Sleep Problems - Problem #2 (long)
OK, my 2nd problem is a bedtime hr. Now I'm a night owl & so is 7 mos old daughter so I don't want her nor do I expect her to go to sleep at 7 or 8pm, like it seems most babies do. After all, I don't function well in the early morning so why do I want her asleep so early when I'll be up at least until midnight & then the next morn she'd probably wake before I'm ready to.
Anyway, we've never set a bedtime b/c I feel how can anyone be forced to get sleepy. This has been a problem for me all my life & my Dad said I was the same way when I was born & it's never changed. I believe you have a biological sleep clock & it doesn't always work the way society sugggests it should. It seems whenever she falls asleep for the night that's bedtime. It's not even a consistent time - it could be 10pm (not usual), midnight (most common) or up until 2 or 3 am.
I want to be able to get her to sleep by 10pm so that I can have 2 hrs to myself before I go to bed. If she doesn't fall asleep until midnight or later then I'm up at least another 2 hrs, & then the next day I'm dead & can't get up earlier than her to get anything done.
We started a routine where we give her dinner at 6:30, a few min rest, followed by a bath & jammies, I read her a book & then we have more quiet play - lullabies instead of dancing music, lamps instead of overhead lighting & we try to hang out in our bedroom instead of the livingroom after that & my husband & I watch TV while she is playing. Since I don't expect her to go to sleep after her bath & play at 8pm, how can I help her to get sleepy at 10pm since there is a big space in btn those 2 things?
Once she gets to sleep she's a good sleeper - sleeping btn 10-12 hrs. without generally waking, so that's a big plus.
What do I do when she wakes up from a nightime nap at let's say 10 or 11pm & then has a ton of energy (she's not cranky - she's playful & singing & is ready for gymnastics). Please don't tell me to keep her awake, b/c just like I don't understand how you can get sleepy when you aren't there is no way to keep up a tired baby without it completely taking up all your time & having a miserable baby.