Childrens bedtime?

[deleted account] ( 41 moms have responded )

Reading through some of the posts on COM about bedtimes and it got me thinking......

My children are 2 and almost 4 and have a set bedtime and have had a set bedtime since they could sleep through the night. ( 3 months and 6 months).

Anyway my question is How many of you other mums have set bedtimes for your children?
I know some of you have older children so i was wondering about when your children were younger, around the age of my 2, and when it changed if it did at all?
What do you think of keeping children up until 9pm or 10pm at night when they are so young?

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Sara - posted on 07/04/2010

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My daughter is 21 months and has a bedtime at 8:30pm, but it's more of a guideline than a set time. Sometimes she goes to bed a little earlier, sometimes a little later. But there is a "No way you're staying up this late" time, for sure.



I think that keeping your kids up later is a family's choice. I do inwardly cringe when I'm at the grocery store late at night (i do my shopping on Friday nights when no one is there and my husband stays home), but you have to remember that some families have different schedules. I think what is really important is routine. If your child goes to bed at the same time, or around the same time, every night, that's more important than what time it actually is. It's judgemental and rude to say that a person who keeps their child up later is allowing their child to develop poor life skills. I mean, as long as they are getting the right amount of sleep and have structure, is it really that bad?

Jodi - posted on 07/04/2010

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Erin, I was the same about bedtimes for school age - Jayden's bedtime only just changed this year from 8:30pm when he started high school, and one of the deals we did was that his bed time would go back to 8:30 if I had to be dragging him out of bed in the morning. Since February, I have only had to wake him ONCE, so he deserves the later bedtime :)

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Jess - posted on 07/07/2010

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We try to have Ava ready for bed by 7pm but we take our queues from her and when she shows tired signs we put her to bed. She is 10 months old and she is just far to young to understand a bedtime. If we tried to enforce a bedtime when she isn't tired she just screams, thats not a nice way to end your day ! Because its winter here and our downstairs is all tiles its quite cold, so we usually have dinner and then the 3 of us all snuggle up in our bed and watch tv. When Ava lays down and tries to go to sleep I move her to her cot. No fuss or hassle and we all get some good quality time together ! Plus is saves on heating bills !

Ava sleeps a lot, she if she goes to bed at 7pm she will sleep till about 6.30am have a bottle and go back to bed until about 8.30 9ish. The other day Ava woke up at about 7.30, had a bottle and then slept until 11am I couldn't believe my luck !!!

Andrea - posted on 07/06/2010

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My 10 month old goes to bed about 9;30 or 10pm. It might be a little late in some people's eyes but If I put her to bed any earlier she gets up at 3 or 4 in the morning wanting to play. She not waking up because she hungry she usually won't take a bottle till she ready go back to sleep. Which usually takes and hour to hour in a half to get her back to sleep so I prefer to just keep her a little longer than being woke up to a baby that want's to play. She wakes up about 7:30 in the morning.

My older kids go to be bed about 8pm during the school year. Any later and it's almost impossible to get them up at 6:30. During the summer I'm a little nicer and they don't have to go to bed till 10pm ish.

Meghan - posted on 07/05/2010

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Special occasions or extra cuddle time is a great thing...it's a treat for them.
But overall I think the reason I enforce a bedtime is because I am up with him all day (usually he is up at 5:30 or 6!) I am (for the most part lol) attentive and spend the day with him and do the cooking, cleaning, or going to work, By 8:30 I think I deserve some mommy time..plus my shows start around 9!

Lucy - posted on 07/05/2010

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I'm a big fan of routine for kids. I think it makes for happy, secure little people.

I am also lucky that my kids are naturally good sleepers, so we have never had to battle over getting a routine in place. My kids are 4 and 2, and are in bed (and fast asleep!) by 6.30 each evening and up at about 7.30 the next morning.

Neither of them have a day time nap any more, but if it is a special occasion (family wedding, birthday, Samhain/Halloween etc,) I make sure they get a nap in the afternoon so they are able to stay up and join in the fun!

[deleted account]

6:30 is definitely on the early side.... unless you have a kid (or 2) that needs 12 hours of sleep at night and has to be up by 6:30 to get ready for school... ;)

[deleted account]

I should add that during summer it's around 8 maybe 8.30 because of daylight savings. Same as you Joanna my children won't go to bed unless it's dark out. They go down with the sun and usually get up with the sun.

That and i am an early to bed type of person. Don't usually stay up past 10pm.

