Blog Posts 1–5, based on the United States of America Department of the Army Field Manual: Holistic Healing and Fitness, describe what really matters for your child’s sleep. If sleep is an important enough topic for national defense than surely sleep should be considered a serious topic for parenting!
Parents often ask me when they should put their child to sleep at night. Usually, they have already seen a list, organized by age, of bedtimes for children.
However, because biologic bedtimes for children vary a lot at any given age (Blog Post 14), it is always better to look at your child, and not look at some published list of bedtimes by age
In the late afternoon or very early evening, if you see ‘drowsy signs’ (Blog Post 83), consider an earlier bedtime.
Sometimes, a bedtime that is only 10-20 minutes earlier makes a huge difference; Blog Posts 23 and 174 tell you how to move the sleep schedule earlier.
However, if there are issues with naps or fragmented night sleep (Blog Post 11), to help fix these problems, a temporary super-early bedtime might be needed.
Sadly, an early bedtime as a health habit is not widely appreciated by parents (Blog Posts 38 and 70) and some children’s sleep researchers (Blog Posts 129 and 130), so expect to be criticized by family and friends if you practice an early bedtime for your child.
A Healthy Child Needs a Healthy Brain,
A Healthy Brain Needs Healthy Sleep.