So when Becca was a baby I decided 7pm was the best bedtime. I worked till after 5 or 5:30 her first year. But she refused to go down at 7pm and would only sleep at 8pm so for her first few years (and now still) she had an 8pm bedtime. She was never easy to get to sleep and it involved stages of rocking, co-sleeping, feeding etc to get her down at night. She would wake at 5am crying, I assumed since she was up at 5 she had had enough sleep. Every time she woke from naps or night sleep she would cry and I hated it. At age 2 she refused to nap in the day and after a week of battling it, I gave in, so she didn't nap anymore unless she really needed it. Now she's 4, she doesn't nap, she goes to bed at 8 and wakes between 6-7am. No crying.
I always put Laria down at 6pm, or even earlier if she seems tired. She usually wakes up smiling and chatting. She wakes between 5 and 6am. Last week I read an article on one of my favourite blogs about a child that always woke up crying and a sleep expert said put her down earlier at night. And it clicked for me. For years Becca was overtired so she couldn't fall asleep. When they're overtired their bodies release adrenalin to keep them going. No one can fall asleep with adrenalin rushing around their body. Children also have an internal alarm clock so if they wake early (5am) it doesn't necessarily mean they've slept enough, it's just the time their body says," wake up it's morning." So instead of moving Beccas bedtime to 8pm, I should have moved it to 6pm.
Live and Learn
Please share any things you learnt with number 2 that you did wrong with number 1 in the comments. I might learn something else.