weebly statistics
Home About Links Contacts Show Show

Making My Children’s Sleep a Priority

sleepingbaby My husband and I are saying “no” to a lot of invitations lately. A few months after my first daughter was born I read “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child” by Dr. Weissbluth and the book recommends maintaining a consistent bedtime every night. For the most part we do keep bedtime consistent. She goes to bed within 30 minutes of the same time every night. Then along came baby number two.

I love how newborns sleep through practically anything and sleep anywhere. Of course, I don’t love their short erratic sleep schedule. Eventually newborns establish a bedtime on their own as they get older. Now at 7 months my boy starts giving sleep cues just before 7:00 p.m. and he is done for the day. He is ready to be nursed and laid down.

Maintaining a routine and a consistent bedtime has become even more important for us now that we have two kids. We realized this when we kept them up a little later than usual at a friend’s house. My 2 year old could be entertained while at the house, but once we got home she fought being washed in the bath and cried a lot before she fell asleep. She was a bear the next day and tired at Mother’s Day Out. That same evening I was holding and bouncing my son to keep him content. He kept bobbing his head on my boob to nurse. Then he screamed in the car on the way home. My children were put to bed 1.5 hours after their usual bedtime. My husband and I definitely agreed that the cost of keeping our children up late wasn’t worth the price.

Now in the evenings only one of us will go out at a time. We could hire a babysitter, but that isn’t practical all the time. It is certainly a special treat for both my husband and I to be out together past 7:00 p.m. Many times we have to say no to events that start at 7:00 p.m. It is just the phase of life we are in. I know it won’t be this way forever.

On the other hand, we love the early bed time. We have a great time hanging together around the house and creating date nights at home. I appreciate the break from my children. I also love that my children are well rested and behave better the next day. Our whole family is better for them getting their sleep.

How about you? Do you notice a difference in your child’s behavior if they have a consistent bedtime? Have you had to turn down invitations, because they are past your child’s bedtime?

*P.S. That is my boy in the photo. He fell asleep eating his teething biscuit at dinner! Maybe he wasn’t that well rested that day. LOL.

10 Responses to Making My Children’s Sleep a Priority

  • Comment by Sharon M
    October 13, 2009 @ 5:04 am

    We also try to keep our commitments in the evening to a minimum. Since we don’t have any family nearby, paying a sitter is the ONLY option if we want to go out. As you can imagine, that doesn’t happen very often, and when it does, we try to spend time together, alone. Not with other people. Visits to friends happen on the weekends or late afternoon/early evening during the week. If we do have an evening commitment at a friend’s house, we ask if it’s OK to put the kids to bed over there (it usually is), and we bring their pillows. As long as they have those things, they can fall asleep just about anywhere!

    It’s important for kids to get an appropriate amount of sleep for the reasons you listed, but also because of a hormone called HGH, which is released into the system during sleep and is crucial for growth, especially in young children. Sometimes it boggles my mind living over here, how people keep their kids up SO late, then get them up early in the morning for school. It’s a cultural thing, I guess.

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Stephanie
    October 13, 2009 @ 7:34 am

    I have noticed that if I stick to a bedtime my son seems to sleep better. Some people told me to put him down between 6-8pm. I noticed that when I did that he woke up 2x that night and would wake up early in the morning. I then tried letting him nap about 5-6 till 7-8 and then put him back down for good at 9-930 and he sleeps until 7-730 am. Fine with me :)
    I wish I could put him down earlier so that my husband and I had time together but I guess we’ll have to work up to that.
    I have also noticed that if he doesn’t get his naps during the day he is much harder to get to sleep, and even worse to stay asleep. So in answer to your question, we have had to decline invitations and work around his major nap which is early afternoon nap. Is that the same for you? Can your boy still sleep at night even if he hasnt had good naps?

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Cathy
    October 13, 2009 @ 11:55 am

    We only have one right now, but she’s a great sleeper. We keep a travel-size pack n play in the car at all times (it’s from graco and costs only $70). Whenever we’re at friends’ houses for the evening, we set up the pack n play in one of their rooms and do her bedtime routine there (except for bath, but we don’t bathe her every night anyway) at her usual time. She goes to sleep with no problems. She barely wakes up when we leave and goes right back to sleep when we get home.

