unconventional bedtimes - Page 5 - Mothering Forums

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#121 of 126 Old 07-06-2008, 05:17 PM
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We've always just put DS to bed when he's sleepy. I think its kinda silly to spend an hour (or more) trying to get a little kid to sleep when they aren't sleepy yet. Most likely, if you'd just wait until a bit later, it wouldn't take nearly as long. :

Carly [29] + DH [27] + DS [9]

TTC my second and his first!

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#122 of 126 Old 07-06-2008, 09:31 PM
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We are pretty flexible with bedtimes until our kids are around 3. That tends to be the time the daytime napping is weaning and we move them to going to bed at a 'set' bedtime rather then falling asleep in the late afternoon and staying up all night. I am not a good mom at night if I don't get some quite time/ me time/ couple time. Call me selfish, but that is the way it is.

So right now the 6 & 3.5 year old go to bed around 7:30-8 (sometimes the 3.5 year old is alseep by 6:30 if he is really tired...and belive me we know when he is tired!)

My 6 year old often is not tired at 7:30-8, but she is required to stay in her room at bedtime. She can have the lights on and read or play with toys - and most of the time she does this for an hour or more before climbing into bed and falling asleep on her own. A few times we have had to go turn the lights off and encourage her to get to sleep (tuck in and more snuggle) becuase it was getting close to 10pm and she is a BEAR in the mornings (and we have school) if she dosen't get enough sleep.

My 8 year old used to be on the same schedule, but now he stays up until around 8pm. He shares with the 3.5 year old so we like for him to be alsleep before the 8 year old goes to bed. He is also aloud to read quietly in bed until around 9ish and then lights out. He acutally requires the most sleep of all our kids so he tends to fall asleep right away.

The baby sleeps when she is tired. I do love the nights she goes to bed early (say 8ish) but usually it isn't until later since she has moved to taking an evening nap. No biggie since I can still relax a bit and watch grown up TV if I want even with her LOL!

Bedtimes for us are a must, but we are somewhat flexible depending on the circumstance and each kids sleep needs. IN the summer time we are way more flexible and are often up late : )

Grace - photographer, wife and mom to 4 great kids (Ethan 5.00, Ainsley 4.02, Owen 12.04, and Ellis Ann 10.07) :
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#123 of 126 Old 07-13-2008, 11:53 AM
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We so totally have never done an enforced bedtime with dd! And we have always coslept. She's now 18 months old and sometimes she goes to sleep at 10:30 and sometimes she goes to sleep at 12. She will wake up anytime between 7:30 and 9.
She used to go to sleep a bit earler when she was younger but not much.

I love the fact that she sleeps late because it's so hot here already and the only time to go out is after 7 or so so we enjoy the time from 7 until 9 pm or so.

and because dh works the 2nd shift he gets to see dd more since her nap time is around 2:30 (or sometimes as late as 4).

In contrast I have a friend who puts her son to sleep at 7 every night and then doesn't get any sleep because he wakes her up at 5 or so. He's on a fairly regular nap schedule but she spent th efirst year + having to rock him the total time he took his naps. We on contrast got dd to sleep anywhere, in the car seat , in the baby carrier, etc etc she's just a sleep anywhere kid.

Laura mama to Caitlyn 12/26/06 and Frenchie dh non vaccing unschooling multilingual family
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#124 of 126 Old 07-13-2008, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by RomanGoddess View Post
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.
When we lived in Argentina, no one really went to dinner before 9 or 10 and the kids went along with them. It wasn't unusual to see kids out at 11 at dinner. And they got to run around the restaurants with any problems, even in nice ones.

