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Night owls and bedtime routine

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I have a family of night owls... myself included. And my husband (who works third shift, so he's set LOL). If left to our own devices, every one of us would choose a bedtime between midnight and 2 or 3 AM, and a wake up time of around 10 AM to noon. That's our natural inclination, and honestly the way we function the best.

It might be my imagination, but it seems that most "bedtime routine" advice - and in the 7.5 years since I had my firstborn, I've read a lot of that - is geared toward non-night-owls. Night time is one of our most active, creative, engaged times; this seems to be the opposite of the morning people, who start winding down after dinner. I'm amazed when people talk about their children nodding off during a bedtime story. My kids would stay wide awake and intent as long as I was reading to them! No amount of lavender EO is going to change that.

I no longer have any desire to try to change all of us into morning larks; I don't know if it's possible, and even if it is, I don't want to do it. I used to. Until I realized that night owls are actually wired differently and that its OKAY to peak later in the day, even though society isn't exactly set up to accommodate that.

I'd like our bedtime to be a little nicer though, but I'm feeling frustrated by conventional bedtime routine advice. I would love to hear specifically from night owl families who have a joyful, connected bedtime.
post #2 of 5
Night owls here too, esp DH. He easily will come to bed between 4 and 7 am, sleep all day (on the weekends) or get up for work at 10 am. Me, I naturally go to bed between 11pm and 1 am, so not *quite* as night owlish, and get up between 830 and 10 am. The babies tend to stay up late and rise late-ish too. They'll usually be done for the night sometime between 10 and 12, then they'll sleep till 9am ish (nursing several times each thru the night of course), be awake for an hour or so, then take an hour- or two-long nap. It works for us, and that's the most important part. Just like BFing advice: watch your baby, not the clock. So what if a book tells you to put the baby to bed at 7pm. If she's just gonna wake up for the day at 5am, when you're nowhere near ready to have your eyes open, it's not worth it. You can always do the same routine (or whatever routine works for you), just do it at a time that is amenable to your lifestyle.
post #3 of 5
I agree to just tailor the advice to your own schedule so that you do the steps needed for wind down (the whole point of a bedtime routine) just on your own schedule. So if the advice is to start a bedtime routine with bath, books, nursing at 7 so they are asleep by 8 you could start at 11 so they ate asleep by 12.
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hmmm... perhaps "bedtime routine" is the wrong phrase? I'm more interested in hearing about less conventional approaches to bedtime routines. The bath-book-bed thing has never worked well for us.

We've got our own lackadaisical thing going on, and as long as I'm not trying to get kids to sleep before 11 PM, it's all good. However, I'm feeling that since my last pregnancy and the baby's birth, we're not enjoying bedtime as much as we could, and I'd like to reinvigorate that time. It can be the best time of day, but lately it hasn't been as great as it can be, so maybe a shift of some kind is in order.
post #5 of 5
We tend later in bedtimes around here. It's out of the world for us to have kids down at 10:30. 11-11:30 is the norm these days, though when it was just dd she was often up later.

We have dinner and after dinner stuff... and whatever else is going on. We usually head up for baths and bed sometime between 9 and 10... and then it looks pretty "normal" I guess, except the hour. Baths, teeth brushed, stuff readied for the next day and bed.

-Angela
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