Always same bedtime

(64 Posts)
Snickersnoodles Fri 05-Apr-13 07:35:50

I have a DD who is 8 months and my friend has a DD who has just turned 4 months.

We have both been invited to another friends house (who has 2 dc, toddler and school age) with our DC's for food, early evening.

My friend doesn't want to go as her DD goes to bed at a certain time and she doesn't want to alter this.

AIBU by thinking that it doesn't harm children to have an occasional change to their routine.

My DD is usually in bed for 7.30 but if we are out somewhere and it is later, then I don't worry about it. I did this with my older DS and he was a brilliant sleeper and still is at 7.

Sirzy Fri 05-Apr-13 07:38:22

That's how she is happy doing things. It's their choice.

teacher123 Fri 05-Apr-13 07:38:38

My DS always has the same bedtime (to within about half an hour) and I wouldn't voluntarily change it or stay out later. I do however suffer from PND and anxiety regarding his sleeping, so I probably am not the best person to comment on this!

when my kids were younger they got very thrown out by a change to routine and if they were up late they didn't sleep in the next morning and it spoiled the next day. It has changed now that dd is 9 and I now have to drag her out of bed!

Tee2072 Fri 05-Apr-13 07:43:38

I don't worry about it but lots of people are welded to their routines and that's their right.

It messes up my DCs something rotten. We have been doing the clock change ten minutes a day here this week.

Iaintdunnuffink Fri 05-Apr-13 07:49:56

Some babies settle easily, some don't. I had a nice bedtime routine for my eldest that worked well enough, he wasn't the best sleeper and didn't wind down easily. As bedtime routines went,it was quite fluid and I was happy to take him out after bed, or alter the time. Not happy exactly but I didn't think it would do any harm and it didn't. I never once enjoyed any of those evenings though! He would wriggle, grizzle and I would spend my time trying to settle him. He was one of those children that get grumpier and more awake the more tired he was.

It was a different story with other one, he was always happy when tired and would fall asleep in my arms. He's 8 and still the same, if we.'re out late he doesn't moan, all he needs is a comfy corner and a blanket.

fluffyraggies Fri 05-Apr-13 07:50:10

I don't think it harms children to change their routine occasionally, but if it's been a struggle to get your DC into a routine (and finally get some sleep yourself) then it would take a very exciting, worth while or grave situation to make you risk upsetting that.

Speaking from experience here smile

MammaTJ Fri 05-Apr-13 07:52:19

My HV told me when my DD was a baby, have a routine for the baby but you rule the routine, don't let the routine rule you. For me, routine is important but so is flexibility when it suits.

Not much you can do about your friends decisions and choices though.

munchkinmaster Fri 05-Apr-13 07:52:23

She may end up with a horrible, screaming overtired baby who is then up all night. To be honest I wouldn't have done at four months - might have before then.

Snickersnoodles Fri 05-Apr-13 07:59:54

So does this mean you would never go out on an evening with the dc. When I only had DS, we took him out often and when he was very little, he would sleep in our arms etc.

Does the same go for naps. DD naps at a similar time during the day but is sometimes asleep for longer than normal and if it coincides with the school run or an appointment etc, she is woken up.

I was also told by my HV when DS was little the same as MammaTJ.

Hmm. Its a funny one.

With DD1 I was like you OP. She would have slept on a clothesline so we had no routine. Except a loose 7.30 bedtime. But if it needed to change it wasnt an issue.

With DD2 (5months) its a nightmare to get her settled. We need a routine, but as yet havent figured out one that works. I suppose I would take her out of it but I would then be awake all night with her and be exhausted the next day.

Its every parents choice and I suppose its easy to think its the parent driving the routine. But until you have a tricky baby its hard to see that infact some babies need a very firm routine no matter what the parents want.

It is her choice but I dont blame you for being annoyed.

DonDrapersAltrEgoBigglesDraper Fri 05-Apr-13 08:00:45

My two go to bed at 7-7:30PM come hell or high water when at home, but we're not phased in the slightest by changes to the routine if out and about and luckily neither are they.

But others aren't as lucky with how their kids respond and handle changes.

Sirzy Fri 05-Apr-13 08:02:22

DS is normally in bed by 7, it would have to be a very special occasion before I would keep him out past 8.

