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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My babe is 13 months. I tend to have a very laid back additude about his bed time, for he always goes to sleep eventually. It's not like he stays up all night long or nothing. It's always easier on me (and him) if I let him play himself out, and then he slows down, climbs into my lap and goes to sleep on his own. Sometimes, if I am tired, and he is tired, but he is not winding down, I take him up, play soft music on the computer, nurse him, and he goes to sleep. To me, it's no big issue to keep on a strict bed time routine. It's easier to get him to sleep when he winds down on his own, than to struggle with him, and force him to lay down and go to sleep when he is not ready to yet. And during the day, he falls into his own pattern...

And yes, I tend to be a night owl.--and to sleep late...Always been this way. That's one of my personal perks of being a SAHM. We usually wake up between 9 and 10 am. I always did not mind if my baby went to sleep late, cause that meant that he would also wake up late, and that meant a few extra minutes to an hour of extra sleep for me in the morning.

I mean, he always gets all of his hours of sleep in. It's not as if I'm waking him up, or forcing him to stay up late or nothing. This is just how our sleep pattern is. And after several months of sitting up in all hours of the night with a wide awake newborn, and then a few months later, feeling totally wiped out because the baby went to bed early, and me tossing and turning because I couldn't get to sleep till late (that's the night owl in me) and subsequently waking up feeling absolutely crazed from lack of sleep when the baby got up at 7am that next morning since he had went to bed so early the previous morning, we have FINALLY fell into a sleep pattern that is comfortable with us.

But my mother is always preaching to me about getting him to go to sleep "on time". When we are at their house, she nags and nags and nags after about 10pm about when am I going to put the baby to sleep. W--ell...10pm is early for us. PLUS that, he is having so much fun running around and playing at a house that he hasn't visited in a few weeks, full of fun and toys, it's hard to get him to wind down.

I choose my battles, and I refuse to turn a good time into murder trying to force a baby to sleep who never goes to sleep that early, and doesn't want to yet because he is having too much fun, simply because my mom has decreed that "it's past his bedtime."

To me, this is all part of gentle parenting. I understand that he is not ready to go to sleep yet, and he is clearly not very tired yet, and neither am I. So we stay up a little longer. What's the big deal with "bed time"? I mean is it wrong for us to be this way?

I just don't get it. She fusses because my sister who has a 2 year old tends to be the same way. Although, I don't usually keep him up all the way till 2am like she does...

But then after noticing her weirdness about bedtime with my sister and myself, I start to remember memories of my childhood. How we would have company over (my age company and their parents) and instead of allowing me to stay up to play a little longer, she would force me to go to bed "on time" even with them being their in the next room laughing talking and playing and having fun, and allow me to cry myself to sleep in my room because I wanted to be in there with everybody else.

I remember being a teenager, and being how most teenagers are night owls, come into my room, and demand I turn my light off and go to sleep because "everybody is asleep now, so you need to be too." And not coming up with some reasonable explainain about why I can't stay up and read until I felt ready to go to sleep.

She is just so:
:
:
:

Is there some little tidbit about the grave life-or-death importance of strict "bed time" that I am missing? If so, please please please enlighten me....
 

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I am a firm believer in "do what works best for your family." We don't have strict bedtimes, either, but we don't have a need for them. Ds stays up later, but so do we. When he was an infant, we were both performing alot (we're professional musicians)...with concerts that don't even start until 8pm, early bedtimes just weren't going to happen. As long as your baby is getting enough sleep, who cares?


Kristen
 

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I'm with you. I don't have any set bedtimes for my kids and it works well for our family. With our lifestyle we are usually up fairly late and the kids are as well. We don't have to wake up early to be anywhere so that plays a part and will be homeschooling so it won't be an issue to get them used to any type of schedule for school. Like yours, mine get enough hrs of sleep per night. It's just slightly different hrs than other children their age. But it's what works for us, and them... no one fights bedtime cause they go to sleep when they are tired and they wake up happy and on their own in the mornings.

For me part of giving my children respect means allowing them to self regulate as much as possible and that includes eating and sleeping. It just makes sense to me and luckily it's going well.

I also remember having to go to bed at 9:00 or whatever time even when I clearly wasn't tired. I did have to wake for school but it's hard to make yourself go to sleep when your body isn't ready. I read once that America has a lot of people with sleep issues and is the only country that really enforces bedtimes.

oh and my mom is always telling me they need to go to bed early or wake up earlier or whatever and I'm like why?? well.... why?? No reason just cause it seems more normal to make kids go to bed when you are ready for them to. And I do enjoy alone time with DH or just peace and quiet for myself but I guess I would rather have time in the mornings or stay up even later at night.
 

