A 7pm bedtime… what?! I’m sure you are thinking I’m crazy! And you know what, I just may be… But I seriously I love 7pm bedtime for my kids.
I’ve always been pretty scheduled in general; I use a paper planner to block portions of my days for certain tasks. But, when my twins entered the world, they made scheduling an absolute must! First, I read the Babywise book, which made a lot of sense. It basically talks about keeping a three hour schedule of wake, feed, play and sleep. The real magic happened when I read the book, Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Twins: A Step-by-Step Program for Sleep-Training Your Multiples. This book was so helpful; it talked about baby’s personality and gave the analogy that if you are doberman pinscher type parents, then you shouldn’t expect a golden retriever baby. This me realize that I’d likely have children with strong personalities like myself. So much for easy parenting, right?
The best piece of advice that I gleaned from one of these books was the earlier the kids go to bed, the longer they sleep in the morning. This seems counter intuitive, right? I figured if you kept them up, they’d sleep in. Nope, for some reason it doesn’t work that way.
When my girls were babies, occasionally I would go to the gym in the evenings and when I’d get home, my husband would have put the girls to bed at 6pm! And to my surprise they would usually sleep in later the next morning!! Of course, in the beginning, it may have been 4 hours of sleep instead of the normal 3 hours, but that’s a big accomplishment with babies.
Eventually, once they were sleeping through the night, if we put them to bed at 7pm, they would wake up happily at 6:30 or 7am. But, if we waited and put them to bed at 8pm, they would wake every.single.time at 5am. 5am is not my fun zone! I didn’t want to get up before 7am EVER! You can imagine how pleasant of a mommy I was at 5am. That’s how our 7pm bedtime became our normal routine. Our girls were generally well rested and happy.
Last year, when they started kindergarten, we decided to move their bedtime to 7:30pm. I know this is very risque. It took a little time for the girls to get adjusted to the new bedtime, but it has worked out great. The best part is my husband and I have time in the evenings to hang out without kid interruptions. It’s a win win; the kids are well rested and we get a little time to ourselves! In turn, we are also well rested.
What time do your kids go to sleep?