Why do some parents make bedtime so early???

Sarah - posted on 08/16/2011 ( 25 moms have responded )




I have always wondered why some parents will put their children down for bed at 6 or 7 pm. If the sun is still up, I think it's a bit too early for bedtime. What irks me most though, is that it is these same parents who complain that their child wakes them up too early in the morning! Wonder why! Sometimes I feel parents are too eager to have "grown up time" that they rush the kids to bed before they are ready. I know parents who don't get home until around 6:30 - 7:00 and all they get is dinner, bath, and bed. There is no playtime, no family time, nothing. Then the child is up at 4:30am and mom is cranky. I just don't understand the logic.


Katherine - posted on 08/17/2011




My 2.5 yo goes to bed at 7 and wakes up at 8. My 5.5yo goes to bed at 8:30-9 and wakes up at 8.

If they don't go to bed early they are grumps and I can't handle that during the day. Plus kids are supposed to get 14 hours of sleep depending on age. I know my baby is.

And JEnnifer is right, they are brighter and smarter because they're brain has time to rest.
There is NOTHING wrong with this.
And what about when they start school? Will you keep them up late then too?

Belinda - posted on 08/16/2011




I have to say that my Daughter goes to bed around 7pm for the following reasons:

1- She needs to be in bed by then, she wakes up early pretty much no matter what time she goes to bed.

2. As Jennifer stated in an earlier reply; Studies have shown that an earlier, consistent bed time is beneficial to children

3. I NEED some alone/adult/married time. This is important time to de-stress, reconnect and chill. My daughter gets most of my attention throughout the day. There is nothing wrong with taking some time for yourself and your partner. If someone sees this as selfish then so be it. but I don't feel guilty for my decision.

Edited to add:Thinking about my answer I would like to add that even if she woke up later than 630 I would still give her an early bedtime. I feel that early bed times are important for children.

Jenni - posted on 08/16/2011




Studies have shown children with early bedtimes are generally brighter, preform better, and exhibit higher scores for developmental measures.

And a regular bedtime was found to consistently point to higher child development. Scores for receptive and expressive language, phonological awareness, literacy and early maths abilities were higher in children whose parents reported having rules about what time their child goes to bed.

I'm generally a morning person. Although of course I have some mornings I wish my son would sleep later. ;)

But I do it for his benefit, not my own. And I'm more cranky if I sleep too late, like 8am.

If it was really that big of an issue, then I would put him and my daughter to bed later. Although my daughter goes to bed at 7pm and sleeps until 8am. And nights my son decides to stay awake in bed until 9pm9:30pm he still wakes up bright eyed and bushy-tailed at 6am.

Karen - posted on 08/16/2011




well my son is in bed by 7 - and YES he's ready! if i keep him up later then he's miserable. why make him suffer? he's in bed by 7 and up at 6:30am (and no, he doesn't sleep in any later if i keep him up later, just makes him cranky all day long). i don't care if it's still daylight or not when he goes to bed and as for family time, we get about an hour of it each evening, then weekends are nothing but family activities from sun up to bed time. i'm sure many parents wish they had more family time but not all families are able to have things the way they want them - they have to make do and find alternatives that work for them. i think it's terribly selfish to keep children up when they're ready to sleep just for the sake of a couple more minutes with them. they need the sleep, let them have it.

Jenn - posted on 08/18/2011




My girls go to bed at 8 and are asleep by 9 (they share a room). They have to get up at 6:45 for school. So far, that works best for them to get a solid night of sleep (minus the sleep walking to my room when they need to pee...weird)

I hear you about the parents who put their kids to bed at 7 only to gripe when the kids wake at 5! Rather illogical to me. If parents choose the early bedtime, don't whine all the time when the kids are up before it is light outside!! (currently someone I know does this)

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Stifler's - posted on 08/18/2011




If going to bed at 10 works then that is fine but if I put Logan to bed at 10 he wakes up at 5am and if I put him to bed at 7 he wakes up at 630-7. My parents always tells me that I should keep him up later and he'd sleep until 8 but he never has whenever I've tried.

