conducive to sleeping. Check the temperature of the room, make sure blackout curtains are blocking out light and noise, and that no toys or devices that can keep the baby awake are in the immediate area.

Step 2: Establish a Pre-Sleep Routine

Create a consistent pre-sleep routine for your baby to become accustomed to. This could be a bath, reading a book, or playing calming music. Doing this will signal the baby that it is time to sleep. Begin slowly shifting your child’s bedtime earlier in increments of 10-15 minutes every night. This will give your baby enough time to adjust to the new bedtime and get used to it.

Step 3: Put Your Baby in Bed Awake

Begin putting your baby in bed awake so they can learn to self-soothe. Doing this will help the child stay asleep for longer periods and develop healthy sleep habits. Establish a consistent wake-up time for your baby to get used to and stick with it. Doing this will help the body form its own internal clock, allowing for better quality of sleep at night.

Step 4: Provide Naps During the Day

Make sure that your baby is getting enough naps during the day. This will ensure they are not too overtired when it comes time to go to bed, which can cause them to resist going to sleep. Keep an eye out for signs that your baby is getting sleepy, like yawning, rubbing eyes, or fussiness. This can help you time bedtime better and allow for an easier transition to sleep.

Step 5: Avoid Stimulation Before Bedtime

Try to avoid stimulating activities before bedtime, like video games, watching TV, or playing with toys. These types of activities can make it difficult for a baby to fall asleep and stay asleep. Once the bedtime routine has begun, do your best not to delay it. Every additional minute spent delaying can make it harder for the baby to settle down and get ready for sleep.

Avoid Stimulating Activities Before Bedtime

Step 6: Be Patient

Adjusting to a new bedtime can take time and be frustrating for both you and your baby. Remember to stay patient and consistent, and it will eventually get easier. With enough practice, the earlier bedtime will become a part of the daily routine.

Following these steps can help shift your baby’s bedtime to earlier in the evening. With consistency and patience, you will be able to get your baby on a healthy sleep schedule in no time.

Precautions for How to Shift Baby Bedtime Earlier

  1. Start shifting your baby’s bedtime earlier in 15-minute increments over a period of a few days or weeks to avoid overwhelming them.
  2. Bedtime routines help babies learn when it’s time to go to sleep, so be consistent with activities such as bathing, reading stories, and singing lullabies.
  3. Ensure your baby’s bedroom is dark, cool, and quiet for optimal sleep conditions. Consider blackout curtains or soundproofing to minimize outside noise if needed.
  4. Try not to expose your baby too much to screens/ devices with blue light, especially 3 hours before bedtime.
  5. If your baby is over the age of one, limit their consumption of coffee and other caffeinated drinks in the afternoon and evening to ensure a better night’s sleep.
  6. If your baby is having trouble sleeping, talk to a medical or sleep professional to determine the underlying cause and find solutions.
  7. Ensure your baby is comfortable during their nap and bedtime routine by checking that they are not too hot or cold and their diaper fits properly.

By following these precautions for shifting your baby’s bedtime earlier, you can ensure your little one gets the restful sleep they need to grow and develop.

What Kind of Activities Should You Avoid Before Bedtime in Order to Help Your Baby Stay Asleep? 

Ensure Your Baby’s Bedroom is Dark

When trying to transition your baby’s bedtime to an earlier time, it can be helpful to avoid certain activities before they are ready to sleep. These activities may help keep them awake and make it harder for them to settle down relax when it’s time for bed.

Try avoiding:

  • Overly stimulating activities such as watching television, playing video games, or playing active physical games. Eating large meals or snacks close to bedtime.
  • Drinking caffeinated beverages like coffee, tea or soda.
  • Checking emails and using electronic devices (phones, tablets) just before bedtime.
  • Having with your baby is likely to get them overly excited.

Instead, engage in calming activities such as reading books together, listening to calming music, or taking a warm bath together before bedtime. Doing these things can help your baby relax and make it easier for them to drift off when you lay them down in their crib.

How Long Will It Take for Your Baby to Get Used to the New Bedtime? 

The answer to this question depends on your baby’s age and previous sleeping habits. If your baby is a newborn, it may take one or two weeks for them to adjust, but older babies might need up to four weeks before they begin to settle into the new routine. However, if you take small steps and remain consistent with the bedtime shift, you can help your baby adjust more quickly.

To make the transition easier for your baby, it is important to remain consistent and stick to a set routine every day. Establishing a predictable pattern of activities leading up to bedtime will signal to your baby that it’s time for sleep. This might include giving them a warm bath, getting dressed in their pajamas, reading a story together, and singing lullabies.

Are There Any Risks Associated With Shifting Your Baby’s Bedtime Earlier? 

Try Not to Expose Your Baby Too Much to Screens

Shifting your baby’s bedtime earlier can be beneficial for both you and your baby, but there are some risks that may come along with this change. One of the biggest risk factors is sleep deprivation. If you move up your baby’s bedtime too much, they may become overtired or have difficulty falling asleep. This can lead to crankiness and difficulty sleeping through the night, which can negatively affect your baby’s health and well-being.

Another risk associated with shifting baby bedtime earlier is that it may disrupt their natural circadian rhythms. This can make it harder for them to get enough quality sleep, which may lead to other long-term health problems. Additionally, it may be hard for them to adjust back to their previous bedtime if and when you decide to switch back. It is important to take risks into consideration before shifting your baby’s bedtime earlier and be sure that the change fits their lifestyle and needs. Talk with your doctor if you have any concerns about the potential risks associated with making this change.

What Kind of Signs Should You Look for to Determine if Your Baby is Being Overtired Due to the New Bedtime? 

If you have shifted your baby’s bedtime earlier and are concerned that they may be overtired due to the change, there are certain signs you can look for. The most common indicator of an overtired infant is difficulty with settling down for sleep. Your baby may become fussy or cranky when it comes time for them to go to bed and may be reluctant to lay down or stay in their crib. This can be an indication of overstimulation due to the change in routine.

You can also look for signs of fatigue during the day, such as rubbing their eyes, easily becoming overwhelmed, and having a hard time calming down after being stimulated or active. If your baby appears to have a hard time winding down when it is time for bed, this could be an indication that they are overtired due to the earlier bedtime.

Finally, if your baby’s sleep becomes disrupted during the night or they wake up frequently during their sleep, this can be a sign of overstimulation and may require further adjustments to their bedtime routine.

Look for Signs of Fatigue During the Day


In conclusion, shifting baby’s bedtime earlier can be done successfully with a few simple steps. Start by gradually adjusting the amount of time between naps and nighttime sleep. As you approach your desired bedtime, incorporate relaxing activities such as a warm bath or calming music.

Also, provide consistent, dependable bedtime routines that your child understands and expects. Finally, keep in mind that this process may take a few days or even weeks before your baby is comfortable with the new bedtime. I hope this article has been beneficial for learning how to shift baby bedtime earlier. Make Sure the precautionary measures are followed chronologically. 

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Loren Jones

Hi, my name is Loren. I live with my husband and 4 lovely kiddos in the Eastern part of San-fransisco. I have a smart beautiful,curious 6 year old daughter, a handsome 11-year-old son, an intelligent and tech geek 15 years old son and a creative, artistic 12-year-old stepson. With each of my kids being five years apart, I feel that I’m now continually phasing in and out of each stage of parenting! I’ve learned a lot about the way children learn and behave, especially in a school setting with regards to curriculum. I enjoy sharing that insight through my writing and hope that it can help others.

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