If she is only just getting the routine established then I can fully understand not wanting to deviate from the routine at all

Cherriesarelovely Fri 05-Apr-13 08:06:06

I wouldn't have been that keen to muck about with bedtimes when Dd was 4 months. She had just got into a routine and it was the fact that she was sleeping better that was keeping me sane. I'm sure you are right that it wont do any harm but sometimes when you are a new mum you can't face the upheaval even for 1 night.

maddening Fri 05-Apr-13 08:06:33

Well at 4 mths old there are lots of sleep issues eg regressions so she might be desperately trying to sort that.

Could you all take food to her house instead?

Snickersnoodles Fri 05-Apr-13 08:06:57

She is always telling me how easy her baby is and she is only waking once during the night, sometimes not at all.

Sirzy Fri 05-Apr-13 08:09:05

Maybe that's because she has the baby in a good routine!

SneakyNinja Fri 05-Apr-13 08:11:39

Well obviously a strict routine works well for her then doesn't it?

KayHunt Fri 05-Apr-13 08:11:40

Well let her stick to her routine as it helps her. My son is a monster if he's not in bed vying 1930.

So I don't go out with my baby, it's only a brief time they're babies, sleep is my saviour not socialising.

Snickersnoodles Fri 05-Apr-13 08:13:47

My DD is also in a good routine, sleeping through. Changing it for one night does not alter this routine. How would she know if it would change it or not if she has never tried it.

Ok, I will accept that IABU but it will be a long few years then as they both have no family here as both moved down here from Scotland.

Fairylea Fri 05-Apr-13 08:15:02

Hmm well my ds is 10 months and bedtime is 6 - he's decided this himself and any later than this and he will literally throw a fit (!! ) until he's put in his dark room in his cot... so I never go out anywhere near his bedtime, ever.

Dd now aged 10 wasn't too bothered about a change to her routine.

I guess it depends on the baby and how they react. Its not fun contending with a miserable overtired baby !

RubyGates Fri 05-Apr-13 08:17:56

She will know, won't she what a change to the routine will do to her baby?


Snickersnoodles Fri 05-Apr-13 08:19:35

Yes, I accept that IABU but she has never tried it so she doesn't know.

devonsmummy Fri 05-Apr-13 08:21:02

I never took dc1 out past bedtime - bf a fussing hard to settle baby to sleep for an hour or more was not my idea of a fun night out. Knowing if I did manage to get them off to sleep & they'd wake being put in car then repeat getting to sleep at home again.
We tended to have friends to us
Slightly different with dc2 as easier to put down to sleep, but only ever went out past bedtime on 2-3 occasions.
Totally depends on baby & mum

FiveGoMadInDorset Fri 05-Apr-13 08:22:31

I don't think YABU, we took DD out when she was a baby and it never did her any harm, babies are portable. But each to their own.

innermuddle Fri 05-Apr-13 08:23:01

I agree with previous posters that it depends on the baby. I have 5 children, 4 would cope with a change to their routine and so their sleep would not be affected by one late night. but my 4th baby (now 4) has very fragile sleep, a late night can lead to poor sleep for anything up to a week. before I had her I would have been shocked by the suggestion that one late night would make a significant difference to sleep.

redskyatnight Fri 05-Apr-13 08:24:09

Depends on the child. IF DS got more than about 15 minutes past his "normal" bedtime he got overtired and we would have hours and hours of screaming inconsolable baby.

DD would quite happily sleep at whatever time suited, or just drop off to sleep wherever she was.

If your friend has a child of the type of DS I can quite understand why she wants to keep the bedtime the same (and quite frankly you don't want a screaming inconsolable baby ruining your evening either).

teacher123 Fri 05-Apr-13 08:25:39

You sound very judgy about her choices. Her baby, her choice. I choose to not take DS out past his bedtime, as it would stress me out. He might settle beautifully, but the panic attack I would have about his sleep (or lack thereof) would not make for a relaxing evening. I am currently happy to socialise in the daytime, or leave DS at home with DH.

SneakyNinja Fri 05-Apr-13 08:26:00

Good for you OP hmm

I'm afraid a certain level of smugness shines through with your post. Many parents do make the decision to sacrifice a few nights out in order to stick to a routine. Its really no big deal.

