This week's blog answers the question from Heather. She writes, "My 10 month old does not take good naps at nursery three times a week and is super crabby by the time six o'clock rolls around. Should I just put him down early or should I wait for his normal bedtime?"
If he's grumpy by six o'clock, then absolutely put him down early. I always say there is no reason why you need to live with a grumpy, tired child to hang on to some magical bedtime that you've created in your mind. Six o'clock, you can do your family bedtime routine and get him down for 6:30, and that would be fine.
Because he's not going to Nursery every day, then on the days he's home with you and sleeping great, it's no problem to hang on to your normal bedtime. We do want the body clock to get in line with a consistent bedtime; but there is wiggle room around that. It's not set in stone and as he gets older bedtime does move up and down based on his sleep needs - what are his sleep needs? The national sleep foundation has recently revisited the guidelines about how much sleep is recommended.
I know it can be super hard missing out on that time with your child in the evening, remember it's the quality of time and not quantity of time that really matters, you can swap your time to have a fun breakfast when he is rejuvenated after a good nights sleep and he is alert for playing.