Can we be flexible with Baby’s bedtime?

It gets drilled into us as parents that babies need a routine, a schedule, they need to do the same thing every day, every time, everything has to be the same, same, same, same, same. There’s a lot of advice out there that says that babies always need to be in bed at seven o’clock on the dot, never earlier, never later.

I, however, do not believe that babies need to go to bed every single day at the same time because I think that bed and bedtime are fluid notions. I think it’s something that changes as the days happen. You might have an extra busy day, and so bedtime might happen earlier on the day. If you’ve been super busy and your little one hasn’t had proper naps, it might be an earlier bedtime.

Or it might be later because she happened to have a big nap in the afternoon and now you’ve got to push bedtime back a bit. It’s got to be a fluid notion. Bedtime for me is a fluid notion. Sometimes I go to bed at 10 pm sometimes I go to bed at 8:30 pm, depending on my activity levels and how much sleep I’ve had in the 24 to 48 hours leading up to that.

So it’s totally normal for bedtime to not be a static, set time. Babies don’t have clocks. It’s not going to be confusing for them. They don’t know what time it is. How would they know if it’s 7:30 pm or 6:30 pm? It’s not going to be confusing for them. If you do the same little wind-down routine before bed, they’re going to realise that it’s bedtime.

So absolutely don’t worry that changing bedtime might be confusing. It’s totally fine.

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