unconventional bedtimes - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-26-2008, 11:46 AM
 
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I envy my friends who "put theirs down" at the same time every day and get tons of free time to themselves, but they all did it by CIO and out their children in the crib and let them cry and are inflexible in their schedule- I know DH and I couldn't do that and I know DS wouldn't be able to cope with that as well as some kids could either.
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.

My daughter is 5 and goes to bed around 8 pm most nights. We're flexible enough to push it back for special occasions, or bump it up if she's exhausted and having a difficult evening. I have an early riser, too---up at 6 or 7 am no matter what---so it's important that she get enough rest.

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.
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Old 06-26-2008, 11:48 AM
 
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Yes but in Spain, everyone takes a two-hour long siesta every afternoon. Especially during the summer, they sleep during the hot afternoons precisely so that they can stay up late during the cooler evenings, but they seem to keep up the same habit year-round.
Insert emoticon of me, moving to Spain.

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Old 06-26-2008, 12:52 PM
 
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We usually want to go to bed before ds, but we are all pretty early-to-bed/early-to-risers. In bed by 10, 9 if we can.

When people talk about kids needing routine in conventional parenting circles, the unspoken assumption is often that they need a routine that the parent creates. We have routines that comform to our rhythms, and they are fluid. I can feel the internal and external resistance when I try to make our actions match the clock, instead of our rhythm. Peace is important to us, so we modify our lives to be peaceful. In our home, that means I SAH, and we don't make too many plans, and they aren't too early in the morning!
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Old 06-26-2008, 01:21 PM
 
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Mine go to bed when tired. Whenever. Sometimes after me. I believe people should sleep when tired. We don't do bedtime.
We're the same. They usually just go to sleep when i do. Sometimes before, sometimes after. My toddler might want to continue playing with cars for a little while after i turn out the lights, but then will come to bed because he likes to be near mummy.

Both my kids have slept through the night from a young age. They can nurse if they want. Baby still nurses once.

With my oldest, ive never had sleep problems. I let him nap when he's ready, and give him the opportunity when i see the signs of tiredness. Same with baby.

I feel like im the only parent i know whose kids dont have sleep issues.

I also believe that overtiredness and sleep deprivation are big no no's. But my kids sleep when tired and that seems to work for them (and me)

We usually sleep around 9ish/10ish, and wake up 7ish. (as nature intended i guess)
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Old 06-26-2008, 01:27 PM
 
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ps. no dad to come home and get the kids all excited just before they go to bed/disrupt our peaceful routine...one of the many benefits of being a single mother. Sometimes i think that could be why we dont have this problem....
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Old 06-26-2008, 02:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So, so far those of you who do advocate a relatively set, relatively early bedtime are mostly commenting that you want to make sure your children are well rested, because, as I'm sure we can all agree, getting enough sleep is very important to a small child. I confess, though, that I'm still not getting the connection between any particular bedtime and sufficient sleep. For example, the Spain comments--"Yes, but in Spain everyone takes a 2 hour siesta every day." And so does my baby, and so, sometimes, do I! In fact, she takes two or three one to three hour naps per day. I am not aware of anything special about nighttime sleep as opposed to daytime sleep (besides that if *I* fall asleep with all my clothes on and the sun still shining, I wake up logey and sweaty!)

Another point that I've thought about but neglected to mention has been raised a few times now, obliquely. To us, it's important that our children be included in the larger life of their community. Were we (and again, this is US, and we're well aware that other families have different needs) to put Evelyn to bed at 7 or 8 every night, she would not have that social interaction (and neither would we, more pressingly). In fact, I honestly feel that this is part of our society's damaging ignorance of and dislike of small children--if children and families are never out and about during normal social hours unless they're also late for bed and cranky, then it's hard for people to have a good image of them. Thoughts?

I want to emphasize that in no way am I criticizing those of you whose children go to sleep in the early evening--what I'd like to see is people feeling free to do what works for their family. On which note, I'd also love to hear any speculation as to how this taboo of having children up/out later in the evening arose and what on earth's behind it.
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Old 06-26-2008, 02:08 PM
 
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Squrrl:

ITA

Before it was necessary to have our DD in bed earlier (due to me going back to work) we LOVED having her up late with us. She still got plenty of sleep. She was happy and healthy and almost never cranky.

