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unconventional bedtimes - Page 5

post #81 of 126
Her generalization about children who are up late is not any more offensive than your generalizations about children who have a bedtime that does not match up with yours
post #82 of 126
My ds gets tired around 7-8. He sometimes passes out if I need to keep him up. I didnt make him CIO to get to this point. That is just his moment. Fine with me. His dad gets home around 4:15, so that isnt an issue. He wakes between 7-8, sometimes earlier.

But, sometimes, if his naps get messed up and he naps later, he doesnt go to sleep till 8-9. So that is what we do.

I do try and keep the day consistent, and I try to be home for naps, otherwise he wants to nap between 5-6, and bedtime gets pushed too far back, and he still wakes early, and then we are all really tired.
post #83 of 126
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Her generalization about children who are up late is not any more offensive than your generalizations about children who have a bedtime that does not match up with yours
:: didn't MAKE any generalizations about children who have different bedtimes. In fact, I've specifically been advocating family choice the whole time!

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what I'd like to see is people feeling free to do what works for their family
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I can definitely see wanting to prepare a kid for getting up for school, too.
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I'm well aware that some people are morning people and others are...not.
Truly, dictatorial.
post #84 of 126
Yeah, all the nasty generalizations seems to be on the part of those who have their kids in bed early and think those of us whose kids stay up late are forcing them to stay awake for our own selfish reasons. Some of us are night owls. Some children are even *gasp* night owls. My kids go to bed when they're tired, which is usually around 11pm or so. Once in awhile the youngest won't go to sleep when the lights go out & I'll end up taking a few hours later than that to get him to sleep. Quite often my oldest will stay awake until 2 or so, even when he's in bed & tired.

Every family & every child is different. We do what works for us. If it works for your family & child to have them in bed at 7 or 8 or even earlier, great! My kids are happy, healthy & well-rested and I've found all the comments implying a late bedtime = bad/selfish parenting extremely offensive & uncalled for. I would reply to specific comments made, but honestly, I'm too angry and I know I'd say something I later regret.
post #85 of 126
I kind of conflated two things in my post---late bedtimes and NO bedtimes. Truly, I don't care when a kid goes to bed as long as they get enough sleep. But we're a fan of routines in our house, and I don't agree with the whole "just curl up whenever you get tired" thing (unless it's a special occasion like a party or something). To me (speaking only for myself) it feels like abandonment. I consider it my responsibility to help my child get to sleep, at whatever clock-hour is right for her.
post #86 of 126
We have always put DD to bed early because she has never slept past 7 am in her life. (Well, since early infancy.) DS is showing signs of being just as much of a lark as she is--he's up for the day at 5:30 am these days (goes to bed around 6:30 because he's tired then).

DD would happily stay up later if we let her. Often I would LIKE her to go to bed later, as it's impractical to have her go at 8. We occasionally do stay out late, and she does not " act tired" in the conventional sense; in fact she's usually wound up and really hard to get to sleep. But then she's no fun at all the next day. I wonder if some parents here think the kids are not tired (because they don't go down to sleep easily at an earlier hour) when they are actually overtired....when kids are overtired they often get really wired, YK?

I also think a lot of behavioral issues are related to lack of sleep. If you truly find your child is sweet, charming, cooperative, and happy on less sleep than average (in my experience, kids who go to bed late do get less overall sleep), then fine; but if not, look at the sleep issue and reassess.
post #87 of 126
I was just coming here to post about this! We have been battling sleep with DS for two years. He's two years old. Following conventional advice, they always say earlier is better - between 7-8 pm. But we spend an hour helping him to sleep, and its usually because he's cried so hard he's exhausted. He also wakes up at 7 a.m. sharp regardless of when he went to bed the night before.

So...it seems like a LOT of people are putting the kids down much later than I am, and maybe I should try letting him stay up longer. But...and this may seem like a stupid question...what the heck do you do with an only-child toddler for three hours or so every evening, after baths and dinner, that is calm yet still interesting? By 8 pm we've already colored, painted, read books, gone for walks, been outside, etc and I find myself desperate to entertain him (we don't watch TV with him either). He's not the snuggly type either, and he's not good at playing by himself yet.
post #88 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleCrisp View Post
But...and this may seem like a stupid question...what the heck do you do with an only-child toddler for three hours or so every evening, after baths and dinner, that is calm yet still interesting? By 8 pm we've already colored, painted, read books, gone for walks, been outside, etc and I find myself desperate to entertain him (we don't watch TV with him either). He's not the snuggly type either, and he's not good at playing by himself yet.
We don't "entertain" her... She plays with her toys. She's 18 months and it works fine. Sometimes we will play with her toys - but often one of us is cleaning and the other is on the computer.
post #89 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleCrisp View Post
So...it seems like a LOT of people are putting the kids down much later than I am, and maybe I should try letting him stay up longer. But...and this may seem like a stupid question...what the heck do you do with an only-child toddler for three hours or so every evening, after baths and dinner, that is calm yet still interesting? By 8 pm we've already colored, painted, read books, gone for walks, been outside, etc and I find myself desperate to entertain him (we don't watch TV with him either). He's not the snuggly type either, and he's not good at playing by himself yet.
This is much easier in summer when you can go outside for long walks or a play in the park! In winter, we often go to the library or the indoor pool in the evening - it's always so much quieter at 7.30pm - rather than 5pm, when it's totally packed with kids. It totally suits ds to avoid crowds of kids.