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We're the same way. We tend to stay up later, so it fits that DS stays up with us, and goes to bed with us. He sleeps until 9 or 10am also so he gets plenty of sleep. I'm with you
 

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we don't do bedtime. i watch her sleep cues and respond. we're also nightowls, i always have been. i had a VERY early bedtime when i was a kid, i would just lay there in the dark for an hour or two til i fell asleep. my boyfriend usually gets home from work between 11-2 am and alice wants to see her daddy before she goes to sleep so she stays up.
 

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Just nod and say ok Mama and do what works for you and your family. KWIM.
Life is too short to argue with someone who views the world through a different lens then you.

Shay
 

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We don't have any bedtimes either. DS usually falls asleep around 10PM, sometimes earlier, sometimes later. Once he gets to be school age I will need to get him to sleep a bit earlier but I have a long time before that happens!

My dad always said the house closes at 10PM. So we didn't have to go to sleep but we did have to stay in our rooms. Strange, but whatever.

I think your mom needs to find other things to worry about.

I don't like the stress of a strict routine. My old boss's wife (who was a SAHM) insisted that their son go to bed at 7:30PM (which is crazy to me in itself) but my boss didn't get home till after that. So, essentially, my boss never saw his son during the week. Why she couldn't push the kid's bedtime back so he could see his dad, I will never know.
 

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We don't have bedtimes at our house either. I trust my kids to know when they're tired & go to bed themselves, and they do. I'd just tell mom the topic is not up for discussion & stick to it. Good luck!
 

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Another late bedtime/late to wake up family here!

We co-sleep, so to some extent I do make them go to bed, but often we get into bed between 9-10pm. As long as I'm not too tired we read for 30 mins-1hr.
 

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We didn't have strict bedtimes when my oldest ds was younger. I had a window of when I expected it to happen but no big deal and we would sleep in together if we needed to the next day. It did change for us once he started school, of course. Consequentially, our youngest ds does have a bedtime because we must leave the house at a certain time. We are lucky that this has never been an issue for him, maybe because if his brother is doing it, it must be the right thing (total hero worship there!). We just nurse and snuggle until he sleeps, which usually takes under 5 minutes.

I am all for what works for your family at whatever stage of life you are in.
--Maris
 

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we're on a similar routine. she goes to bed around 10 and wakes around 9-9:30 BUT- this is because she only takes two naps now. Before, she'd go to sleep anywhere between 11-12:30 and wake from 9:30 to 10:45. It was like that for many months. My mom's a ped and would say stupid things like "Put her to be five minutes earlier each night"--why? Well, there was never a good answer for that. I told her the same thing- then *I* would get less sleep in the morning. We're happy, she's clearly not tired during the day, so who cares?
 

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My dd goes to bed pretty early- usually between 7 and 8, but she doesn't have a bedtime. That is just when she gets tired and goes to bed.
 

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Here's another example of how my daughter has taught me how to parent her.

We have a very strict bedtime, 8:00 ON THE DOT. Not 8:01. The clock is literally watched.

Who does this? DD! I couldn't care less about bedtime but she wants to go to bed at exactly 8:00.

So I do it, it is obviously what she needs. Hey, I get an evening so I'm not complaining.


Do what works for your family.
 

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I'm sorry your mom was so rigid about this when you were a child.
I'm a fairly strict parent; everybody has their set bedtimes and we're regular about sticking to them, but I really dislike rigidity. If something fun or unusual is going on (like friends over) or we're just enjoying a nice evening on the weekend, we all stay up as late as we want, littlest kids included!

You should do what works for you, and be willing to re-evaluate and change that if the need arises. The early years of parenting can be so carefree and fun if we let them; there's no school or sports, no outside obligations, so just relax and enjoy this time and let your mom nag all she wants. I find that, when someone in my family does that (the nagger here is my FIL), I just imagine that the voice is the sound of a bug buzzing in the background. Nothing I need to pay attention to!
 

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It's tough for g-parents t stop seeing themselves as the parent. My parents try to parent my kids all the time. They are getting much better, though, now that I have 2 and the older is 4.

You have to do what works for your family. Your mom did what worked for her, but now you are the mom.