Alternatively, you can go the other way and drag your baby around everywhere with you. Might work for some but that too has its consequences.

How do you know she's never tried it?


I hate when people are judgy about routines. I think it's fair to say she knows her own child best and knows whether putting him to bed late is a good idea or not.

Snickersnoodles Fri 05-Apr-13 08:32:34

I am judgey about things as are most people. I never denied that. I also accepted that IABU about this particular issue.

I did not however say I dragged me DC around everywhere. It happens occasionally as I said in my OP. And what consequences does it make for me if my DC's cope with this change. I have a 7yo DS who I did the same for and it never bothered him and he is a brilliant sleeper.

Obviously other babies are not the same. How is this smug. I'm sure my DC's have other bad points that other babies don't have.

JassyRadlett Fri 05-Apr-13 08:39:37

Are you sure she's never tried messing with the routine, even a tiny bit, and knows the consequences?

FWIW, I used to take my DS out at nights a lot until he was about three months when he needed to be in bed - not in a pushchair or car seat - by half seven at the latest. If he wasn't, cue screams. If you put him to bed in someone else's house and had to move him to wake him up, screams, followed by ages trying to get him back to sleep.

He's a lot easier and more flexible at 18 months but we still rarely both go out at night and take him with us and I don't know many other parents who do that sort of thing either. We don't have family locally and I'm not sure what you're trying to get at with your comment about it being a long couple of years because they don't have family nearby. Can't people socialise during the day or without dragging their kids along? In fact my friends and I have a babysitting circle so that we can all go out without our toddlers and without having to spend a fortune on babysitters. But then, we're a supportive group of people.

Wishihadabs Fri 05-Apr-13 08:40:48

Blimey OP we are blessed with 2 dcs who we have pretty much always been able to cart about with us without it impacting on their nightime sleep.

However I have friends for whom this simply isn't an option. If their dcs are not in bed at the right time, the whole family's sleep is messed up. Interestingly these aren't people who are generally controlling or routine driven, in the vast majority of cases I would say they are more laidback than me. They would all love to have dcs as portable as ours. So YABVVU and judgey let your friend get on with it her way. Ultimately she is the one missing out not you.

weegiemum Fri 05-Apr-13 08:41:12

When our dc were small we lived very rurally, and so pretty much any socialising involved being out after bedtime (we always knew we were on schedule if we could hear the "Archers" theme tune as dc was getting out of the bath!

So rather than never seeing anyone, we worked really hard at getting the dc to accept a routine wherever we were. We'd do bedtime wherever we happened to be, had a travel grobag that worked with a car seat, and a travel cot.

Dc got to stay in a rough routine, we got to have dinner with friends with child asleep in another room.

It was brilliant with dd1 and dd2. Ds was in between, he liked it less but I think that was because he was terminally curious about everything from about 2 weeks old. But he'd grizzle a bit, have a bf and go down ok.

I've got a (loose) theory that dc sort their routine round the parent. The most chilled people I know have dc with pretty much no routine. The most uptight people I know (one of dh's flat mates from uni and his wife) have a minute-to-minute routine with children now all at school - they visited us when their ds1 was 1 year and freaked as we didn't have blackout blinds - to calm the "situation" I ended up taping layers of bin bags over the windows!

Let your friend do as she wishes. But I think it doesn't have to be that way, but am prepared to be flamed for that opinion!

Chocoflump Fri 05-Apr-13 08:43:26

I don't like to change 7month DDs bedtime, so would probably decline. She gets supper and last bottle at 7.15 and in bed for 7.45. She's stuck in this routine too, come 7pm she's a grumpy little madam and I wouldn't want that in a friends house!

SneakyNinja Fri 05-Apr-13 08:45:21

I was merely stating the other side of the coin when it comes to taking babies out. Some people NEVER deviate from routine, some don't even have one. Most do something in between.
What is smug is the assumption that your friend can not possibly have a good enough reason for her choice. Well done for doing what worked for you, now step back and stop assuming that she'll regret her choice later. And whatever you do, please don't try to share your 'concerns' with her.

