Ask An Expert / Sleep

My 19-month-old granddaughter’s sleeping habits change when she is at our home. Any suggestions on getting her to sleep?

Changes in routine affect sleep, so keep everything as familiar as possible

Clark Goldstein, PhD

My granddaughter's sleeping habits change when she is at our home. She seems to wake up 1 to 2 hours earlier when she is here and sometimes wakes up during the night. They come here almost every weekend. She gets a lot of attention while here too. Any suggestions on getting her to sleep in at least 6:30? She is 19 months old.

Changes in routine can affect sleep patterns for children and adults, so that could be what is happening here. Of course, infants can also have irregular sleeping patterns. That said, I can think of a few things you may want to try. First, the baby should be sleeping in a crib, and ideally it should be identical to the one at her parents’ home. Consider furnishing the crib with the same toys and the same type of blanket she’s used to. It’s also a good idea to have her room be a similar temperature to the room she sleeps in at home. Are there blackout shades in the room? Perhaps your granddaughters’ exposure to sunlight may be an early wake up call for her. Also, be aware of any changes in her feeding times, since these changes may also be a factor influencing her sleep patterns. Sweet dreams!