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Michelle, the quality and amount of sleep are more important than the time they are actually sleeping. =)

Michelle - posted on 08/18/2011




I must be the worst mom alive... my kids go to bed at 10pm and wake up at 8am. they only sleep 10 hours a night. They are 2 and 3 they take a 2 hour nap at 2pm together. Its been like this since they were babies. I thought I was doing fine...but I'm hearing of 6:30 and 7:00 bed times....wow! I don't know if I could change what I do....I guess no nap and in bed by 8? That would take alot of kicking and screaming especially from the 3 year old...he loves his nap ;)

Sal - posted on 08/17/2011




i like my 2 younger children to go early...winter here so anything after 6pm is fair game for me, they are tired by then yes they wake early but they do reguardless of the time they go to bed, i like it so i have some time with my husband and older son (16) as they are so full on when they are awake i get no time with him, and when my hubby is on night shift i try so i get some time alone either totally alone if my son has something on or time just with him which he really misses coming from being an only child of a sinlge mum to the oldest of 3 with a dad too...

i personally don;t work and they are both under school age, my 4 yr old goes to preschool 2 days a week but my 3 year old is home everyday with me so by 5-6 i am truly ready for them to go to bed....if i was working and wasn;t at home with them 24-7 i would have a different approach i'm sure

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Maybe it works for their family. And if it's actually not working for their family, then still, who cares? Don't stress over this issue. There are bigger issues out there to stress over.

For us...the baby is in bed by 7:30 and the 3 yo is in bed whenever she's tired...generally by 8:30. We are all awake by 7:30 am. And they both take good naps during the day. I stay home, and my husband has a job that allows him to be home 3-4 days a week. So we have plenty of 'family time' before the kids are in bed. IT WORKS FOR US. ;)

Stifler's - posted on 08/17/2011




I rush my kids off to bed for us time. HAHA. The sun isn't still up at 7 here and my kids go to bed at 7. I need my time alone to tidy up and spend with my husband. They are too tired to stay up anyway and they usually sleep until at least 6. I could not have the kids up whingeing until 10pm. I've tried keeping him up later and he wakes up at 5am when he goes to bed late.

Bonnie - posted on 08/17/2011




Some children need to go to bed early in order to get a proper sleep. It is a known fact that if you wait to put your kids to bed later (when they are likely over tired) they will not have as good of a sleep. Some kids need to go to bed earlier in order to sleep later too.

My boys are 3 and almost 5 and they usually go to bed at around 8:30pm. Tonight, they were both in bed by 7pm. They were exhausted. Nothing wrong with it IMO. If you are forcing them to go to bed at 6 or 7 and fighting with them about it, that's one thing, but in general I see nothing wrong with it.

Amanda - posted on 08/16/2011




My kids are 3 and 23 months, they have always gone to bed at 7pm, it's just the routine they put themselves into.
Just recently they have putting themselves to bed 6.30pm. They are up by 6.30 am every morning, no matter what time they go to bed. If they are up past 7pm they fall asleep on my lap.

As for rushing the kids off to bed for grown up time, that doesn't happen in my house, my husband is a shift working so he's either just leaving as the kids go to bed or just getting home as I'm ready for bed.

Brianna - posted on 08/16/2011




check out sleepsense.net it explains how much sleep kids need at surtain ages. like a 1 or 2 year old should be sleeping 12 to 13hours at night (thats not counting there afternoon nap) so my daughter goes to bed at 8pm and wakes at 8 or 9am. also people who need to be up early for there jobs need to put there kids to get early so they get enough sleep

Lady Heather - posted on 08/16/2011




Where I live the sun can be up well past 10 o clock in the summer. I wouldn't use that as my judgment for bed time! Ha.

Some kids need more sleep, some kids don't nap and have to adjust their bed times accordingly. Some kids might have to get up early for school or daycare. We tend to stick to 8pm here, but I've done earlier when she's had no nap or a really short one. She's never woken up at 4:30 as a result. She always wakes up between 6:30 and 7:30 which seems perfectly reasonable to me.