LovesBeingWokenEveryNight Fri 05-Apr-13 08:45:35

Pretty soon it will all be messed up for her when teething starts

Chocoflump Fri 05-Apr-13 08:45:40

Oh and FWIW I'm an extremely laid back person too, I don't really follow a routine during the day, we just take each day as it comes! grin

teacher123 Fri 05-Apr-13 08:47:36

I am always envious of laid back people who can be flexible, but I just can't! I know that I am massively highly strung and anxious about DS and his sleeping, and it all stems from him being beyond AWFUL for the first six months. Routine was the thing that I clung to, and now that things are better, I am too scared to rock the routine boat and mess with it, and I cannot bear the idea that things could return to what they were. Irrational? Yes. I am finally seeking help for this, and I KNOW that people have judged me for how strict I am with DS and his routine. The fact that people do doesn't help. So maybe just have a bit of empathy, she may feel that she has no choice.

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Fri 05-Apr-13 08:48:58

Fairylea - please don't use the phrase "throw a fit". I find it offensive. I have epilepsy, and it likens a seizure to a toddler tantrum. Which it isn't.

GoodtoBetter Fri 05-Apr-13 08:51:36

Maybe she just doesn't want to go and it's a handy excuse?

Wishihadabs Fri 05-Apr-13 09:00:17

Wedgie Mum I'm not sure I agree. I think there is a large intrinsic element to personality (likely genetic) which we have been conditioned not to consider. It is massively unfair on parents to suggest that having "easy" or "difficult" dcs is or ever was in their hands. The blank slate is very good on this.

teacher -- I know what you mean. This is why I don't like people being judgy about routines. You never know what's really going on with people.

Fairylea Fri 05-Apr-13 09:37:00

Couthy - I'm sorry. I didn't mean it to be offensive in any way whatsoever and didn't even register that it could be intended in that way. My dh is actually epileptic himself and regularly uses the phrase "throwing a fit" when light heartedly talking about our children having a moan etc so I never even thought of it being offensive to someone with epilepsy. My apologies.

Snickersnoodles Fri 05-Apr-13 09:38:52

I know she hasn't tried because she has told me she hasn't.

I was not being particularly judgey about her having a long few years as I would help her out with babysitting. However this is the other thing she won't do. She won't leave her dd with anyone and says she won't until she is 3. However she is planning another child reasonably quickly so by the time that child is 3 it will be at least 4.5 years of not going out together at all with dc or without.

Ok, I know IABU but that would drive me mad and I am not that big on going out all the time.

KayHunt Fri 05-Apr-13 09:43:24

YADBU. Why should she leave her child while she is so young? Just because it would drive you mad it doesn't mean it would her. Her parenting style is different to yours and as a friend you should respect that.

OP -- I hear you, I don't personally understand people who stop going out entirely when they have kids.

It sounds like actually she just doesn't want to go out and her saying it's the routine is just an excuse.

But 4 months is so young, she may change her mind down the line.

MsVestibule Fri 05-Apr-13 10:10:28

I was very, very routine driven when my DCs were that young. I'm normally quite a laidback person, but not when it came to their routine. I thought I was coping well and had a fairly easy baby first time round, but upon reflection, I think it was The Routine that made me feel I had some level of control over my life. Once they got to about 2yo, I became much more laidback about meal and bed times.

I know you've admitted YABU, but I don't think you believe that you are really wink. Which is fair enough, but please, don't let on to her that you think SIBU in any way, shape or form. Especially don't say 'each to their own', or similar.

Snickersnoodles Fri 05-Apr-13 10:10:43

Yes I suppose she could change her mind but she loved going out way more than I have ever done. Not in a clubbing way but just eating out with friends, etc. I just can't believe that being a mother can change your personality that much. But maybe she will given time.

Very hard to manage to hold on to our friendship though if she can't go out and she won't have people at hers once dd is in bed. I go back to work in month so daytime visits will stop then too.

Snickersnoodles Fri 05-Apr-13 10:15:29

I have never said anything to her and won't. I still believe that it won't do them any harm but IABU to expect others to do the same.

Her baby is only 4 months old! I cant believe you have already made your mind up about her future parenting and an end to going out together!