But soon - I'll be going back 4 days a week and at least 3 of those she'll be at daycare for - so we'll be getting her up at a more consistent time. So I think she'll switch to going to bed at a more consistent time.
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Old 06-26-2008, 03:19 PM
 
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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.
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Old 06-26-2008, 03:56 PM
 
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I do think there is an old-fashioned Puritan element to the stigma. I have only recently realized that I used to be totally judgmental of adults who stayed up "too late." How were they ever going to get healthy, wealthy and wise? I stayed up all night in high school, because it was "cool," so staying up late must be immature, right?

Of course, as soon as I started to deconstruct those ideas, consciously, I realized that they were lame-o.

The need for an enormous normative set of approved social mores must be human, because it happens in all the cultures I am familiar with and it helps with the shorthand diagnosis of individuals that people tend to engage in. And there are obvious reasons, having to do with the sun, why things tend to happen during the daytime. The moral component just evolves out of the logistics, sometimes, I think.
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Old 06-26-2008, 04:34 PM
 
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I did try to set some sort of schedule, and I wish I'd just relaxed and let things happen. Now we do that and everyone's much happier! (AND more well-rested.) I figure that if this "unscheduled life" stops working, then we can always institute something then. I don't think there's ever any harm in going with what works in the moment, and adjusting or completely overhauling as needs change.
Yeah, I think that depends on your child. Like I said, the first 5 years of my oldest daughters life she went to bed when she was ready to. Now, she is completely incapable of falling asleep on her own no matter what time we start bedtime. She would and has stayed up until 2 am only to have to get up at 7:30 to go to school. Not all children intuitively are able to recognize when they are tired and submit to it.

Sure we could homeschool, but she wouldn't enjoy it and it doesn't solve the problem of her learning to fall asleep before she passes out from exhaustion


ETA - I am not sure of the stigma people are talking about in regards to keeping their kids up. We often took the kids out late to go do things and we never experienced anything negative. We avoid it at all costs now becasue by 7/8 they are tired and less in control, but they get plenty of socialization throughout the rest of the day.
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Old 06-26-2008, 07:48 PM
 
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To me this seems like one of those "every family is different" issues.

When my first ds was in the 8-18 month range, he was miserable and cranky at bedtime until we realized he was overtired. So we started putting him to bed at 6pm, sometimes a little earlier. It really helped. I did feel a little freaky because it really was "unconventional"... my friends' kids were just waking up from their naps!

Now our 2- and 4- year-old ds' go to bed around 7:30-8, sometimes later in summer. I get them A LOT of exercise during the day and they are just wiped out after dinner. I will say that I am an early riser, so I'm sure that has affected them.

Sometimes it's comical trying to figure out a time to get together with a dear friend whose family is on such a different schedule. Mornings? No--their kids sleep in. Their lunchtime is our naptime. Our park time is their naptime. Their park time is our dinner time. But we love them and manage to find a window!
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Old 06-26-2008, 11:41 PM
 
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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.
I pretty much agree with this. Bedtime was one of the greatest times I had with my parents; I remember my dad singing our special lullabye while walking back and forth between my sister's room and mine. But, I'm a certain kind of person (I thrive on routine), so maybe all kids don't enjoy it as much as I did.

I was that "doesn't know when she's tired" kid (and kind of am still that way). I needed my parents to tell me to go to sleep, or I became a cranky mess of overtired angst. I have a sneaking suspicion that my son is the same way. My sister, on the other hand, would ask to be put to bed whenever she was tired, starting pretty much as soon as she had the language to do so. I STILL have to force myself to go to bed at a decent time, even though I routinely get up pretty early, and my sister can still drop whatever she's doing and hit the sack whenever she feels the need. I have a sneaking suspicion that my son will follow in my footsteps (although at seven weeks, who really knows?)... my mom said that the only tiny baby she's ever seen who fights sleep better than Isaac was me.

