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My parents have raised some concerns about our 1 yo child going to sleep late in the evening (typically 10:30 pm, sometimes later if she struggles going to sleep).

A typical day : she doesn't go to day care, she stays at home with my wife. She gets up at about 9 am, and has 4 meals during the day, one every 4 hours, the first one being at 9:30. She has 2 naps, sometimes 3, each lasting between 1 and 1.5 hour.

In the evening, we bath her, we feed her and then we play a little with her.

Is that really bad for our child ?

  • See also Our 4 year old won't fall asleep until 11pm, which (although the child is older in that Question) has a number of Answers that boil down to "she's getting enough sleep, it's fine if it isn't bothering you." – Acire Feb 18 '15 at 12:15
  • I think as long as the total amount of sleep she is getting is enough (which it sounds like it is) then it's ok for her to go to bed late. The only thing I would say is when she is older and starts daycare or school it might be difficult to shift the times a little, but that's a little way off just yet. – LauraJ Feb 18 '15 at 13:38
  • My oldest was a midnight girl for about 2 years. Her routine for getting her to go to sleep was extremely difficult. Eventually I gave her an ipad about 9:30 in bed and that worked. She's pretty reliable for 9:30 bed time, usually asleep within an hour with that ipad. Not sure how to break her of that habit but I'll figure that out later. For now I'm just happy to have a sliver of personal time in my life – Kai Qing Feb 19 '15 at 20:39
  • What's the difference to this question? – sbi Feb 19 '15 at 22:50
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It looks like your daughter is getting a total of 12 hours sleep every 24 hour period, which is a good amount. The questions that arise for me are: does it work for you that she falls asleep so late i.e. are you ok as a parent not having alone time in the evening? Do you want to get her into a sleep schedule that may work better for her when she starts school, for example? I can't comment on whether she's entering the right sleep cycles and when, so it might be worth looking that up. If she seems full of energy during the day and not groggy, then it doesn't seem like a problem. To consolidate her sleeping hours, you might consider cutting out a daytime nap or two, this way she would probably fall asleep by 8pm.

  • The second nap is a prime culprit. – shivsky Feb 18 '15 at 23:38
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If she's getting enough sleep that's fine, as Lizbeth says.

Ultimately, you're her parents. You know her and if she's not getting enough sleep you'll be the ones who bear that cost, so if you're happy with the way things are, don't change it on your parents' account.

What you can do if you want to change the way things work, is get her up early and cut out the second nap for a few days so you the put her to bed at, for example, 7. Then after a few days (it may be tough) her body clock will be shifted round so she sleeps more sociable hours. It is up to you, but if her going to bed at 10:30 works for you then that may be ok for a bit. The only thing I'd consider is the effect of school and nursery scheduling. You may want to get your daughter into a sleep pattern that's more amenable to that schedule earlier rather than later, and that will make it easier for her. Hope this helps.

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My 1 year old is the same way. He takes a nap around 3pm wakes up around 430. He eats at 10-10:30 depending on when he wakes up, has a snack around 2 and eats after he wakes up around 4:30 then has his last meal by 9:30, and goes to bed around 11.

We had to stop letting him take his evening nap about a month ago because he had way too much energy at night and it helped. He was out by 9 or 9:30. But now he has adjusted good to only 1 nap a day and he stays up late again. It doesn't bother me because I am a night owl. And I hate waking up early so at least he allows me to sleep enough.

I think for now it's ok as long as your little one is getting enough sleep and isn't irritable during the day. I would try cutting out a nap though. I fear that when it's time to start school it's going to be hard to get him to go to bed early and he will be tired when it's time to wake up. I give him lots of time to run around and play but I think he just wants to stay up with me.

So for now as long as it isn't making things really hard on you and you and your child are getting enough sleep I don't see it as a problem. She's your child and you know what works best for your family. Don't let anyone scare you into thinking that it's harmful for her health, as long as she gets enough sleep and is functioning properly and eating and growing at a good pace I wouldn't worry! My little one is perfectly healthy and I enjoy spending the evening with him.

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