I don't think you should bother fighting about it, just say that you prefer to have tme to yourself in the am than in the pm. I would maybe offer to stay with the baby in another room after a certain time if she wants to have the house quiet. I think it's good to respect someone in their own house and if that means quiet after 10 pm, then maybe take your baby out for a walk or tell stories or watch tv in your room or whatever.

Hope this helps- I know it's a drag.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Ok, I was just wondering if there was anything wrong with us being free-spirited about bedtime for right now. I'm not sure whether I am going to homeschool or not (depends on the area where we will be living) but if we end up doing public school, we will take a more diligient approach to bedtime then. Even then, I still can't see myself taking on the same obsession that she has about it...
:

I think the main thing that bothered me about the visit was the whole "taking over" of the parenting thing. As if, i was no longer my child's mother, and they were the grandparents, but rather, I was a big sister in the household and my baby was my youngest brother, and they (my dad too) was the parents.

They gave him things to eat without asking me if it was ok. (My husband has some pretty severe food allergies, so we are staying away from certain things for a while longer yet) I mean, it was ok for most things, but why do they have to be so sneaky about giving him things? What's wrong with saying "Hey sonie-girl, I"m giving him a biscuit top to gnaw on, that's ok, right?" I mean, the whole sneaky "go-into-the-kitchen-and-keep-quiet" thing really grated on my nerves. Very presumptuous how they would just take the baby, put him in their high chair, put a bib on him, and start to feeding him. I mean, I am trying to keep on a schedule, I always want to try to see if he will nurse first before I offer solids, and they don't know/don't care whether he nursed yet or not.

A couple times I found my breasts slightly full with a baby that had already eaten combined with the fact that he did not want to nurse cause grandma's house is too exciting. Fortunately my milk supply came through the visit intact.

They yell at me and take things away from him that I usually do not mind him playing with, like combs and big baby safety pins. I mean, yes, I understand about the safety pin, but sheez, respect me in front of my child. They just superimpose their parenting on my child without my approval.

I was supposed to stay longer than I did, but I called my husband to come and save me earlier. I couldn't stay in there another minute.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by gabysmom617
They yell at me and take things away from him that I usually do not mind him playing with, like combs and big baby safety pins. I mean, yes, I understand about the safety pin, but sheez, respect me in front of my child. They just superimpose their parenting on my child without my approval.

I was supposed to stay longer than I did, but I called my husband to come and save me earlier. I couldn't stay in there another minute.
Sounds like you have a lot of issues going on with them and maybe its better to limit your time around them if you feel that they are disrespectful of you and your choices.

Shay
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well, we're moving 3/4 hours away from them this weekend. I was very sad about it at first, and fought my husband with all of my wit to try to fight against moving so far away from them.

I am in my early (...............well, ok. mid-)twenties, and a lot of the things that my friends used to try to tell me about my parents that I didn't realize and/or was not ready to face yet are beginning to really stand out to me as I spend more and more time away from them in the real world, and especially since my baby was born and now that he is growing older.

Now, I am not so sure that I feel so bad about moving away from them. (My MIL lives in the same area where they live, and I'm D.E.F.I.N.E.T.L.Y. not feeling any remorse about moving far away from her, she's
)
They try to make me feel really guilty about moving away, and put me in the middle between them and my husband, telling me bad things about "the way my husband do things" and how our decision to move is such a bad idea.

I'm just filled to the max with stress, and they don't make it any better. So many things going on in my head...
 

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We're another family that doesn't have a set routine for sleep time. Whatever time DD falls asleep is when she falls asleep. That being said she normally falls asleep sometime between 8 pm and 10 pm so it's not like we're staying up unlike the wee hours of the morning with her.

Oy! Your mom has boundary issues.
It seems she thinks she knows what is best for your child. From what you wrote it sounds like it might be difficult for you to curtail her presumptuous behavior in your home but I think you need to do your best to stop it now and nip it in the bud while your DS is young. I would state my wishes calmly and directly ("we don't want Billy to have peanut butter so please don't sneak peanut butter to him," btw: my SIL gave my baby peanut butter w/o telling me so I know what you mean when you say sneaking food in). You may need to state what you expect from her clearly and repeat yourself *many* times before it sinks in.

My mom has a very mild form of what your mom has. What I found most helpful with her was saying, "Uh-huh...oh..that's interesting" (w/o any sarcasm and then doing what I wanted when she was gone or telling her "We have to do it xxxxxx way because that's what her pediatrician recommended." My mom
to doctors.
 
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