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Bedtimes - Am I a slack parent?

(26 Posts)
Thingiebob Sat 06-Oct-12 11:11:05

My 2.8 year old doesn't have a bedtime.

I gave up a long time ago trying to establish a bedtime. It resulted in my whole evening gone trying to get her to sleep, broken nights and early mornings. A lot of stress for everyone involved.

Now she goes to sleep when she is tired. She sleeps through most of the time in the bed with us and wakes up at about 8am. This works for us.
She usually falls asleep naturally at about 9.30 -10 p.m in our bed. I go to sleep about 11.30.

My HV said that some children just don't need much sleep. I think my little one needs about nine to ten hours. She dropped her nap at 18 months.

So I am pretty relaxed about bedtimes as long as it is clearly not impacting on the child's health.

AIBU? I have plenty of friends and perhaps the odd relative who raise their eyebrows at this and clearly disapprove.

Part of me is wondering if perhaps I should try to force the issue and attempt a bedtime again yet I have been getting more sleep in the last few months than I have in the last two years.

Silibilimili Sat 06-Oct-12 11:13:29 are not. My dd needs exactly 11 hrs. Parenting is about what suits you. As long as the child is not suffering in other ways, don't worry. It will sort itself out when she goes to school.

thebody Sat 06-Oct-12 11:15:47

As long as she's ok for school then that's great. No ones business but yours is it!

lljkk Sat 06-Oct-12 11:15:59

If you're all happy then fine.
You may find that you have to impose much more routine when she goes to nursery/preschool/big school.

sugarice Sat 06-Oct-12 11:16:04

I don't think you're slack, you're doing what works for both of you. It may change as she gets older regarding being tired from nursery and school and she'll find an earlier time for bed.

SirBoobAlot Sat 06-Oct-12 11:16:29

I don't think you're being unreasonable. My DS was like this until he started playschool, then got himself into a loose idea of bed time, though this still isn't set in stone.

Its working for you all.

forevergreek Sat 06-Oct-12 12:04:21

If it works for you then fine

However almost 3 year old here still naps evey day ad sleeps 7-8am overnight. So approx 14-15 hours a day, I would wonder if 9 hours is enough

Softlysoftly Sat 06-Oct-12 12:10:26

Yanbu as long as it doesn't impact behaviour a friend let's get dd sleep whenever then wonders where the tantrums are coming from....

I also admire your ability to have no decent time to yourself, 7-8 oclock is was pre DD2 my wind down time!

Anonymumous Sat 06-Oct-12 12:14:45

My eldest son didn't have a regular bedtime until he went to nursery at the age of three. I didn't see the point really - he went to sleep when he was tired, and could wake up whenever he was ready in the morning. The same applied to his younger brother and sister even though I had to get them up to take their brother to school - they could always sleep in the pram or nap in the day if they were tired. Once they start nursery or school and have to get up early and spend most of the day awake, it's a different kettle of fish and then they have to go to bed at a regular time. But YANBU at the moment.

GhostofMammaTJ Sat 06-Oct-12 12:14:49

It would drive me nuts. I like my me time on the four evenings a week I am not at home. However, it is you who hasn't got that, not me, so YANBU.

hatesponge Sat 06-Oct-12 12:15:28

Some children need less sleep. My DS1 barely slept as a baby, dropped his daytime nap before the age of 2, and at 3 was only sleeping for about 11 hours max.

hatesponge Sat 06-Oct-12 12:17:29

Sorry that should be 10 hours i can't add up - he used to go to sleep about 9ish, and wake up around 7.

Thingiebob Sat 06-Oct-12 12:21:30

To be honest I don't know where she gets her energy from. She can just keep on going without seeming to tire, although it is very clear when she is getting sleepy then I settle her into the bed and we have some quiet time. She didn't sleep through then night until she was nearly 2 and often skipped naps when she was younger with no real ill effects.

I realise when she gets older she will need a more structured routine. She goes to nursery once a week but that is in the afternoon so not really a problem in terms of early mornings.

Also, I am expecting so not sure how it will all work when the baby arrives!

Thank you for all your input.

Jinsei Sat 06-Oct-12 13:02:33

Well, if you're a slack parent, so am I! grin

DD is 7. I'm fairly strict about bedtimes in the week, but she still sleeps much later than many other kids of her age, and I let her stay up as long as she wants at weekends. She just doesn't need much sleep, I was the same as a kid myself. Her behaviour at home and at school is excellent, and academically, she is well ahead of her peers. She is generally very cheerful and enthusiastic and very rarely ill, so I figure it's not doing her any harm.