    Of course my husband and I enjoy our evenings together, but we have several close friends that live nearby and we wanted the flexibility to still be able to see them, too.

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Katie
    October 13, 2009 @ 11:58 am

    We are sort of crazy about the whole bedtime routine thing. Kaylee is generally a great little toddler if she’s well rested (as I’m sure is true of most toddlers). If she’s tired though, wow, it can be quite a spectacle. She really needs to be in bed by 7:30, and of course we have a whole bedtime routine that includes teeth brushing, bathing, and bedtime stories. Most nights we start the bedtime routine around 6:30, but if we have to we can start it closer to 7:00 (which means skipping the bath). So yeah, we have to miss out on anything that takes place in the evening. The only time it bothers me is during the holidays. It’s really hard to leave Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner so early. Generally though, we don’t mind. We get to watch movies together and have some alone time before it’s time for us to go to bed.

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Amanda K
    October 13, 2009 @ 9:30 pm

    Oh for SURE yes! The younger kids go to bed between 7 and 7.30, and the older two between 8 and 8.30 every night. They are *horrible* to deal with if they don’t go to bed at the same time. There are occasions when we’ll go out past bedtime, but it’s rare and we know what we’ll be dealing with the next day. What I find most frustrating is friends that don’t understand (and they have kids too) and complain when you don’t want to go over to their place past bedtime etc.

  • Comment by Amanda
    October 13, 2009 @ 9:47 pm

    @Sharon – I wish my kids could sleep anywhere! The problem for us is transferring them home. And for realz – if we are paying a sitter it is usually for alone time or something that we really want to go to.

    @Stephanie – my boy isn’t that great of sleeper. I am trying though! He is finally taking good naps during the day, but it still hasn’t affected his night time sleep too much. I have no clue why he wakes up so much at night. I have tried everything, but crying it out. I will probably do that, but I have to be ready for 45 minutes of crying. For now it is easier for me to nurse him and get us both back to sleep.

    @Cathy – That is awesome that your child can transfer so easily!

    @Katie – Our bedtime routine sounds very similar. Yeah, holidays can stink, but sometimes I am thankful for the excuse to get away. LOL.

    @Amanda K – I know, right! Sometimes I feel like a weirdo when I say I can’t go places to other parents. I feel like I come across as snooty, but I don’t mean to. My kids sleep is just important to me.

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Myself
    October 14, 2009 @ 10:28 am

    We’ve finally been able to get my son to have a consistent bedtime and its a big relief. Before this school year began, bedtime was the eternal battle, with new excuses being invented nightly for why he needed to stay up. But once school started we layed down the law a bit, coupled with the fact that he had more strenous activites (soccer, karate ) then previously, he was happy to go to bed.

  • Gravatar
    Comment by FireMom
    October 14, 2009 @ 11:04 am

    We also have refused evening events/get togethers because our children absolutely need a routine and set schedule with regard to their bedtime. They function better. We function better. It’s just how it is right now. We clean at 6:30, have snack and then have a bath. They’re in their beds around 7:00, give or take, for stories and prayers. Our older son does look at his books for awhile after we leave but falls asleep before 7:30 (at the latest, 8:00 if he’s really into whatever he is *reading*). Our younger son falls asleep as soon as we leave his room. It’s funny.

    Eventually, our bedtimes will change. And that will be okay as well. :)

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Amy
    October 14, 2009 @ 7:58 pm

    We’ve been blessed and cursed with two kids who don’t need a lot of sleep.
    Blessed in that we can get out and do lots of stuff any day of the week.
    Cursed in that, them going to bed at 9 doesn’t give my husaband and I much time off.

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Stephanie
    October 20, 2009 @ 8:51 pm

    @Amanda- I agree with you! Lately Ryan hasn’t woken up before 6am. 6 out of 7 days a week he wakes up after 7am so I just do our normal breakfast routine, but if he wakes up at 6am I’ll nurse him and let him lay in bed with me until 730. If he wakes up in the middle of the night I think I would try patting him to sleep, but it hasnt happened yet (hopefully doesnt!) But who knows, I may be too tired to deal with it that I’d nurse him back to sleep haha.

Leave a comment


Blog Ads: