How to Move Your Newborn’s Bedtime Earlier: 4 Quick And Easy Strategies

It’s super super common for a newborn’s bedtime to be between 10:00 and 11:00 pm. This is because their first stretch of sleep is usually the longest. Ideally, you’d have their bedtime when YOU are ready to go to bed so that you can capitalize on those 4-6 hour nighttime sleep stretches. 


However, once our babies hit about three months, they start to become much more ready for an earlier bedtime. So, it’s right in between three and four months that you can start focusing on moving that bedtime closer to 7:00 pm. By the time we get to four months and start the sleep learning process, we want bedtime to be right around 6:30 – 7:30 pm – so I say, just aim for 7:00 pm!


So…how do we scoot bedtime earlier while trying to take out that three-hour chunk of their day? The best thing that you have at your disposal is the fact that their body is ready to make this switch. The reason there is a 4 month sleep regression is because their sleep system is actually changing. So, we are just shifting their schedule when their bodies are asking for it – we’re meeting them where they’re at. Because of this, bumping your newborn’s bedtime earlier isn’t usually that tricky…their bodies are basically begging for it anyway!


In this blog post, I’m going to go over these four quick and easy strategies to help bump your newborn’s bedtime earlier:


1. Get Outside


2. Establish a Bedtime Routine


3. Wake Up at 7:00 am For a 7:00 pm Bedtime


4. Soothe Them Back to Sleep During Any False Starts


Let’s dive right in!



Mom Holding Baby | The Peaceful Sleeper



1. Get Outside


One of the most important things you can do is get outside. There is something so magical about low-angle sunlight. This means getting outside with your baby first thing in the morning. It can be super simple and incorporated into your normal routine, for example, when you and baby wake up, drink your coffee on the porch with your babe – anything you can do to incorporate that into your day.


Even just 10 minutes of that sunlight in the morning is so good! Remember, we are ancient creatures – it’s something about how those photons hit your eyeballs and decrease melatonin levels/get your circadian rhythm set. I don’t understand ALL of the science behind it… but trust me on this one!


Low-angle evening sunlight is also really helpful too. It can help tell our bodies that the day is winding down. But don’t stress too much over what time of day you get outside! No matter how or when you do it, know that any fresh air and sunshine is good for your little one (and you!).



Why You Need to Get Outside on Instagram | The Peaceful Sleeper

Click here to watch “Why You Need to Get Outside” for more information on Instagram!



2. Establish a Bedtime Routine


You might be doing this one already because having a bedtime routine with your newborn is SO sweet and fun to do. However, if you’re like me and you have four kids, sometimes the full bedtime routine goes right out the window. It does NOT have to be this elaborate and extensive bedtime routine, but it can be if you want it to be! The objective here is to have simple, consistent, and predictable things that happen before bedtime so that we can get their mind and brain orienting to the fact that it’s time to wind down.


Baths are really great for this because it’s a nice, calming, and relaxing thing that also gets them clean at the same time. Not to mention, the splashes can help with getting the wiggles out! The warmth of the water relaxes their body AND helps with end-of-day toots and poops.


If you haven’t already, download my FREE newborn sleep guide. It’ll give you a good rundown on establishing good sleep for your newborn that you can print and keep with you! Download for free here 💤


Try adding in some lavender lotion or other calming scents. Talk to your pediatrician about incorporating Epsom salt or magnesium for some added calming and minerals. Baby massage is SO great as well. It gives them some great proprioceptive input to help them calm down for nighttime sleep. It also produces oxytocin for you and baby! I also love to incorporate bicycle kicks and windshield wipers as well.



Benefits of Baby Massage on Instagram | The Peaceful Sleeper

Click here to watch more about why I love baby massage so much on Instagram!


Even if your baby is 3 months old and nowhere close to reading, being able to look at pictures and hear your voice tell/read stories is SO great for both of you too!



3. Wake Up at 7:00 am For a 7:00 pm Bedtime


As much as I hate to wake a sleeping baby, if you cannot get their schedule oriented, consider waking your baby at 7:00 am every day for about a week. If you’re aiming for a 7:00 am wake up, having a 7:00 pm bedtime will help their body get regulated.


Our goal is to push bedtime earlier, which means making sure baby is up earlier in the morning. Having a later start in the morning will mean a later bedtime. 



Baby on Bed | The Peaceful Sleeper



4. Soothe Them Back to Sleep During Any False Starts


Your little one may go to bed at 7:00 pm and then act like it was a nap. For any of these false starts, just soothe them right back to sleep. (*A false start is when your baby goes to bed for the night but then wakes up after one sleep cycle (usually 30 to 60 minutes) or 10-20 minutes after falling asleep. They will wake up upset as if something has caused them to wake up and they want to go back to sleep.)


If you haven’t already, download my FREE newborn sleep guide. It’ll give you a good rundown on establishing good sleep for your newborn that you can print and keep with you! Download for free here 💤


You can even feed again if it’s within those first three hours! It shouldn’t take longer than a week for them to orient if you’re doing all the things. SO, even if you feed your baby at 7:00 pm, put them down, and they wake up at 7:45 pm, you can give them another ounce or two, lay them back down, and just come back in for soothing intervals.


They should be pretty calm and content – we are NOT doing any cry it out before four months, but if you leave them content in their crib for a few minutes at a time or just sit in a rocking chair with them in the dark, let their body know that this is still sleepy time and they’ll adjust to it.


Read more about false starts in this blog post  – “False Starts at Bedtime: How to Prevent Them From Happening!



Mom Holding Baby | The Peaceful Sleeper



Recap of How to Move Your Newborn’s Bedtime Earlier


Our 0-4 months course has EVERYTHING you need to know about optimizing your newborn’s sleep and setting the stage for sleep learning/sleep training at four months! I also went LIVE on Instagram recently to talk all about the topic of bumping bedtime earlier.


Bumping Newborn Bedtime Earlier LIVE on Instagram | The Peaceful Sleeper

Click here to check it out on Instagram!


If you need support with your baby’s specific sleep needs or have any other questions about navigating sleep with your newborn, we would love to work with you. Hop on a call with one of our AMAZING Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultants!


Whether your little one is a newborn (0-4 Months Content Library), 4-24 months (4-24 Months Content Library), or a toddler (2-5 Years Content Library), we have the resources you need to get your family the sleep you all deserve!

Christine Lawler

Christine Lawler

MS, LMFT, Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant

Hi! I’m so glad you’re here! I’m a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, practicing for over 13 years. I’ve set out to do ALL of the research and I created a method to optimize baby sleep that is tuned in, empowering and WORKS. There absolutely should be joy in motherhood, and I have learned that every baby CAN get better sleep!

Read more about my team here.

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