FINDING a solid sleep routine for your baby is tricky, there's no denying that.
And while many parents settle with a more traditional bedtime of around 7pm for their little ones, it doesn't necessarily have to be that way.
Mum-of-two, Victoria Yavnyi was recently slammed by other parents after admitting that she puts her baby to sleep at midnight.
The TikTok user argued that her seven-month-old still has a solid 12-hour sleep and wakes up at 1 pm rather than a very early 7 am.
Victoria said: "I never understood why parents would put their babies to bed at 7 pm.
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"As long as the baby has their needed amount of sleep the time you put them to bed doesn't matter."
While some dubbed it "irresponsible" and "selfish" she isn't the only one and many mums insist that a later bedtime actually suits them better.
Defending the decision, one mum wrote: "I like this idea, I used to always put my first baby to bed late too (9 pm to 10 pm), I've never had so much sleep in all my life, it was the best!"
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With another adding: "I work from home and my baby sleeps from 11 pm to 11am, it allows me to wake up, clean the house, make all my calls for work and she wakes up right on time for us."
Elsewhere, another mum revealed that she doesn't set a bedtime for her 10-year-old daughter and it sometimes means she gets to bed at 5 am, sleeping through to 4 pm.
Mums and experts at The Sleep Mums say that while a 7 am-7 pm sleep schedule is certainly more conventional, it doesn't mean it's best suited for everyone.
Speaking to Fabulous, child sleep expert, Sarah Carpenter, 40, and parenting journalist, Cat Cubie, 39, who host the award-winning podcast, revealed that so long as you meet all of your baby's needs, it actually doesn't matter what time they go to sleep.
"There are many reasons that it might make sense to keep to this more
nocturnal routine: from partners shift patterns to personal lifestyle choices," Cat revealed.
"When considering if you should put your baby to bed at midnight you have to ask yourself this question. Can you meet ALL of their needs with a bedtime routine that starts at midnight? Are you sure you can consistently meet their sleep, milk and food needs for their age and stage over the 24 hour period?
"If you can answer yes to these final two questions, there is no reason not to try putting your baby to bed at midnight. In fact, you could remove ‘midnight’ and put in any time of the day or night."
The key thing to think about whenever you are looking at a baby’s schedule is that you meet all of your babies needs in 24 hours.
Cat continued: "The key thing to think about whenever you are looking at a baby’s schedule is that you meet all of your babies needs in 24 hours. How you use that time that is up to you.
"Some parents might argue that in the first six months of life, for many babies, you are really just putting them to bed for another nap at ‘bedtime’.
"So, even when you are following a more traditional 7 pm to 7 am schedule you are actually putting them to bed at 7 pm, midnight and 4 am!"
If you'd like to try following a less standardised schedule, for example putting your baby to bed at midnight, there are some things to think about, according to Cat.
"Babies and adults have daylight needs so if the baby is sleeping more through the day, you need to ensure they still get time outdoors and/or in daylight," she said.
What's more, it's important to "know your baby" including how much sleep, milk, food and active time they need at any given stage.
She continued: "Also, if your baby is over five months you will need to adjust things much more gradually.
"If they are younger you can do it more quickly by adjusting feeds allowing bedtime to come forward faster."
Finally, Cat stressed the importance of being consistent, adding "if midnight works for you as a bedtime be consistent with that schedule."
She said: "Messing around with it is more likely to cause sleep issues. Then if and when you are ready to change your schedule commit to it and be consistent with your approach."
In other news, The Sleep Mums revealed the biggest baby sleep myths – and what you should REALLY be doing to get them sleeping through.
Meanwhile, another parenting expert revealed why she’ll NEVER say no to her kids or tell them to ‘finish their plate’.
Plus this child expert on the milestones your kids should be hitting – and why speaking in full sentences at two is vital.
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