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Same Bedtime on School Nights and Non-School Nights for Preschooler?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

DS is just about to start preschool, which has meant completely revising the schedule we've had for the past 3 years...wherein we all went to bed around the same time (10:00-11:00pm) and then DS and I got up around 8:30-9:30am.  Now he's going to bed earlier and he and I will be up by 7am.  He's only going to preschool 3 mornings a week.  DH and I are wondering whether going to bed a bit later on non-school nights (an hour later?) is an ok idea or a bad idea.  The idea being that he'd still sleep his usual 10-ish hours, and therefore we could all sleep in an hour later on those days.  'Course there's no guarantee that he will sleep an hour later...he might just end up an hour short on sleep.

 

Anyone BTDT and have words of wisdom? 

post #2 of 16

I'm a big be liver in good sleep and schedules.   I'd keep it consistent school or no school.   I also don't let my kids stay up much later in the summer or weekends either.    Occasionally for an event or family movie night or something. 

post #3 of 16

Bad idea, IMO. He'll be TIRED from getting up early on school days. If he stays up later, you'll have one cranky kid. Also, it'll be much easier to enforce the earlier bedtime on the day before preschool if it's always the same. My kids are school age and we don't vary bedtime on weekends much even.

post #4 of 16

My daughter is five and and she would be a miserable wreck if we switched up her bedtime, letting her stay up late some nights and sleep in on some days.  We keep a consistent bedtime (I mean obviously if it's like, Christmas she stays up later and every now and then we might get in a little later but we keep it to a minimum) and she naturally wakes up at the same time ever day, which  means I never have to drag her out of bed or fight to wake her up in the mornings.


Also, pretty much the first rule of ANY sleep book for adults or children is keep your sleeping and waking times consistent. 

post #5 of 16

what you are trying to do is establish a habit.

 

not a good idea. i mean once in a while yeah. but not on a regular basis. 

 

i mean just going to bed on time is such a struggle. to keep changing that to me its a nightmare. occasionally its ok. 

post #6 of 16

We keep it the same nightly year around for all my kids, even the 3rd grader. It just doesn't work to switch it around, they end up with less sleep. Once in a while, we'll do a later bedtime for whatever reason but it isn't a common occurrence.

post #7 of 16

I agree it's a bad idea.  My kids need 12 hours sleep (no nap).  We don't waver from that, school or no school except for a couple of times a year when it's utterly unavoidable.

post #8 of 16

We keep a consistent bedtime routine and our bedtime will change maybe 30-45 minutes one way or the other without dire consequences. BUT, my kids go to bed pretty early at about 7:00 so staying up a few minutes later doesn't have a big impact on them. I think it is important to be consistent, but with a consistent bedtime routine a little variation isn't going to be disasterous IMO. 

post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the feedback, BTDT mamas!  I was thinking it was not a great idea, but DH asked about it last night.  I think he'd like to be able to sleep longer on the weekends.  And we have a new baby arriving in late October, so DH and I will be especially sleep-deprived for a while.

 

Ah, well.....naps for everyone!

post #10 of 16

oh mama our weekends are lax. friday and saturday nights are stay up night - not sunday night. 

 

and no dd learnt really early on the weekend is stay in bed kinda time. read and hang out but you dont have to get up and get ready just coz u r up. 

post #11 of 16

That wouldn't work for us at all.

 

If my dd sleeps late on, say, a Sunday morning, she'll have trouble going to sleep early on Sunday night, and then be really cranky when she has to wake up on Monday morning. If your dd is going to school three days a week, they probably aren't consecutive, so you'd have this trouble every school morning.

post #12 of 16

Adding my two cents.  It depends on the child's personality, probably.  Our struggle is early to bed, early to rise during the week (school days).  Dd's natural cycle is late nights and late mornings.  It has been this way all of her life.  When she doesn't have school the next day, I let her natural cycles do their thing.  Thankfully, she's a happy person and doesn't ever complain about getting up, isn't grumpy (but may be tired during the day), and wakes easily with gentle urging. She prefers, though, to sleep until 11am and I have always let her do that when she can.  We've never had a problem switching back and forth.

post #13 of 16
I would keep him on the same schedule, early bedtime, all week long. In my experience with my kids when they were preschoolers, letting them stay up later did not work at all. For one thing, my kids woke up at the same time (6:30) no matter what time they went to bed, so staying up late just meant less sleep for them.

For another, we were VERY happy to have them in bed by 7:30-8 so that dh and I could enjoy some time together every night.
post #14 of 16

Changing bedtimes works best if you change the schedule everday. Then his body can adjust and get the extra sleep, especially if you have an earlier wake up times. We just went through a four month process when my four year old finally dropped his daily nap and it really took that long to adjust to a different bed time.

post #15 of 16

I am always telling my husband HE shouldn't do this, our bodies do not understand that it is Friday, they want a rhythm, they have expectations--and you and your child will feel better if you keep the same schedule all week long.  Also know that the sleep gotten before midnight is much more valuable in terms of repair, etc. then sleep after midnight, so it is best for all of us, but especially kids, to get to sleep long before midnight (7:30 is ideal, but no later than 8:30).  Might seem impossible, but once his schedule is reset gently (slowly) it should work nicely. Does he seem well on 10 hours?  I know some little ones can do this, but generally a 3 year old needs closer to 12 (oh wait, is he napping?)

post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 

Well, DS seems to be doing ok...I think...with the new earlier schedule.  Last week I had to wake him most mornings and he lay in bed for about 15 minutes before getting up (as opposed to "the old days" when I would lay in bed, awake or asleep, until he got out of bed on his own).  This weekend, though, with DH home in the morning, DS is waking up on his own and the designated (or close to the designated) time.  He does well on 10 hours overnight...that has been his overnight schedule for about a year maybe.  He does still take a 1.5-2.5 hours nap in the afternoons.  And it is nice to have him going to bed 1-2 hours before us....will certainly make it easier to watch 9pm shows (Modern Family and The Office) this year.  Can't wait till the kids are old enough to entertain themselves for a couple hours in the morning if they wake up before mom and dad on the weekends....

 

I'm finding myself exhausted...but don't know how much is the new schedule vs. being 34 weeks pregnant (and possibly slightly anemic...getting that checked this week).  I think when the baby arrives, instead of staying up till 10:30-11:30, DH and I (and baby) will be hitting the sheets not long after DS does.

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