She may feel stressed by the mere thought, and feel she wont be able to cope with her baby out in the evening, judged (boy is she right to fear that!) as a new mum with her friends who both have older babies, and she might not find it relaxing and nice at all. Doing the feeding, the nappy changing, with other mums and kids present, along with getting her baby to sleep.

To me, sounds like a pretty helllish evening. Maybe she prefers to put her feet up at home, rather than struggle out of the home?

Where is her DP in this? Will she not leave the baby with him so she can go out?

I can see why you're worried about the friendship. She may just be in the bubble though, give it some time.

sunshinesue Fri 05-Apr-13 10:48:11

Yabu. Not all babies are portable. 5 month old ds will turn into a demon after about 7pm. We've never tried to enforce a routine, this is just the end of his day and he is tired. we may be able to get him to sleep in a pushchair or car seat but this would take about 45 mins of rocking and shushing. You wouldn't want us as guests, we'd be distracted and ds would be noisy and miserable.

FrauMoose Fri 05-Apr-13 10:55:57

Routine seems to have become more fashionable. When my daughter was a baby I would take her out with me to friend's houses sometimes in the evening, and if she was tired I'd feed her then put her down somewhere quiet. Often on a rug or blanket on a floor - and she would sleep quite happily.

I can see that for some parents and babies there are advantages in routines. But there are disadvantages too.

waterrat Fri 05-Apr-13 11:07:11

the thing is, it's so easy to say that you shouldn't let a baby rule your life, but sleep makes everything else either okay or awful. I hated being out with mine past bedtime, he would not have settled and would have been crying and distressed. It's not about the routine, it's that I wouldn't have enjoyed being out with him.

I tried to get out all the time and never enjoyed it. next time with a baby I will be much quicker to say NO to being out and not worrying about judgy people like you.

Lariflete Fri 05-Apr-13 11:11:04

The thought of breaking DD's bedtime routine brings me out in a cold sweat! We had such awful nights with her until we got into a routine and she is so difficult when we break it that I will never voluntarily do it for anything non-serious / non-urgent.
However, my friend has a baby of the same age as DD and they don't use a routine at all. But that works for them.
Basically it's up to the individual grin

McNewPants2013 Fri 05-Apr-13 11:19:36

A night around a friends house is not worth upsetting DS routine. It takes us weeks to get the routine back on track and i need whatever sleep i can get.

I have done for weddings and important family parties.

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Fri 05-Apr-13 12:39:39

OK, apology accepted!

Mrsrobertduvall Fri 05-Apr-13 12:44:36

I was very rigid with dcs bedtime....bath at 5.30, bed at 6.30.
It meant I had the evening to myself, and they were settled for babysitters.
They were pretty good sleepers and I think I was terrified of spoiling that routine. My friends were quite similar, so we met as adults in the evening, rather than having children around.

teacher123 Fri 05-Apr-13 12:48:05

In my opinion your social life naturally changes when you have a baby, it's part and parcel of it. As a pp has said, the thought of trying to settle DS at someone elses house and worrying that he wouldn't sleep, blah blah and worrying that my friends were judging me would ruin any enjoyment I might have of the evening. We haven't had friends over for dinner since DS was born. However we go out for LOTS of lunches, coffees, playing at other people's houses etc. We've had some friends who've judged us for no longer being able to go to the pub at the drop of a hat, and some friends who've just stopped inviting us to things at all, even though we have doting grandparents on standby! When he's older we'll be more flexible. Whilst he's a baby, our evening social life has been put on the back burner.

teacher123 Fri 05-Apr-13 12:49:40

And yes yes mrs Duvall! Early bed = sanity for me!

Wishiwasanheiress Fri 05-Apr-13 12:49:59

Really, why does it bother you? Confused.

Wishwehadgoneabroad Fri 05-Apr-13 12:53:54

My DD is in a great routine - wind down starts at 6pm, in bed by 7pm. Sleeps til 7pm. She's only 5 months too.

I'm sorry but YABU. The reason she sleeps so well is because she is in a great routine. My friend, who drags her poor DS here there and everywhere, meaning that no two days are the same, might have a much better social life - but gets zero sleep because the little boy wakes up all night.

Of course, could be coincidental wink but thank you, I'm keeping my routine grin

It would have to be bloody good reason to break her routine - even for a night! The last time we did it, it sent her off track for 3 days. Never again!

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