Laura mama to Caitlyn 12/26/06 and Frenchie dh non vaccing unschooling multilingual family
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#125 of 126 Old 07-16-2008, 04:42 PM
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I've evolved bedtime as my kids have grown. When they were tiny, we just looked for cues and they slept when they slept. Around 8-10 months, it became obvious that 7:30 was their limit - they just became cranky as anything after that, so that was bedtime. Now, at 2.5, anywhere between 8 and 9:30 seems to be bedtime, depending on whether they took a nap, what we did today, and how early they got up in the morning. Summer fun has definitely taken a toll on the regularity of their bedtime/wake time and it's made things more confusing. With 2 at the same age, sharing a room and a bed, it really does require some effort to get them calmed down for bed. They would stay up running around until 10 or 11pm if I didn't intervene ("hey, it's time to get in bed and read books!") and eventually someone has a giant meltdown, the whole thing gets ugly, and someone ends up crying hysterically in my arms. Not fun.

My husband grew up without a bedtime and is a serious night owl. It's very hard for him to get to bed anytime before midnight, and usually much later. Over the years, it's made him late for work, miss meetings, and generally miserable in the mornings. I'm not saying this would happen to every kid without any parental guidance regarding bedtime, but for him it's made it tough. If he didn't have to go to work or attend any other morning events, maybe it would be no big deal, but not everyone can manage to build that kind of life.

Betsy, mama to beautiful, strong MZ twins Lillian and Kate, born 11 weeks early on January 10, 2006.
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#126 of 126 Old 07-17-2008, 02:43 PM
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We've been cosleeping since day one (kids are currently 6 1/2) and have gradually fallen into "bedtime" that works for our family. For us, that means around 10pm. It's been a bit later recently because the air quality here has been SO SO bad that our ourdoor play time has been non-existent, so the kids just aren't as tired. We did have earlier bedtimes for a while as the kids were giving up naps and got tired earlier, but that was also based on their tiredness cues, not on some requirement that kids go to bed early. That was actually really hard for our family, since it seriously cut into the time DH had with his kids and it prevented us from doing anything as a family in the evenings.

I completely agree that it's critical to get enough sleep (for children AND adults). Enough sleep improves our attitudes and behavior, keeps us healthier, and lets us enjoy life more. However, the "rules" for children's sleep are just like most of the hard-and-fast parenting rules we read. . . they'll work for some kids and not for others. My son has always needed about the amount of sleep those "rules" claim he needs; his twin sister has always needed about 25% less. While I need about 10% more than the "rules" for adults say - needless to say, my DD wears me out! And I'm the oddball out in my house for sleep pattern as well - I'm an "early to bed, early to rise" person, while DH and both kids are night owls. Right now (I'm pregnant w/ #3), you'll often find me in bed alone at 8:30 and DH and the kids join me sometime around 10ish.

A late bedtime works really well for our family, since it give us most of our family time. Since DH works during the week and I work on Saturdays, that leaves only one day a week for us to spend together. Without a late bedtime, we'd have barely any time together. And since I prefer to get up early, I get my "alone" time in the morning. The only negative is that DH and I don't have couple time every day (perhaps this is where the early bedtime "rule" came from, since adult time in our society seems to given priority over kid/family time). But we can make time for each other, and we're adults so our needs are much less immediate than the kids'. And since I'm usually beat in the evenings, any "couple" time we had wouldn't be very rewarding with a cranky Mommy!

I think a lot of families also move to an earlier bedtime because once kids start school, they have to get up early. We're homeschooling, so there's no need to force the kids to go to sleep before their bodies say it's time. And I almost never have to drag a sleepy child out of bed. I think a more socially acceptable routine would be really hard on my kids - they just aren't energetic and motivated in the morning. Most of our best learning occurs in the late afternoon or during the evening. My husband, who's own natural rhythm is also to sleep late in the morning, is able to adjust his sleep cycle to get up for work in the morning. Obviously, he'd prefer to sleep in and stay up 'till midnight, but it's easier for an adult to realize cause/effect and modify as needed!

BTW, almost all the families I know IRL where the kids are in bed early use less-gentle sleep solutions. Most of us who are die-hard family bedders all go to bed as a family. Not all, there are certainly some kids who simply need an earlier bedtime, but usually there's also a parent who's more than ready to go to bed with them

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