DH also plays guitar a lot, so he will often play in our lounge and sing while we just hang out. We might draw, do some puzzles... ds is obsessed with household appliances, so he'll spend quite a bit of time "playing" with them. He doesn't need much input from me when he's doing this - apart from supervising to make sure he's safe.
post #90 of 126
We are solar sensitive. Tired when the sun goes down - wide awake once its up. In the summer its a struggle to get them down - so bedtime moves back to 8 or 8:30ish. If I let them stay up later - they would be miserable the next day. They do not adjust their "wake up" time (i.e. sleep in) when they go to bed later - they still get up with the sun - and now I have cranky melty kids.

Nope. We are pretty scheduled on the sleeping front.
post #91 of 126
We have always had early bedtimes around here but our kids also always "cued" that that was what they needed ie rubbing eyes etc. We like it because then dh and I have time to reconnect. The only downside is that they are up by 6 or 6:30 every am without fail and keeping them up later never changed that ...
post #92 of 126
I should probably read through the responses, but no time right now. Just wanted to add my two cents. I don't think it matters at all what time kids go to bed and when they get up (or how often they nap) as long as they are getting *enough* sleep.

For the 1st 18 months of DD's life I had relentless insomnia. I couldn't fall asleep at night but I'd be able to sleep in the morning. So DD started going to bed later ... 10pm, 11pm... and the up-side was that she'd sleep-in. Most mornings we'd sleep until 9:30 or 10am, sometimes as late as almost noon. Since she wasn't in school (I'm a SAHM) and we didn't have other commitments, it really didn't matter that we missed most mornings. And there were other bonuses. DH works until 6pm or 7pm so if DD had been on a more "normal" schedule, she'd have seen very little of DH during the week.

Now that DD is older and my insomnia is gone, we're back to a more "normal" schedule so that getting up for preschool (2 mornings a week) goes well. But until it starts cutting into activities you want to do, I'd say go for whatever schedule works for you! As long as they are getting enough hours of sleep, who cares when it is?
post #93 of 126
I vote, who cares as long as they get enough sleep? Do what works for your family. We all have our rationales.

We have one truly "scheduled" moment a day, the morning wake-up at 6a, because that's a rhythm that works for our family and DD is part of our family life. I love that she has morning connection time with her Daddy, that I get a few moments to myself to wake-up before DH leaves for walk, that we can all eat breakfast together... Then we follow her cues the rest of the day, trying to help her get enough rest - helping, not forcing! The early wake-up generally means an early bedtime, and yeah, we like that We still socialize, just at our own home, or in the afternoon, or occasionally by flexing her daily routine to stay up later. If we help her cue into her own tiredness throughout the day, then she wakes up totally happy at 6a.
post #94 of 126

owls here....

Funny you should create this thread.

DS won't go to bed till 10 or 11. I was reading an article not to long ago by a child psychologist who said, kids go to bed when they are tired, period.

I have tried the bedtime thing, it just doesn't happen. If my son doesn't want to go to sleep, he won't.

Both my husband and I are nightowls. We are miserable in the mornings, and will never get used to it.
So naturally our son is the same way..

A and when he is tired, he will roll over and go to bed.

The only problems with this is... we don't get any alone time in the evening, or at all, DS rarely naps anymore.

And I work in the mornings, so he has to get up to go to the babysitters. Which is frought with crankiness. So an ideal time for me would be 9. We spend time with him, we get an hour to ourselves.

Is my child hyperactive since he doesn't get 13 hours of sleep?
post #95 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by waiflywaif View Post
Just wanted to say that we have always had bedtime at a set time every day and there was not a speck of CIO in my house. I hate how these things get equated all the time although there is no correlation between them.

Frankly, I think my kid's generally happy temperament is about 90% her personality but also about 10% the fact that she gets enough sleep and feels secure in her bedtime routine. Sure, some kids hate routines but honestly? Most kids thrive on it.
i think the problem is that its often (in mainstream) associated with CIO b/c thats what it is a result of.