I was made to go to bed early as a child because my mum wanted some child-free time in the evenings. I didn't need the sleep and used to lie in bed crying with boredom and frustration. I don't want that for my own dd.

BlueSkySinking Sat 06-Oct-12 13:19:36

It depends on your child. Is your DD is a great mood all day and lots of fun? Then great, she is getting enough sleep. If your DD seems to struggle a little at times and has minor upsets - then I would expect your DD needs more sleep. In the long term it does help to get them into a routine though. My kids are out for the count at 6.30pm and sleep till 7am. I can tell when they need more or less sleep by their behavior.

BlueSkySinking Sat 06-Oct-12 13:23:58

Do you do the tea, long bath, lots of stories, milk, followed by chatting time, then bed routine?

CremeEggThief Sat 06-Oct-12 13:46:46

YANBU. You are doing what works best for your family and 9.30-10 p.m. isn't that late, as your DD is still getting over ten hours a night.

I would try to have her used to going to bed by 8 p.m. by the time she's in school (or morning Nursery) though, but you have time to work towards that .

secondseverncrossing Sat 06-Oct-12 13:51:28


I have to put my 4 year old to bed at 6 as she gets ridiculously tired, especially now she's started school and needs to be up by 7. It's not enough sleep for her, she really needs to sleep 6 til 8.

I get raised eyebrows and assumptions I'm a control freak or a lazy parent from some people if I mention it. I do point out that her sister only needs 12 hours a night so it's not like we get a lie in as she's up at 6!

All children are different.

surelythisoneisnttaken Sat 06-Oct-12 14:44:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheEnglishWomanInTheAttic Sat 06-Oct-12 16:58:16

YANBU my DD was quite similar as a tot, although she did have a bedtime (and didn't sleep through til she was 2) she would sleep 8pm-5am until she was about 3, and dropped her naps at 18 months. She was a very easy toddler (I have 2 others to compare) in terms of not getting frustrated beyond the norm - she was quite attention intensive but in a wanting constant 2 way interaction all the time way, not in a bad behaviour way. She only seemed to need the 9 hours sleep. I also had a baby when she turned 2 - I coped because he was luckily a much better sleeper than her and she started to go through her 9 hours without waking, and she watched rather too much recorded cbeebies in the very early part of the day while I dozed next to her or BF her brother smile

Ironically now she's a 7 year old school girl my same DD needs 10.5-11 hours sleep and you can see the effects when she's been to bed even an hour late, in terms of reluctance to get up and especially by after school the day following the later evening.

McHappyPants2012 Sat 06-Oct-12 17:01:39

I only did a bedtime routine when ds went to school.

shewhowines Sat 06-Oct-12 17:12:06

If she's happy and cheerful with no behaviour problems during the day then YANBU,

However, I do wonder if you should be settling her in her own bed when she is showing signs of being sleepy, rather than in your own. It will be very hard to break that habit when she is older if that is what she is used to.

Februarytwotimes Sat 06-Oct-12 17:18:08

When ds was smaller his dad worked night shifts. So his routine was set from 11pm to 10/11 am the next morning with a 2 hour nap between 3 & 5. It worked perfectly for us as a family but my word you should have seen the po faced looks we got from family and the HV said a couple of times "he should really be doing 7 till 7 at that age. Why though? He was getting 14 hours sleep a day in a "routine" just not a usual routine. It really annoyed me actually.

Thingiebob Sat 06-Oct-12 19:17:29

She seems happy enough. I think. Perhaps this is why I am asking. I do wonder if she needs more sleep now she is older?

I don't do bathing before bed as it used to just wake her up. We used to have a teeth clean, pjs some water and stories before bed but that seems to have fallen by the wayside. Instead she has milk and plays some gentle apps or I read to her before bed, then we clean teeth and have a cuddle before she sleeps.

She won't settle in her bed, but we do intend to get her back in her bed before the baby comes.

ilovezumba Sat 06-Oct-12 19:29:37


Follow your instinct! mama knows best and if it works for you stick with it.

Every night is different in our home , and both my girls have different energy levels. My 6 year old goes to bed before my 4 year old and I have to read about 4 stories before satisfied. Bedtime could be between 730 - 830.

Enjoy the snuggles , there will come a time when she takes herself off to bed without a bother smile

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