Why my kids go to bed at 7:30

Filed under: Big Kids, Health & Safety: Babies, Development/Milestones: Babies, Bedtime

My sons are almost seven and nearly five. And they go to bed at 7:30 every night.

I am entirely serious.

By 7:30, give or take a few minutes, we have had baths and brushed teeth, read stories and had snuggles. The lights are off, and the boys are settling down to sleep. On a normal night, they are both asleep by 7:45. They sleep until somewhere between 6:30 and 7:00 in the morning (unless it's the weekend--then they're up at 5:15, ready to play).

A few weeks back, Sandy wrote about Ellie's quest to get enough sleep, and about the difficulties of getting everything done in time for lights out. I am sympathetic to that dilemma; we face it at our house on a regular basis. We have solved it by doing crazy things like having baths at 4:00 in the afternoon or reading to the kids WHILE they are in the tub, just to keep the process moving.

I talk to parents of kids the same ages as my sons, particularly my older son, and they tell me how their kids are up until 8:30 or later, with no ill effects. They take their kids to evening soccer practices and ballet classes and baseball games without missing a beat. I'm a little envious because the 7:30 bedtime really DOES cut our evenings short, at least for the kids. But when my sons DO stay up later, for a family dinner or a special outing or just because we're having a nice evening at home reading or playing games, they are a mess the next day. And, often, the day after that, and the day after THAT.

We have, quite honestly, decided that for our kids, right now, sleep is more important than anything else, and we have arranged our weekday evenings so that the kids can be bathed and storied and snuggled and in bed at 7:30. Choosing an early bedtime has meant NOT choosing other things, like t-ball (evening practice) and soccer (ditto). It means that on nights where my husband works late, the kids only spend a little time with him. It means, these days, that they go to bed while it is still light out. But it also means that they aren't overtired and cranky.

Do you have a part of your child's routine that you are not willing to compromise or change? Why

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.