i think sleep has a lot to do with a child's temperament. I didnt think this so much a few months ago but im in the middle of Sleepless in America and it has changed the way we are doing things..but not b/c a book changed us..its b/c for about 2.5 years, we were good to go....ds did not have a bed time..he went to bed and napped when he was tired. it worked for him and he is a very easy going child. I was never restricted in going out or anything (w/ him) b/c he was always happy and pleasant until he was tired and he simply went to sleep. Recently, however, he began having night terrors and not sleeping so well..and not going to sleep so well (had to do alot w/ my pregnancy and milk drying up and him not nursing much anymore). So...things have changed and we are now gently incorporating a "wake up time" for him (around (9:30 am) and working on setting his circadian clock...which has been going well lately. He has gone from 11 hours of sleep to 13, the average recommended sleep for ages 2-3 from what i understand. Its working for us now but its much much harder. We are not scheduling type of ppl....i have the luxury of being a SAHM for now and we do not schedule a ton of activities so he is not worn out. There are sooo many factors in why children sleep or not....this book is opening my eyes to some things that i have been doing that havent been conducive to ds sleeping lately....but its approach is very flexible, as i believe it should be. Operating with absolutely no schedule for 2.5 years worked for us. Now that he has changed and our circumstances have changed, we need a bit more structure for him...but we also have to respect the rest of the family....we are not ones to "close down" our home at 7 or 8pm..it just does not work for us. Dad doesnt get home until around 6:30pm. Its also not good for kids to eat and then go to bed (one of teh things i learned from this book also) and with a 6:30 dinner time and a 7 or 8 bedtime, that woudl be happening...so we avoid that also. Its such a delicate balance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by waiflywaif View Post
People should sleep when they're tired. On the other hand, kids (and some adults) don't always know when they're tired. Having a bedtime and a bedtime routine, provided that it's a sensible one that takes into account the child's schedule, can help provide the cues that "oh hey I am tired, it's time to wind down and let my body rest."

I don't believe in arbitrary bedtimes---in fact, if a kid is consistently taking a long time to fall asleep that should be a hint that they're NOT tired and that the bedtime needs to be later. I do believe in "bedtime" as a concept and in bedtime routines. To *me* there is something slightly sad about a child who just goes and goes until their body can't handle it anymore and they pass out on the floor. I am not saying it's neglectful, but to me (once again, just my opinion) the security and closeness that comes from putting a child to bed, with a loving routine, is priceless.
you had me until the end. I do agree with the concept that children should sleep when they are tired, and that they do not always know what those cues are.

I think your last statement re: a child who goes until they collapse is probably not what most ppl are talking about here, though. Its more (at least my son's first 2.5 years) a case of playing and then showing cues of wanting to nurse, sleep, etc. etc. My son has never just collapsed on the floor and fallen asleep (even for a nap). I have simply followed his cues but at times that has been at midnight....most of the time around 10ish pm. I think its safe to assume that moms here are not simply ignoring their children's cues and simply waiting until they collapse before putting them into bed.

Another issue around bedtime is bathtimes too. We don't bath kids every night. Its not healthy for my son for one and causes his eczema to flare up alot....so that one ritual that most ppl count on hasnt been available to us. Now that he's a bit older, we have turned the hot tub down and spend a few minutes together in teh hot tub at night, which seems to aid in calming his internal motor a bit.

Really..i think both sides get so defensive w/ this issue (no one person) as w/ many parenting issues, there are pros and cons to each side. I have been cosleeping for close to 18 years, and i can definitely see the appeal of a crib or separate bed for my kids....but it just doesnt work for my family. It does work for others though.
post #96 of 126
We've always just let DS stay up till he gets tired and falls asleep. We were laying him down then in the family room with us on a little 'bed' (pile of blankets, basicly). However, on Saturday I cleaned up "his" room (where the crib & his clothes & some of his toys are stored), and converted the crib to a "toddler bed"... so the last couple nights when he's fallen asleep I've carried him upstairs and laid him down upthere. First night he slept there for 2 hours, last night for 3! So, we're improving Its nice cause' when we goto bed he doesn't get woken up being moved/carried... and we get at least a LITTLE bit of 'adult time' by OURSELVES in OUR bed!

I honestly don't see the point in having a dedicated bed-time (or nap-time). He gets up with us, mostly around 7 or 8 and takes a nap or two depending on the day.
post #97 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by PassionateWriter View Post
i think the problem is that its often (in mainstream) associated with CIO b/c thats what it is a result of.
Really? How do you know this?
post #98 of 126
I always feel like that is a big part of the CIO "marketing," if that's what you mean. "Kids need a set bedtime, set by the parent, to be healthy and happy and to get the parent's needs met, so the parent needs to force this bedtime through CIO."

That's very different than what is being discussed here, IMO. We seem to agree that listening to the child and acknowledging his or her cues is the important thing.
post #99 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by riverscout View Post
Really? How do you know this?
by listening to other parents over the last 18 years (almost...short by 2 months) who have told me that they get their kids on a rigid schedule early on and do so whether the kids like it or not...and for those who dont like it, they cry until they figure out its not going to change.

there is a HUGE coorelation w/ most mainstream night time parenting and CIO.

why do you believe what i stated not to be true? just wondering why you questioned that one statement vs. everything else i said.
post #100 of 126
I'm glad to find this thread b/c this has really been an issue for us in the last month. I feel not so alone.

Just a thought about the correlation b/t CIO and set bedtimes. The ONLY way I could get my kids down at a consistent, early bedtime would be to let them CIO. Some kids would do it, I know, but my kids ... I don't know what the issue is!

Maybe they're just night owls like me. Ha ha. Too bad they don't sleep in ...
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