One thing I love about my parents' approach to sleep, looking back, is that they and their friends rarely got babysitters when they wanted to hang out and stay up late on weekends. Adults would drink a few beers and play cards, and us kids would play outside or inside (depending on weather) until a slightly later-than-normal bedtime. Then we'd all get put to bed in the room of whichever kids lived in the house we were visiting. Usually we'd stay up for a while, playing, but would drop off only slightly later than our normal bedtimes. I was always the LAST one awake, of course.

I am seeing what I consider to be unwarranted judgment from the no-bedtimers towards the bedtimers. I understand that in a lot of other places in society, the judgment goes in reverse, but two wrongs doesn't necessarily make a right. A bedtime isn't necessarily an arbitrary parent-enforced-for-no-good-reason-other-than-parental-convenience rule, just like a kid up late isn't necessarily an oh-my-lord-those-parents-must-be-negligent kind of thing. I have friends (I use the term loosely) whose daughter stays up late, and, quite frankly, it's awful for her. She starts crying and screaming and tantruming and basically BEGGING to be put to bed, but nope. She only sleeps with mom, and mom's not ready to stop hanging out with her friends to put her to bed. My coworker's kids, on the other hand, regularly stay up late and thrive on it. When they show signs of needing to go down, she puts them down ASAP.

Bedtime can be done in a gentle, respectful way. No-bedtime can be done in a gentle, respectful way. Same dif', as I see it. Whatever works for your kids and family.

Me+DH+DS1+DS2+Dog=me and a house full of guys, which is really just peachy, thanks.
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Old 06-27-2008, 12:17 AM
 
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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.
I agree with all of the above. I think that most young children - most people in general - are programmed to sleep best when it is dark out - around here, about 8pm to 6am or so. And I think that most people, especially children, sleep best with a regular routine. In my experience as a babysitter for dozens of families over the years, I found that the ones with erratic bedtimes who were allowed to stay up until they choose to go to bed tended to be overtired and cranky a lot. And I know I personally feel worse when I'm up late and when my schedule shifts frequently.

Now if you insist that your child is different and really does sleep best from midnight to 11am and with an erratic bedtime - okay! There are always exceptions to every rule and since I don't know your child, I'll take your word for it. However, for our family, I'm starting with the assumption that my child is like most that I have known and will do best with an early, regular bedtime - if/when she shows me that this isn't true for her, I'll adapt.

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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.
Same here. I don't "force" my child to sleep at 7:30pm. I give her a nice warm bath, breastfeed her, dress her in her soft cotton pajamas, snuggle with her, give her her favorite soft blankey, and she drifts off. I resent the link people are making between routines and CIO.
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Old 06-27-2008, 04:57 AM
 
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So, so far those of you who do advocate a relatively set, relatively early bedtime are mostly commenting that you want to make sure your children are well rested, because, as I'm sure we can all agree, getting enough sleep is very important to a small child. I confess, though, that I'm still not getting the connection between any particular bedtime and sufficient sleep. For example, the Spain comments--"Yes, but in Spain everyone takes a 2 hour siesta every day." And so does my baby, and so, sometimes, do I! In fact, she takes two or three one to three hour naps per day. I am not aware of anything special about nighttime sleep as opposed to daytime sleep (besides that if *I* fall asleep with all my clothes on and the sun still shining, I wake up logey and sweaty!)
Well, first off, most children under the age of two need BOTH a nap AND to get a long sleep at night. If you can get a child older than 3 to continue to take a nap in the day and go to bed at a later time at night, by all means, go for it (although I would suggest ensuring that the room is completely dark during naptime - better for the brain). My DD has absolutely refused to have regular naps during the day since around age 2.5, no matter how late she stayed up the night before and no matter how tired she appears. Also, our work and school days are simply not culturally adapted to a siesta. Don't forget that in Spain, everyone (children and adults) takes one. So businesses close, schools close, offices take breaks. In North America and much of the rest of Europe, daily life is not adapted to everyone taking an afternoon nap. If you can find a school or daycare that incorporates one, great!

