A Late Night With Little Ones

As a certified pediatric sleep consultant, a certified lactation consultant, and a newborn care specialist, I give families the resources and support they need to thrive during the newborn period.

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Hey Mama!

I'm Kristen!

Have you always been annoyed by people that have to “leave early to get home for bedtime,” but after one late night, you find that you are one of them?!

Yeah, I get it! I am that person now too. But, there is a mantra I have for people like us.

One late night is just one night!

One late night, or even a few late nights, won’t break your baby and it certainly won’t undo all of the hard work you feel like you’ve done to master sleep.

Even if you’ve decided to adopt my mantra, I know that you are still curious about the best way to handle late nights with your little one, so without further ado, here are my best tips for maintaining a social life with a child.


It’s important not to forget it! I know that the pleas for you to come to a late dinner and ‘bring the baby,’ are not accompanied with a “and then i’ll stay at your house tonight and get up with the baby.”

It doesn’t matter what anyone else has to say about the way you choose to raise your child. You do what works best for you and own it! If you want to get Jimmy home for his 7pm bedtime, but your mom wants the whole family to go to the late night showing of Nutcracker, you can say no! I promise one day Jimmy will be older and he will be able to stay up late and you can all attend the 8pm show, but until then, protect yourself and your sanity. 


This is the most important part of having an “off” day or a late night. No matter what time you are putting your child to bed (1hr earlier than normal or 3 hours later), do your bedtime routine.

Kids do not know how to tell time. The only way that they identify bedtime is by the series of steps that happen before they go to bed. The routine will set the expectations and help their brain prepare for sleep.

There are a few ways to do this depending on your child’s age.


Generally, this will only work with babies until they are around 3 months old. If you plan to have a late night, you will do their whole bedtime routine before you leave. Instead of laying them down in their crib/ bassinet, you will put them in their car seat, stroller, etc. and let them fall asleep there. Keep them in there until you get back home. This is not a time to pass the baby around. Let your sleeping baby sleep. Once you get back home, transfer your sleeping angel to their bed.

If they wake up (like really wake up) during the transition to the bed, I do recommend doing your whole bedtime routine again.

I’ve seen several late night successes using this method. I’ve even had someone do this at a rest stop while traveling and transferring baby once they got to their hotel!


This works well for children 3 months – 12 months. Remember, your baby doesn’t know how to tell time. And they definitely do not know how many naps they take per day.

So, if you have plans for a late night, instead of putting them to bed, offer them another nap(s). Follow your same general daily routine or wake windows until you get home. Once you get home, you will do your bedtime routine as if it were your child’s normal bedtime. You can of course shorten the routine is your baby is exhausted but try your best to keep the steps your routine intact.


This is what I recommend for children older than 12 months. It can be hard to let go of the schedule, but if you keep it as the exception and not the rule, it is ok to let your child stay up late every now and again.

If you have a late night event and your child is partaking in the events, just do a later bedtime and don’t let yourself get caught up in daily sleep requirements.

If they need it, they can sleep in a little, take longer naps, or even take an extra nap the next day.

In Summary

So there you have it, you don’t have to stop living your life just because you have a child! Although if you’re a homebody and you want to use your child as your excuse (I see you), you have that option too!

Whatever you decide to do is the best choice for your family! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

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I'm Kristen

The expert & woman behind the screen. I'm also your new best friend who is ready to empower you on this incredible journey.

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