Joanna - posted on 07/04/2010

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Personally, I don't understand a bedtime of 6:30, but that's just me (same reason I suppose some can't understand a bedtime of 9:30). 6 is dinner-time for us! But my daughter won't go to sleep at night until it's dark out, so any bedtime before 8:30 (in the summers, anyway) is a lost cause for us. Like I've said before, she's a night owl, but she still gets 10-11 hours of sleep every night, sometimes 12 if she's had a long day or is going through a growth spurt. If her bedtime isn't getting in the way of her sleep, I don't see a problem.

[deleted account]

Reason i was asking.... On some of the other forums on here a LOT of mothers seem to be letting their child regularly stay up way beyond any reasonable hour, like after 10 at night.

My children stay have a set bedtime of 6.30 for the 2 yr old and 7 for our almost 4 yr old.

Unless of course there is some sort of special occasion. On Australia day this year we travelled to Sydney so we could enjoy the fireworks and celebrate my dad's b'day. The fireworks, i think, were at 9. We didn't get back to where we were staying until well after 11. I'm suprised really because my daughter, who was closer to 3 then, was up at 6 in the morning with us and walked the whole day by herself, which we figured was about 10km, ( we got very very lost at one point) and she managed to not crash until we got back to our accomodation.
( LOL but when she crashed i don't think even foreworks could have woken her)

I don't like when young children are up past around 9. I'm talking under 5. ( i also know things will change as they get older)To each their own of course but according to studies Young children get their best sleep before midnight. I think it bugs me on a personal level so much because a lot of mothers in my area keep their children up late just so they can sleep in. Instead of doing what benefits the child they are only doing it for them.

Joanna - posted on 07/04/2010

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Yup, it's 10 pm and Paige is very excitingly watching fireworks out the windows and on the news. No way is she going to fall asleep anyway with the noise the way it is, so why try and make her go to bed? This is her first year of actually ENJOYING the fireworks, so I'm letting her enjoy away. Although I'll be ready for bed by 11 so that'll probably be my cutoff time for her tonight, too!

[deleted account]

Well, me and my 2 year old didn't go out to the base for the celebration last night.... girls got home at 10:15. I 'think' I'll be brave enough to go for it next year though. :)

Jodi - posted on 07/04/2010

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Heck, I let my kids stay up until midnight on New Years, and sometimes WAY past bedtime on special occasions if we go out to dinner or something (including fireworks!!). And then there are the occasional sleepovers with friends. No biggie..... IMO, if you can't let your kids stay up occasionally for some special reason you need to pull the stick out of your arse.

Lindsay - posted on 07/04/2010

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It's a trend tonight Sara! Mine just made it to bed after the fireworks about 25 minutes ago...It's 11:20 pm here! =S But they loved seeing the fireworks!

Johnny - posted on 07/04/2010

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At the risk of being a bit over-judgmental here, I've got to say that I think any parent that was so militant about bedtimes that they couldn't allow a child to stay up late for a special occasion like the 4th of July or for a city team winning a sports championship is a bad parent. I mean, obviously if the kid is screaming, cranky, and too tired to enjoy it, then there is no point. But if they are having fun and it is just once in a blue moon, then people need to consider what is really important in a kid's life. The same bedtime every single night or good memories? So Sara, I think you rock :-)

[deleted account]

Who would think you're a bad mom for letting your kid watch the fireworks?! That's awesome! :)

[deleted account]

Some of you might think I'm a bad mom, but my 2 year old daughter JUST went to bed 5 minutes ago and it's 9:15 here. Eh, oh well. It's the 4th of July so we were outside watching the neighbor's fireworks.

On a normal day she'll go to bed anywhere between 7 and 8. That's when she naturally gets tired. She'll sleep about 10-12 hours no matter what time she goes down to sleep, so she always gets an appropriate amount of sleep. Plus she takes a 2-3 hour nap every day.

I don't worry so much with bedtime right now, because she gets what she needs no matter what time she goes down. When she starts school, I'll be more strict to ensure she gets the proper amount of sleep before going to school early in the morning.

Rosie - posted on 07/04/2010

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we do, but i am flexible on the weekends and during the summer when there's no school.
my 3 year old goes to bed at 8, my 5 year old goes to bed at 8:30, and my 10 year old goes to bed at 9pm. lately my 5 year old has been awake when i put my oldest to be, so i've been thinking of letting him stay up till 9 as well.
on the weekends or during summer, my youngest always goes to bed at 8, but my older two, may get to stay up late if they are good, or if there's a movie on that they like or something.

Kylie - posted on 07/04/2010

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My 5 year old goes to bed anywhere between 7- 8.30 my youngest goes to bed when hes ready and that depends on his naps. It's nice to have them both in bed asleep by 7.30 but it doesn't always work out that way.
I know a few people who put their kids to bed at 11 because they sleep in until 10. Each to their own but I need my kids in bed before 9pm..I like my quiet evenings with the hubby.

Jodi - posted on 07/04/2010

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I think we also need to recognise that some kids need less sleep than others, and some are night owls, others the early bird, and it really is part of their personality and genetic make up. So everyone will be different.

However, if I am out shopping late on a school night and see someone with a school age kid, I do kind of have a judgemental thought pop into my head about "that kid really should be in bed at this time of night.....". But who am I to say anything? I really don't know the circumstances. For instance, when my 12 year old son's best mate's mum died a couple of months back, the night before the funeral, my son was not able to sleep, and I just let it go and allowed him to sit up until he was ready to go to bed of his own accord.

LaCi - posted on 07/04/2010

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Meh. My son pretty much sets his own schedule. He always takes a nap at around 2:30, he usually sleeps 2 hours. and he goes to bed at 8:30 or 9. He's 2.

[deleted account]

Sort of, but it's flexible.... bedtime for my 2 year old is 7:30-8 when we have to get his sisters to school the next day. About the same on non school days, but we're slightly lax right now for the summer.

Right now... as long as my girls (8.5) are quiet at night and functioning the next day... I don't care what time they go to bed. For school nights though, it's a flexible 8.

For the girls... as infants and toddlers... bedtime was 8ish. When they started preschool (just after turning 3) it was 7ish. When they started K (4.5) it was 6:30ish and stayed that way til their brother was born (6.25 yrs).

Rare special occasions (4th of July, New Year's Eve, etc...) are an exception, but I like an early bedtime for myself too. :)

[deleted account]

Roxanne (22 months) goes to bed between 7-8 and wakes b/w 6-7......works great for us! If we're out she does fine to stay up a bit later BUT she'll only ever sleep til 7am.....she'll just nap longer the next day to make up for the lost sleep!

Caitlin - posted on 07/04/2010

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My 19 month old goes to bed between 6:30 and 7 everynight and my 4 month old goes to bed at 9. I'm working on slowly putting the baby down earlier because the goal is to have them sharing a room sooner rather than later, I want my bedroom privacy back! Since the baby is already sleeping through the nights, my only worry is that my older one will wake her up when she wakes up.. Only time will tell (Oh yes, and the toddler bed goes up next weekend for her - so no more crib..)

Joanna - posted on 07/04/2010

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We've always had a bit of a later schedule. My daughter takes after me, she's more of a night owl and likes to sleep late. Add to that the fact that my husband works long hours and sometimes isn't home til 8 or 9, and our bedtime works great. She's 2 1/2, almost 3, and for the last year or so has had a bedtime of between 9:30 and 10:30 (it was later at one time due to the time change). And then she sleeps until 9 or 10 in the morning. We don't have a "set" time though. We aren't schedule people. We do things in a certain order though (dinner, outside play, bath, inside play, cuddles, bed), so whatever time it ends at is bedtime.

It will all change soon though when she starts preschool. I've slowly been trying to get her bedtime to be earlier (usually around 9:30 but sometimes 9) so she'll get used to an 8/8:30 bedtime once September rolls around and we have to be up by 8 to be at preschool by 9.

Sometimes I do wish she had an earlier bedtime, so I had more time to myself. But I love that she's able to see my husband when he gets home, and he loves it too. Otherwise they wouldn't see much of each other (he works 7 day weeks when they have a deadline). But she has never been a 7 pm bedtime kind of person, although I have plenty of friends whose children are.

What bugs me is we have some neighbors who keep their 2 kids (ages are about 1 and 4) up until they themselves go to bed, which is usually 11:30 or 12. And starting at 9 or so they are both whining and screaming, and obviously tired. So we have to listen to them scream for 2 hours. I don't get why their parents don't understand. And then they are up at 7ish every morning, and I know the 4 year old doesn't take a nap. I don't see how that is healthy.

[deleted account]

My son is still only 8 1/2 months but has had a bedtime of 6.30 since he was 4 months old. We are really quite strict with it because 1) he gets tired and grumpy between 6 and 6.30 and 2) it gives me and my hubby some time together. The only time we deviate is the odd night where we have a party to go to (and as long as he is entertained constantly he is ok) which is rare.

My SIL lets her 3 yo stay up to past midnight which I disagree with because children need sleep and he will have difficulties when he starts nursery in Sept and has to go to bed early. She does it because otherwise he would only see his dad on sundays. I think it is important to have some no child time in the evening otherwise you never get any break (which she doesn't because they generally go to bed together and he co-sleeps with them but that is another matter).