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I want to emphasize that in no way am I criticizing those of you whose children go to sleep in the early evening--what I'd like to see is people feeling free to do what works for their family. On which note, I'd also love to hear any speculation as to how this taboo of having children up/out later in the evening arose and what on earth's behind it.
I think its simple: small children who stay up late tend to get cranky and it is very obvious that they are tired and need to go to bed. Here in Italy, children go to bed with their parents. I can remember having dinner with friends in their home. We were there until 11 PM and their two-year old was up the whole time, crying, whining, rubbing her eyes. AT the point where the mother was at her wit's end trying to console her daughter, I finally said "I think she might be tired". To which the father replied, almost sternly, "she goes to bed when WE go to bed."

To me, this was a ridiculous policy and cruel to the child. That two year old needed to go to bed. Desparately.

On the other end of the stick, I have had friends insist that I "bring the baby" with me to their dinner parties and I have been miserable the entire time there because their idea that I can "just put the baby to bed in the spare bedroom when she gets tired" was a simplistic approach for an infant used to a certain sleep routine and certain sleep environment. After one try of that approach, we always refused to take the baby with us and opted for a babysitter. Yes, children do get left out of social events that way but I just cannot see how the alternative of a miserable overtired child is better for anyone, especially the mother, who is expected to "babysit" while everyone else socializes.:

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Old 06-27-2008, 05:56 AM
 
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On which note, I'd also love to hear any speculation as to how this taboo of having children up/out later in the evening arose and what on earth's behind it.
Also want to add that going to bed later does not mean that you get up in the morning equally late. In fact most studies show that 1) the best sleep occurs before midnight and 2) you sleep in less in the morning, no matter how late you sleep; therefore, you never completely recuperate the lost sleep by going to bed late.

And that goes for both children and adults.

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Old 06-27-2008, 06:36 AM
 
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To me this seems like one of those "every family is different" issues.
Not to mention every child is different. We tried a set bedtime with dd and she wasn't for it. Even now, she will stay up later, but she will also sleep in, so it balances out. She also dropped naptime completely between 2.5 and 3yo.

Ds, on the other hand, has since birth been sleepy/ ready for bed by 9:30pm. This summer he's extended it to 10pm. However, he's up between 7:30 and 8am. Usually it's 7-7:30am. If he's up past 10, he'll still wake around 7-7:30am and will simply take a longer nap to compensate. At 3, it doesn't look like he'll give up naps soon.

In the end, I think it's one of those things where you have to find what works best for your family. If we had a set schedule where the kids had to be somewhere at a set time each morning, we'd probably have a different schedule so that they would have a full night's sleep. But as this is not a problem for us, we will just continue with what works for us until there's a need to change it.
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Old 06-27-2008, 10:16 AM
 
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But honestly, I can’t make the kid go to sleep. I would be pulling my hair out struggling for 3-4 hours trying to put a baby to sleep that isn’t tired.

I was blessed with a child that hates sleep
Yep, there's two things you can't make a child do: eat and sleep. We've BTDT on both of those fronts. For the first 18 months or so, as much as I would have LOVED a schedule, he just couldn't get regulated. It was impossible. It seems that I spent most of my waking hours during that time trying to get him to sleep. At some point I just let it be, and let him stay up late. In the past few months he's been a LOT more consistent, and so only now can we have any semblance of a schedule (now that DS is ready and almost asking for it).

and to waiflywaif, who said:
"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."

It's easy to pass judgment if you have not been there and do not have a child like this. There are some children with special needs that have trouble with regulation....this includes going to sleep. When you have spent months trying every night for 3-5 hours to get a child to sleep (after already having spent hours earlier in the day trying to get him to nap) you eventually try the "let them tire themselves out" approach. Sometimes it's the only thing that works. Thankfully for us, it was a phase that he grew out of. It is a lot easier now that he seems to be more regulated, but I've experienced both sides of the coin now.

In the end, I would say to do whatever works for your child and your family. I cannot say that putting a child earlier or later to bed than mine is either better or worse, unless it's not working for you. In that case, try something different.

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Old 06-27-2008, 12:04 PM
 
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I think its simple: small children who stay up late tend to get cranky and it is very obvious that they are tired and need to go to bed. Here in Italy, children go to bed with their parents. I can remember having dinner with friends in their home. We were there until 11 PM and their two-year old was up the whole time, crying, whining, rubbing her eyes. AT the point where the mother was at her wit's end trying to console her daughter, I finally said "I think she might be tired". To which the father replied, almost sternly, "she goes to bed when WE go to bed."
I find this offensive...