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My son goes to bed at 8 pm whether it's dark or not (he's almost 2) for a few reasons. It's partly because he almost never sleeps in past 7 am regardless of what time I put him down. He just ends up cranky the next day. It's also because I go to school and so during most of the year we have to be out of the house by 7am so he needs to wake up early anyways.

When he was first on asleep schedule he was only 6 months and needed he went to bed at 7pm because he obviously needed more sleep then. As he has gotten older,we have pushed his bedtime back when he needs it,like when he starts waking up at 5 am for a few weeks, then we know we need to push it back for half an hour or so. As for family time, not everyone has the luxury of being able to spend alot of time with their kids during the week and I wouldn't deprive my kid of sleep to get it. It doesn't help them, just makes them cranky and overtired the next day.

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The only reason my daughter's bedtime is at 8pm is that she is napping late in the day (absolutely not ideal, but can't change it) and 7pm wouldn't give her enough 'awake-time'. We've had terrible problems with her sleep right from the start and at 2 are still not out of the woods, but what does seem to be important are regular and early bedtime and regular and long enough nap-times.

September - posted on 08/16/2011




Well if the child is ready to go down at 6 or 7pm and sleeps until 4:30am I don't see what the problem is. Forcing a child to go to bed at 6 or 7 for selfish reasons is just wrong in my opinion. Luckily our son has always had a pretty regular sleeping schedule, aside from being sick or teething. He goes down between 8-8:30pm (with a nap from 12:30-2) and sleeps until 6:30-7am. It's a great schedule for our family but not all families are alike.

Tara - posted on 08/16/2011




You hit it exactly Lissa.

My girls are in bed by 6:30 every night, except on really rare occasions when they are in bed by 7. They have always been early risers, regardless of when they go to bed - they are up by 6:30-7am every day.

I have a friend who had her son's bedtime at 8pm because that was what worked for her - he also slept like a rock and never woke up before 7:30 am, still doesn't and he's 8 now.

For us, it isn't about wanting "us" time, it's about making sure the girls get enough sleep. My husband works straight night shift, so he goes to bed for a short nap when the girls go to bed anyway, so there is no "us" time. We have family time in the afternoon when my husband is up, and "us" time when we can carve it out on the weekends when he is off.

Krista - posted on 08/16/2011




Exactly, Lissa. Our son goes to bed at 8, and we wake him up at 6am, because we have to be out the door at 7am. But we're thinking about moving his bedtime to 7:30 instead, because he's an absolute BEAR at 6am.

Lissa - posted on 08/16/2011




Simply because most children need a lot of sleep and almost everyone needs some time to wind down before sleeping. Some children also wake up at the same time every morning regardless of what time they go to bed. So if your child needs twelve hours and gets up at 6.30 every morning then reasonably they need to be in bed at 6.30 otherwise they don't get enough sleep and cry all day because they are so tired but wont nap either. If you all have to be up at out to go to school for instance you cant keep your kids up late then expect them to do a full day at school.

Dashanda - posted on 08/16/2011




My son is 2 1/2 and he has been going to bed @9:00 every sense he was a baby and doesn't like taking naps,but every now and then he will if his tired or it's been a long day for him.I am a SAHM so he really isn't on a set schedule,but he will let me know if his sleepy.

.Everybody is on DIFFERENT schedules so do what works best for your child/ kids and your family.

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If my 3 year old son doesn't nap I try to have him in bed at 7. It rarely works out that way, but he NEEDS it. No matter when he goes to bed he is up for 30 minutes to an hour rolling around, talking, and stuff. I have to wake him in the morning when it's time to leave though. He VERY rarely wakes up on his own unless it's the weekend.

Oh, and we get home at 6:45 two days a week.... all we do is shower, brush teeth, and go to bed. We have to eat dinner before we are home.

That's just the schedule that works best for us at this time.

Liz - posted on 08/16/2011




I put my 19 month old to bed when she shows persistent signs of tiredness, which is usually about 6.45 pm. She gets up at 7am. When she doesn't get tired until later, she can stay up later. That's the logic. I don't see where the problem is.

I'm a little disconcerted at your eagerness to criticise other parents. If what you are doing works for you, then do it, but it's a little much to bash other mothers for what they may perceive as working for them!

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