Charlie - posted on 07/04/2010

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Im similar to Erin , i practice child led routine , cooper goes to bed at 7:30 - 8 pm and wakes at 7 am everyday .

Ez - posted on 07/04/2010

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I've always practiced child-led routines, and have been lucky that my daughter has naturally been an 'early to bed, early to rise' kid. She has gone through 4-5 month cycles (due to growth spurts, daylight saving etc), but her bedtime has always fallen somewhere between 6pm and 8pm. Right now she is 17 months and goes to bed around 7pm (sleeping til 5.30-6am).

I'm sure some children are natural night owls. I never was though, and neither is my daughter. I can't see her having a bedtime any later than 8-8.30 until she goes to high school when she's 12. I'm not keen on the idea of kids staying up late, especially once they're school aged.

Meghan - posted on 07/03/2010

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my son goes to bed at 8:30. I was 8 but when he dropped his second nap I found he was having a nap from 8-10 then wanted to play for two hours.
I had a friend who would let her 2 year old stay up and run around or watch movies with chocolate milk until 1 in the morning...a few hours after she had passed out herself! Then she couldn't understand why her daughter was so tired and cranky at 7 the next morning...
I am a big fan of bedtime and routine, Of course if he is being really good, he can have an extra story or if we have dinner at a friends house (maybe once a month) he stays up a little later.

Shelley - posted on 07/03/2010

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i have a 1 and 2 year old, both are in bed everynight at 6:30 and 7:00 pm. i worked in childcare and i think it's developing poor life skills to allow your child to stay up till 9 or 10 at night sleep is so important. i worked in a childcare centre and you can tell the difference between children that get enough and children that don't get enough sleep.

Johnny - posted on 07/03/2010

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We put our daughter to bed on weeknights around 8 pm. Never any later than 8:30. But on weekends we allow her to stay up later as long as she isn't cranky, because then she sleeps in later in the morning and we get to as well.

On my work days, we get her up for 6 am, when I am home, usually she gets up on her own around 7 am, and on weekends she'll often sleep until 8 am. Love that!

I actually would like to be able to put her to bed earlier on weeknights, but by the time we get home from work, it is after 6, and then I need to cook dinner, feed her, do the bath and by that time it's 8 pm.

Elisabeth - posted on 07/03/2010

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My 2.5 yo goes to bed sometime between 8 and 9. My husband also works 12-14 hour shifts and won't get home to 6:30-7:00. So we usually won't have dinner until 7.30. Then she will spend sometime with Dad. But she wakes up whenever she likes in the morning, I won't wake her up unless I really need to be somewhere early. That way I know she is getting enough sleep, she usually wakes up at about 8.00.

Jodi - posted on 07/03/2010

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My 5 year old goes to bed around 8pm, and my 12 year old around 9-9:30pm on school nights. I am more lenient on weekend nights, and it it then dependent on their behaviour :) If they are grumpy and fighting during the day, early to bed, LOL.

Sarah - posted on 07/03/2010

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My 2 are 5 (well, 6 in 2 days!) and 2.
They both go to bed at the same time, around 7:30/8pm.
They share a room, so even though they go to bed then, they don't fall asleep straight away very often! Most of the time they're asleep by about 8:30/9pm. I actually don't like the fact that they stay awake until 9pm sometimes.

I personally am not a fan of keeping kids up late. Though I understand it works for some.
Firstly, I think kids need a good lot of sleep! I guess when they're small, they can make up for it in the day, but I think it's setting them up for bad habits, once they hit school age, catching up on sleep isn't going to be an option.
Secondly, the evenings are the only time my husband and I get any time together!! So it's nice to have the kids in bed reasonably early! :)

Tawny - posted on 07/03/2010

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I have a 3 year old and he goes to bed about 9:00 pm but that is because my husband works 12 hr shift and doesn't get home until around 7;00 pm and so we can all eat dinner together and he can have some time with our son. And usually my son will get up around 8:30 am. But my son is alot like me a night owl. I dont think that it is a big deal either as long as the get the sleep that they need..

Lindsay - posted on 07/03/2010

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My kids have never been night owls aside from when they were first born. As soon as they were sleeping through the night, they were in bed between 7 and 8 pm and even now at 3 1/2 and 5, rarely stay up past 8pm. We developed bedtimes pretty naturally. That was the time they were/are tired and ready to go to sleep and with just being consistant, it's never really changed.

As far as keeping a child up later, I don't think it's a big deal as long as a child is still getting a proper amount of sleep. Some kids sleep in late in the mornings so the later bedtime isn't an issue. My children have always been early risers...typically 5 or 5:30 am regardless of what time they go to sleep. So for us, the early bedtime is a must.

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