My DD for the longest time would take a 30 minute nap at 7 or 8pm (no matter what we did - besides go to bed with her and even that didn't always work - would keep her asleep). Then she'd be happily awake until 11:30 or 12am.

That was her natural rhythm. And as a newborn - we encouraged it. We LOVED it. It really did give us alot of flexibility.

I'm sorry you had a bad experience - but I can assure you than my DD has stayed up much later than that without rubbing her eyes or being whiny and cranky.

My DD is 19 months. And we're about to scrap her nap. When she naps for more then 30 or 45 minutes (yesterday she took a 2.5 hour nap) she stays up until 12 or 1am. So - not all kids under 2 need naps.
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Old 06-27-2008, 01:21 PM
 
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I have never considered not having a routine or general guidelines about bedtime. However, kids/family needs are different over time. I get it with infants that their needs are variable and so sleeping times can vary widely. And obviously homeschooling families who do not have a need or desire to be up in the AM have a different story as well. My kids and our family does best with routine, a flexible routine, but routine none the less. We've never done a speck of CIO, but we've gently made space for sleep to happen. I honestly have super grumpy kids when they are up too late, and I believe that especially in the winter,adequate sleep is one of the best defenses against becoming sick.

Also, we have small farm animals that require care in the early AM, and we need to be gardening early in the AM, before the heat in the summer, so our lives are not conducive to sleeping in every morning! I admit to feeling like that would be a real luxury.

In the end I don't think anyone is necessarily wrong for their personal choices. Again, what works for you at one moment in time may not later, so it's best to be flexible. Oh, my kids are school aged, so that influences our perspective right now.
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Old 06-27-2008, 04:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I confess to also being rather miffed at the suggestion that all children who stay up late to engage in social situations are generally cranky and overtired, or that I am in any way neglecting my child's sleep. Evelyn has been the life of several evening parties--cheerful and active. No one has ever criticized us for having her out late, though some have expressed surprise that she's so cheerful and cooperative "past bedtime". If she gets cranky and tired, obviously, we _leave_, and she falls asleep in the carseat on the way home.

How it works for us is that if, at any point, Evelyn gets consistently cranky (that is, not just startled or frustrated or hungry or bored), I take her to bed and try to nurse/sing her to sleep. About half the time, she nurses for a bit and then is refreshed and enthusiastic about life...even if the lights are off for the night and we've gone through the whole bedtime routine ourselves. If I don't wait until she shows signs (fussiness, eye rubbing) of sleepiness, my success rate is somewhere around zero. Using this system, she averages about ten hours at night (not counting brief wakeups) and 3-6 during the day. This would seem to add up to roughly the recommended amount for her age. I have no doubt that as she gets older, things will shift. Already we've dropped one nap and lengthened the others somewhat. She seems to be a middle-ground sort of baby...never goes to sleep on her own just because she's tired, but rarely (any more, anyway) fights sleep when she is tired.

I would be interested to see references regarding your assertions about sleeping patterns, RomanGoddess, because they do not at all match up with my own experiences or, indeed, the sleeping patterns of some traditional cultures. On the other hand, they are just the sort of information pro-bedtime that I was wondering about when I started this thread.
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Old 06-27-2008, 04:19 PM
 
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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
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Old 06-27-2008, 04:57 PM
 
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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.
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Old 06-27-2008, 07:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.
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Old 06-27-2008, 08:49 PM
 
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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.

mom to all boys B: 08/01ribboncesarean.gif,  C: 07/05 uc.jpg, N: 03/09 uc.jpg, M: 01/12 uc.jpg and far too many lost onesintactlact.gifsaynovax.gif

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Old 06-28-2008, 10:43 AM
 
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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.
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Old 06-28-2008, 02:56 PM
 
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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.

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Old 06-28-2008, 08:20 PM
 
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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.
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Old 06-28-2008, 08:33 PM
 
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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.
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Old 06-28-2008, 10:03 PM
 
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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.
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Old 06-29-2008, 02:12 AM
 
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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.

TripMom . . . . . loving mom : to DS (7) and BBG (4.5)
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