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Outings vs Sleep Schedule

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

My sister & I are at odds over this. We have very different opinions so I thought I would run it by you guys to get some other opinions.

My kids dont nap 25mo & 3y10m. They probably could use one (especially the little one) but the problem I have is when they do nap they are up until between 10pm & midnight. They then wake normal time so are very short on sleep & so is Mama. It always messes us up for about 2 days when they do nap & it is terrible. With out naps the little one is asleep between 6:30 & 7 & the older one between 7:30 & 8.


The issue my sister & I have is...I wont go out with the kids later in the afternoon. I run the risk of them falling asleep in the car then. So we do everything in the morning. as long as we are home by12:30 or 1. We are usually all awake & happy. I have no problem with this. I feel that these children only have me to keep their lives in order. It is my responsibility to make sure they have the best sleep they can get & to me it is not worth a play date to then have a tired house for two days. We go to early park/playdates 2 - 3x a week.

Now my sister tells me all the time that I need to 'live a little', have fun, etc... That my kids cant run my life. She has a 2y4mo. She doesnt really have a schedule for him as far as I know. she is out with him all the time & he naps ramdomly (early/late) - whenever. So his night time sleep is whenever too. She was just complaining the other day to me because her son wouldnt go to sleep until 1am (because of a late nap in the car) & woke normal time, etc... I tell her my opinion - that kids thrive spending some time at home, having routine, set sleep schedules (nap & bed), etc. She said she cant do that & that she has to have a life too & so should I. I then told he as her son ages she may find he behaves better with some regularity at home & she cant see it ever happening.

So it came up again today because she invited us over for fathers day at 3pm. Not good for us... any thoughts???

post #2 of 13

I can see both sides of the issue. I always protected my children's naptimes and bedtimes fiercely, but I can't imagine never doing anything later then 1! That's very limited. It sounds like if they are so likely to fall asleep in the car after 1, then maybe they do need a nap! I can see why your sister is frustrated, 3pm is not that late. Won't you be gone 'til close to their bedtime anyway? If my youngest (4) ends up falling in the car in the late afternoon, I just wake his butt up when we get back home lol. Usually that doesn't affect bedtime at all.

post #3 of 13

i plan things around naptime best i can, but i wouldn't just stay home after noon everyday! is there anyway to give your kids a nap early? when i have babies, life pretty much revolves around naps but as they get older, it is less so and by the time they are the ages of yours, naps happened at home or in the car and didn't affect bedtime that night. i just would hate to limit myself and my husband and the older kids like that! i think most people feel the same way. but most kids don't have extremely late bedtimes from napping, either.

post #4 of 13
I have an older child, so your schedule wouldn't work with my life, but I guess to have the evenings child free might be nice, but does your partner even see the kids? My dh is often just coming home at 6:30.

I too only do morning playdates. My youngest naps from 1-3 and then we're off running big sis around. Bedtime isn't til 9 and it is a quick pee, brush teeth, nurse the lights out for everyone. Youngest Waking around 7 to get big sis to school
post #5 of 13

I am more in your sister's camp, but I think if you and your kids are happy only getting out for a couple of hours three times a week, why not?  My kids would go *crazy*.  They think every day should be the time of their lives and we will often do all day long playdates. Yesterday we were at a birthday party from 1 pm until 9 pm.  Otoh, sometimes I would love to stay home and sew and do stuff in the house and its hard for me to swing that.

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the responses everyone. we actually go out almost everyday. we just do playdates 2 - 3 days a week. the other days are things like grocery shopping, errands, etc...

Roubidoux, a birthday party from 1 - 9 would be perfect for us too. We can go out later as long as we are in the car early enough. If we were invited to a party at 12 or 1 that would mean we would be in the car to go there at a time that they wouldnt be tired yet & of course they are not gong to sleep there. LOL! Its just having them in the car between say 1:30 & 5 that is tough. 

Well, maybe I am the crazy one (as my family thinks LOL!), but I just cant get my head around purposely having tired cranky kids just to hang with friends (unless a special occasion of course).

post #7 of 13

IME, this is such a short time.  A few years of limited hours isn't going to kill you or your kids.  If you were working, you wouldn't be available, right?  Well, you ARE working.  You are child-raising, and this is the best thing for your family.  Stick to your guns.  Soon your kids will be bigger and it won't matter anymore anyway.

post #8 of 13
I definitely modify our activities around sleep. We aren't as restricted as you but my LO sleeps sometime between 10am and 12 midday which is prime activity time around here. We make some exceptions but we do miss things because of her sleeps. I can push her til later but, yes it will affect bedtime so it's not worth doing it often. We're all happier when we get enough sleep :-)
post #9 of 13

If they are THAT tired at 1:30, I say they need a nap. Most kids that young do. Two of mine ended naps early, however my 4 yo is just cutting out his naps now. Are you really sure they don't need a nap, even some of the time?

post #10 of 13

I'm with you OP, and I'd keep on doing the same thing.  Do what your kids need.thumb.gif  


My older had the harder time with sleeping, and I hated other people's events being at 5 pm, that we'd have to go to only to have a cranky kid there and me being up until 1:30 afterward (cause of napping in the car, overstimulation in the evening. . . whatever it was).  If I had to head out somewhere in that 2-4pm timing, I knew to put on the coffee in the evening for myself.  I actually did this sometimes on purpose if she'd been sleeping badly all night and I needed the extra time to zone out on the sofa not actively taking care of her, but that was limited.


My younger can actually go out, have an erratic nap, and will still go to bed pretty reasonably (around 10 at the latest) so I no longer live in fear about the issue of sleep - but she can't handle more than 1-2 outings a day away from home or erratic eating times, so there's just always something to be paying attention to.




A little OT, but  - if napping ends up making bedtime a nightmare, it's usually best start avoiding naps and focusing on relaxing nighttime sleeping instead.  Non-napping downtime is what we do as well, and what probably happens naturally for kids like the OP's without car-outing induced naps.

post #11 of 13

If it works for you- go for it.  For us there's no way it would work.  My kids are further apart and so the oldest has lots of activities (we homeschool).  To deny her all afternoon (or full day) activities for a younger child to nap would be impractical and absurd.

post #12 of 13

Our DD is the same, if she has a nap she actually gets less sleep in the 24 hour period than if she doesn't nap.

We do not have to avoid activity, because there is no way she is sleeping on the go. But if the risk was there of her falling asleep and ruining her bedtime...well, we would avoid outings too.


Is it possible to have them in the car in that time without them sleeping? What if you brought a fun kids CD and the family sang and was silly during the drive?

But I mostly think....if it works for your family then it is a good thing and you shouldn't worry about what anyone else thinks/feels.

But if it isn;t working for you, than try to figure out a way to make it work for you.

post #13 of 13

OP -- It sounds like you are doing a great job protecting your kids!   This works for your family.  I don't see any need to create extra stress for them (and consequently you) without a good reason for it. 


I think our kids SHOULD make a difference in how we run our lives.  Nobody should "win" all the time, but everybody should get their needs considered.  It seems like you've found a good balance for your family, and I definately agree with your intentions.


We avoid vacations for the same reason.  At least one kid will get to bed close to midnight and at least one will get up before 6.   Followed by lots of meltdowns and a cranky sleep-deprived family.  And each day we're gone just gets worse.  I hope someday we'll get it figured out, but for now, we can have a lot more fun than that staying home.  We have made a couple of long trips for weddings, Thanksgiving... but we've declined more than we've attended. 

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