Why do some parents let their 1,2,3,4, or 5 year olds stay up all night?

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Firebird - posted on 06/14/2011

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You do what works for your own family. I certainly don't agree with school age children staying up all night, but right up until my daughter was 3 years old, She went to bed when she wanted to. Sometimes it was around 8pm other times it was past midnight. I didn't have to get up for work in the morning, and she was my only company most of the time, so I really didn't mind her staying up. I stayed up late back then anyways, and I hated having to fight with her to get her to sleep. As soon as she started preschool she had a strict bedtime though, and by that age she had no trouble adjusting to a set bedtime. It worked very well for us.

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Johnny - posted on 06/14/2011

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Like other posters have mentioned, until they are in school and need to have a set routine that matches school hours, it's not important when they sleep as long as they get enough sleep. My husband and I work regular day shifts, so our daughter goes to bed at 8 pm and is up at 6:30 with a 1 1/2 hour nap around 1pm. That fits our schedule. The family across the street, both parents work shifts. The kids seem to go to bed after the father has picked the mom up from work around 11:30 pm. I used to think they were nuts, but then I realized that if the kids went to bed for the same hours as her, it made more sense and she was probably more rested and better able to parent.

Medic - posted on 06/14/2011

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I used to work 16 hour days and didn't get home till late at night (12-3am) and my husband stayed home with the one we had at the time and it just worked out better for our son to go to bed at 2 or 3 am and sleep till 2 or 3pm. We had a strict routine it just happened to be flipped from most. What I think matters is that there is some sort of routine. Our son just went outside and played right after breakfast so that there was still daylight and played inside after lunch and his nap which happened to fall about 6pm. He did just fine adjusting to a "normal" routine once our circumstances changed and he started 3k and then prek. Now that we are going to homeschool him and we have a daughter now I think we are going to start adjusting their schedule so we can actually see them more.

Jane - posted on 06/14/2011

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My brother is a musician and he never got off work until 3 am. His wife at the time had been a nurse on the night shift and was atuned to being up nights. As a result, when the kids were little, they tended to follow their parents' example.

Once the kids were in school the family schedule changed. My brother was still a musician working at night, but his wife got a day time job. He slept after the kids went to school and was up in the afternoons when they were home. By the time he had to go to work, his wife was home.

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I agree with Jodi. I have a 3 year old and I generally aim for him to be in bed between 8 and 9. The problem is that A) I have horrible aim lol and B) some nights he just will NOT go to bed. For me, it's a situation where I have to pick my battles. Is it worth me spending two hours a night struggling to get him to sleep, stressing us both out? Or is it ok if he stays up until 10 or 11 some nights (sometimes later than that), as long as he's getting enough sleep? I mean, probably 4 out of 7 nights, he's asleep by 9. But the rest of the time, I really don't fight him about it anymore. He's in preschool but doesn't start until noon. He ends up getting about 10 hours sleep every night either way. Once he starts having to be to school earlier, and his days are longer, I'll work on getting him into more of a solid routine. But for now, I try not to stress about it. Then again, I'm not much of a "routine Mom" with most things anyhow :)

Jodi - posted on 06/14/2011

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I'm inclined to think that until they are school age and need to have a firm routine time of getting up in the morning, does it really matter all that much as long as they are getting a certain amount of sleep each day? I certainly never did it - I needed my time in the evenings child free if I could, but in some families it is possibly what works (such as shift workers, etc). I can see that. Overall, isn't it the amount of sleep the child is getting what matters?

Stifler's - posted on 06/14/2011

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I have no idea. I need me time and my kid once he was old enough for a routine went to bed at 630-7 so I could do the dishes and sit down and watch tv uninterrupted.

Amy - posted on 06/14/2011

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I don't know why other parents do it but both my husband and I work full time he works 6p-2a and doesn't get home till 3. When my son was younger he stayed up till 10 or 11 so he would sleep later in the morning since my husband was the primary care giver during the day. If my son had been on a normal bedtime my husband would of been useless and my son would of had a serious lack of supervision. For us it was the right thing for our family dynamics!

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