I always seem to be lamenting the fact that at least one of my kids are tired. All brought on undoubtedly by the fact that they were late to bed the night before (for any number of reasons). So let’s look at what is the ideal bedtime for kids.
I don’t think there’s any magic formula and try as I might I sometimes attempt to put one of my children to bed before the others. Isn’t it fair that the 9 year old gets to stay up later than the nearly 4 year old? Rationally, of course, it makes sense. But try telling the little one that. I’ve tried to explain to her that when you sleep you grow and that she has more growing to do, but she won’t have a bar of it.
So, we’ve reached a good middle ground that seems to work for everyone. My two daughters (who share a bedroom by choice) both are ideally in bed by 7.30pm (and that’s stories read, teeth brushed etc) with lights out and no talking. Eldest son (9) goes to bed at the same time but reads for between 30 and 45 minutes, depending on what type of day he’s had or what type of day he has coming up the next day.
The girls have seemed to accept this as a compromise – at least he’s not down hanging out with us or watching TV.
Doesn’t Always Go According To Plan
Some days if they’re all going crazy, World War III is erupting and hubbie and I are getting cranky, I just call it quits. We drop everything, abandon any hope of clean teeth and just get them to bed. I have been known to put them to bed in their clothes depending on how tired they are and how urgently they need to sleep. It’s nothing a bath and a big brush in the morning won’t fix.
What The Chart Says
We recently shared a chart that showed the ideal bedtime for kids.
Many of our mums commented (as we did) that we were dismal failures which it came to bedtime for kids.
“Fail! Not that I needed the chart to tell me that. We don’t always even manage to eat dinner before my almost 5 year olds bed time,” admitted one mum.
However, others reminded us that charts like these can just put added pressure on mums, that we certainly don’t need.
“There is no such thing as failing…as long as you are trying your best and doing what works for you who cares what some chart says…children aren’t a one size fits all,” read one comment.
“This sort of thing is ridiculous and makes parents feel all sorts of pressure that they are failing their kids (or toddlers or babies). Children are all different. Their sleep needs are different,” said another mum.
What’s the night-time schedule like in your house? Any tips for mums struggling to get consistency in bedtimes? Anything you wish you’d done differently? And do you let them stay up late on the holidays? Tell us in the comments below.