why is it so hard to keep my baby on a schedule?

Michelle - posted on 03/29/2009 ( 6 moms have responded )




she is 19 months old and she has never stayed on a sleep schedule for more than a week at a time. just when i think she is on one she changes her habits again. she used to go to bed around 10 pm and get up about 8 or 9 am. now, she goes to bed anywhere from 11 pm to 1 or 2 am. if i put her to bed any earlier she just plays or screams and cries until i come in there and hold her. but, refuses to go to sleep any earlier. she always takes her naps at different times too. i don't know or understand why she can't stick to a shcedule. is it normal? i am a stay at home so it doesn't really matter to me right now that she's getting up late and going to bed late but it will in a year or so, cause it won't be long til she starts going to preschool. any suggestions?

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Sharon - posted on 03/30/2009




Going by a schedule is a learned behaviour. Babies take time to learn how to do this (my kids took years!). As everyone else has said, just try to be consistent and if you find you need a break ask someone for help. Some mums are lucky enough to get a baby who is in a good sleeping pattern but this is not the norm. (BTW it took me 3 kids to figure this out!)

Anita - posted on 03/30/2009




Michelle you don't schedule yourself to sleep at the same time every night do u?...Do you have a routine b4 you go to bed?...for ie u have a shower, make yourself a cuppa with a book and then brush your teeth and go to bed...this might take u 30minutes but it might take you an hour but every night it would be the same _routine_ ....what i'm saying is that we dont do things at the same time everyday but we do follow some sort of routine..Babies and children need some sort of routine..ti is very important  for them to know what is coming up..

What routine do u have implace for your child?...for eg for my 18 mth old its like this

E = EAT/Meals/snacks...A = ACTIVITY/play....S = SLEEP/nap/rest


WAKES btw 6-630

Eat - (breaki 15-30 min after wake)

Awake - during this time i give his morning snack and bottle about 2-3 hours after he had breaki..we could be out on a play date or out at the park etc etc

Sleep -  btw 10:30 and 11:30 he is put to sleep and will nap for anything btw1-2 hours

Eats - 12:30-13:30 (depending on how long he naps for)

Awake - snack around 3:30

               dinner around 5:30

               bath around 6:15-6:30 (this is the start of our whine down ready for bed)

              brush teeth

               in bed by 7-730

                bottle (we try not to let him sleep on a bottle)

               Read book (usually 2-3 short books)

              music on and lights off

             SLEEP (fingers crossed) by 8pm

NOTE: the above can give and take by an hour...but the routine will be the same...the whine down routine is important...consistancy is the key...u need look for first sign of tiredness...an over tired child will be harder to put down...try not 2 over-stimulate when its close to nap and bed time...

 Routine does make things easier for u and ur child!!             



Susanne - posted on 03/30/2009




If she is having an afternoon sleep get rid of it.  If my twins had even accidently fallen asleep after 3pm I use to wake them up.  Maybe she is sleeping too much at the wrong times?  It takes three days of very hard work to make a pattern with kids and three days to break one...  wake her up in the morning, fight the hard days (they will be hell for a couple) and then put her down when your ready - at a reasonable hour...

Riva - posted on 03/30/2009




i agree with christina, consistency is the key. don't worry if she doesn't keep to the schedule since it can take a while for some toddlers to adjust. even then, expect some times when she'll suddenly deviate from set routine.

when she changes her nap times you could try letting her have a shorter nap when she takes it later in the day so she won't be too full of energy during the evening. also, a massage and lullaby might help to soothe and calm your daughter and help her ease into bedtime. i've done these for my wee one and these seem to work. hope this helps!


Monica - posted on 03/29/2009




My little ones (6months) bed time is around 8.30pm that means her tea (meal), bath and play time is finished by about 7 - 7.30pm. Then I just top her up with milk, check her nappy getting her ready for bed and usually she is asleep by 8.30 - 9pm at the latest.

Babies work best with a routein, if you make a bedtime then make sure everything else is done approx 1hour before you got your wind down time then sleep.

Hope i was of help.

Christina - posted on 03/29/2009




you just have to be consistant with your schedule put her down at the same time every night and wake her up at the same time everyday. it does take awhile to get the schedue down but after some time it will finally start to work. as far as the screaming while putting her down, let her scream its not going to hurt her. my son would usually scream for bout 30 minutes before hed start to dose off and yes sometimes id have to go sit on the porch so i didnt keep going in there. try to put a radio in her room and only have it on when its time for her to lay down. just be prepared for her to like music cuz i know my son loves to listen to it now no matter what. good luck

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