Being overtired makes kids wired! A Sleep in America poll found that overtired children take almost 20% longer to fall asleep. While that’s true, infants who go to bed too early put up good fight at bedtime as well.

To end the nightly struggle, you’ll want to figure out your baby’s ideal bedtime.

Baby Bedtimes

The average 3-month-old’s bedtime is around 9:30pm. Yet, as infants get older their bedtime gets earlier, dropping to 8:30pm…and earlier.

Researchers found that newborns who went to bed before 9pm slept significantly longer overall (13 hours) than those who went down after 9pm (11.8 hours).

Most babies doze off easily and sleep longer when they’re laid down before they get tired and bug-eyed. But if you push for a baby bedtime that’s too early, your little buddy just may not be tired. Yup, you’re walking a real fine line here!

For more help, check out my guide to sleep schedules for your baby's first year!

Clues a Newborn Bedtime Is Too Early

  • They fight falling asleep for 30 to 60 minutes.
  • They show no sign of fatigue at bedtime.
  • They wake up in the middle of the night or very early the next day, refreshed and raring to go.

The solution: Try pushing your routine 15 minutes later every 2 to 3 nights to nail the right bedtime.

Clues a Baby Bedtime Is Too Late

  • They fight falling asleep for 30 to 60 minutes.
  • They're moody and irritable and fall asleep during the day in the car or stroller.
  • They take naps over 2 hours long.
  • They're clearly overtired at bedtime (rubbing their eyes, blinking, yawning, cranky).

How to Get Your Newborn to Sleep

If you’re having difficulty getting your newborn to sleep at night, then the solution might be starting the bedtime drill 15 minutes earlier every two to three nights until you settle on a time that works for your little one. Creating a newborn bedtime routine can be challenging, and there may be some trial and error before you find the right bedtime. But this sample bedtime routine may help get your baby on track—and get you both more sleep each night.

How long does it take to get a newborn on a bedtime routine?

With these approaches, your bedtime battles should end within one to two weeks—and you may be able to end your bedtime struggles in a matter of a few nights.

Newborn won’t sleep? No problem.

If you’re still struggling to get your newborn to nap, then it might be time to try SNOO. SNOO Smart Sleeper is a responsive bassinet that helps stretch babies’ sleep longer (which means the whole family sleeps more) by automatically rocking and using white noise to lull your baby to sleep. Want to learn more? Click here to find information on SNOO including an option to rent on a monthly basis.

More on Baby Sleep:

About Dr. Harvey Karp

Dr. Harvey Karp, one of America’s most trusted pediatricians, is the founder of Happiest Baby and the inventor of the groundbreaking SNOO Smart Sleeper. After years of treating patients in Los Angeles, Dr. Karp vaulted to global prominence with the release of the bestselling Happiest Baby on the Block and Happiest Toddler on the Block. His celebrated books and videos have since become standard pediatric practice, translated into more than 20 languages and have helped millions of parents. Dr. Karp’s landmark methods, including the 5 S’s for soothing babies, guide parents to understand and nurture their children and relieve stressful issues, like new-parent exhaustion, infant crying, and toddler tantrums.

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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider.