What's the best bed time for babies?
When Ava was first born, I was just starting to make some of my first mommy friends. And in great mommy fashion, we would talk about our kids non-stop -- eating schedules, sleeping schedules, the do's and the don'ts, the must-have's and the mommy fails. We let it all out.
You see, I am totally open when it comes to chatting about everything mommy related from birth to poop to all of the things lots of people feel uncomfortable talking about. And no matter how many people tell me that I am doing something "wrong" as a mommy, I just brush it off and forget about it. But there is one topic that always made me a little "chatty-shy" and that was baby bed times.
I tried getting Ava on an eating-napping-playing schedule for a while but really, she pretty much just wanted to be on my boob all day long every day...naps included. So I stuck to my "plan" as much as possible but ended up ditching it after a couple of weeks. It had me more stressed out about falling behind on our schedule so it was clear that it just wasn't going to be our thing.
Every night as I put Ava down to sleep at 10:00pm, 10:30pm or even 11:00pm on some nights, I felt guilty. Like super guilty. What mom in their right mind sets their baby's bed time for 10:00pm or later? I felt like I needed to get that bed time moved on up because every other parent I knew was putting their kids to bed at 6pm, 7pm or at the very latest, 8pm.
Then it finally occurred to me -- If I put Ava to sleep at 10:00pm and she wakes up at 6:00am, then a 7:00pm bed time means she will wake up every morning at 3:00am?
Nope. Not having it. There was no way in the world I was going to adjust her bed time and torture myself each and every morning.
Frank gets home from work around 6:00pm every night so if I put Ava to sleep at 6:00pm, he would only get to see her on the weekends. And that just wouldn't work for our family. Of course, waking up at 3:00am every morning wasn't going to work for either of us and I get sleepy around 9:30-10:00pm every night. Oh yeah, and evenings are typically when I get all of my work done after Ava falls asleep, so we had to come up with some happy medium that would work best around all of that. We took everything into consideration and currently, we are at 8:30pm bed time with a 6:00am wake up time. And that is perfect for us (at least for now). So really, the best baby bed time is whatever works best for you and your family.
Just because your best friend is doing it one way, absolutely doesn't mean that's the right way. Well, it's the right way for her but maybe just not for you.