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While we all adore our children (most of the time) there’s no denying that by the end of the day, we’re all clock-watching – just waiting for bedtime to roll around.

Some parents are pretty chill when it comes to when the kids toddle off to bed. While others have a schedule of particular times when each tot is tucked in. Each to his own right? But one mum has started to wonder whether her strict sleep schedules for her four children aren’t age appropriate.

The mum explains that it’s been a running joke among her close group of friends that her children’s bedtimes are pretty strict. “There’s no animosity in it, and we’ve never felt put off or offended by it, but I’m starting to wonder if my friends have a point,’ she explained on reddit. “Is this schedule not age appropriate?”

  • 5 y/o twins: bedtime 7:30 pm, wake up 6:30 am
  • 3 y/o: bedtime 7 pm, wake up 7 am, nap from 1 pm to 3 pm
  • 18 m/o: bedtime 6:45 pm, wake up 6 am, nap 11 am to 1 pm

The mum admits she and her husband get picked on for the early bedtimes and early wake times.

“The other school age kids in the group (none older than seven) all go to bed between 9 pm and 9:30 pm. I feel like that’s so late for a little kid! The 11-month-old in the group goes to bed later than my 3 y/o.

“I will deviate from the schedule if it’s truly important to us or if it’s really important to a friend. Otherwise, nope. For example, one of the babies in the group recently got baptised. It was right during nap-time, but we went anyway because supporting them was more important than sticking to the schedule. Conversely, we turned down an invite to a football party because we didn’t care enough to disrupt the naps and had already had a crazy busy weekend.”

‘I prefer myself and my kids when we’re all well-rested’

She explains that everyone else in the group is far more relaxed about their kids sleep, preferring to live life and attend functions rather than worry about their kids’ sleep.

“I just know these things: I love how I feel when I’m rested. I prefer how my children act when they are rested. I deeply value the time after 7:30 pm when I have a solid two hours to decompress, connect with my husband, tidy up, etc. This time is life giving for me, and allows me to refuel as a person and a parent.”

And while her friends are generally lighthearted about the strict schedules, she’s often the subject of many jokes.

“Everyone was really busting on us back in July, when we had a big backyard party for my daughter’s 3rd. As I noted she goes to bed at 7 pm. The party was still going strong at that point, so around 8:15 pm I snuck away for 20 minutes to bathe her and put her to bed. When I returned our friends were in hysterics that the birthday girl couldn’t even stay up for her own party, and, ‘she wasn’t even in a bad mood, she was having a great time’. In my eyes I’d already kept her up over an hour past her bedtime, so I was doing great.

“Part of me says, this works well for us, so why question it. But another part says, maybe all this peer pressure is for good reason, maybe we need to ease up and start to stretch the kids a little more. Any insight or experience here?”

We’d love to know what your children’s sleep schedules are – let us know in the comments.

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  • Those times sound perfect. Sleep is so important for everyine.

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  • Sounds like normal bedtimes to me; A good routine is important as long as you’re not too rigid

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  • You do what’s right for you and your family. We used to fight with our son all the time because he went to bed earlier than others, BUT we knew that he needed his sleep to function properly so we stuck with it.

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  • My daughter is 21 months and she’s been a pretty good sleeper from the get go. She dropped her 2nd nap quite early on but has been doing 7am wake ups, 1-3 nap, 730pm bed time every night for a fair while now. Shes absolutely awesome, she sticks to her routine like clockwork.

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  • Those seem like pretty reasonable bedtimes for those ages, although that would be a hassle having 3 different bedtimes in the one house.

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  • My 22 m/o schedule is: bedtime between 7pm & 9pm wake up between 6 am & 8am nap from 12pm to 2 or 3pm (whenever he wakes up) – I am flexible because i feel like we need to be especially in this age where they are going through growth spurts – some days he just needs more sleep.

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  • Honestly you just gotta do what’s right for your own family. If it works for you then keep doing it

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  • Those bedtimes seem quite reasonable to me. As long as she can be flexible from time to time, I don’t see the problem.

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  • That’s not that different from me – bed time has always been 7.30pm on week nights (weekends I let them go until 8.30pm). I have always been a strong believer with naps. My kids had a 2pm nap right until they went to school. My kids who are now in school still enjoy a nap every Saturday from 2pm until about 5pm and they are perfectly fine with it and like it.

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  • I have 3 different kids. My youngest always go to bed early when ever she felt she need a rest.But my eldest always stay until about 10.30.He wants to go to bed when we are going.I think sleep pattern depend on their age.

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  • Me personally; I’m an early riser and early to bed. My kids are similar. Eldest 12 goes to bed at 9pm, 10yo goes to bed at 8pm.
    I don’t really care what others think; it works for us and they wake rested. youngest has always been early to bed and even if I put her down later she’d STILL wake at sparrows fart.

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  • I’m in bed by 7 myself haha


    • Aw lol, I thought I was early with 9pm !

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  • I agree with this mum that a bedtime between 9 and 9.30pm for kids in this age group is too late. Flip, I go to bed at 9pm myself !
    I agree that being well rested and structure is important.

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  • I used to have rules for mine in bed by certain times which you need to have or it is a disaster and asking for trouble, my older children had to be in bed by 8pm. They might complain but they are children and your the adult and they need their sleep and if they have baths or showers in pyjamas and tea by 5pm they might watch a bit of tv the younger ones used to know once fat cat came on that was bed time for them.

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  • My 5 year old is in bed most nights by 7.30pm, not always asleep, but in bed. She is generally awake between 6am and 7am.
    My 9 year old is also in her bedroom by 7.30pm, when she gets time to read, but only until about 8pm.
    We are not so strict if we have outings or visiting family out of town, but they get tired and grumpy when that happens, as we all do when we are tired.
    I value the time after 7.30pm when they are in bed…a few hours to spend doing things I want to and do end time with hubby

    Reply

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