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Page 2 | To not get why people put their DC to bed early

(367 Posts)
RogerThatOver Mon 23-Oct-17 22:56:41

...when it's unnecessary?

I get that if you all have to be up and out for 7.30 then they'd need to be in bed early.

But my SIL has 3 DC under 5, none at school and no plans to return to work at any point. Her DC are in bed for 6pm. That means being stuck in the house from 4pm every day which I would hate. They get up at 5/5.30 which she complains about endlessly but what does she expect if they go to bed so early? They can't go on days out because the DC are tired by lunch time and have to be home to nap, they don't do family parties or weddings because the DC cannot travel after 3pm and need to be home to wind down for bed by 4pm.

I also have 3 DC under 5. Mine go to bed at 9 and get up at around 8, sometimes later at the weekend. We can have full days out, if there's a party or wedding they can happily stay up until midnight. We can go to the park til bedtime in the summer and never need to rush home. They have an older sibling at school and are all ready on time to take her at 8.30 so their bedtime won't need major adjustment when they start school.

SIL and MIL are both very judgey about my DC's bedtime with SIL saying at the weekend that my DC must be 'chronically overtired' because they were still dancing at a family party at midnight. The hours of sleep they get are actually no different but IMO a later bedtime means my DC can do more in life. SIL admits she spends every morning drinking coffee with the kids watching tv until 10 because she's so tired, then if they go out they need to be home for naps by 12. She doesn't seem happy with the way things are but so many people seem to think it's just the way things must be with young DC.

AIBU to not understand the obsession with early bedtimes, coupled with complaints about early rises?

OP’s posts: |
Plornish Mon 23-Oct-17 23:19:34

DH has to be at work by 6.30am, so he goes to bed at 9pm. DD (8) therefore has to have an early bedtime if we are to spend any time together as a couple. It's bath at 6.30pm, and stories at 7pm. But we've always allowed her to look at/read books, and turn her own lamp off; I suspect she often goes to sleep later than my husband does. Meanwhile, our nextdoor neighbours' girls (5 and 8) stay up much later, but then they don't get home from childcare until after 6pm. What suits one family won't necessarily suit another.

tobee Mon 23-Oct-17 23:20:07

I well remember going to a post natal group (kids all about 2/3 months) and the discussion got round to bedtime routine and what time the babies went to bed, about 7 seemed to be the norm. I was amazed. It had never occurred to me that I should be putting dd to bed. She just stayed with me and went to bed when I did and napped on me during the day. I didn’t say anything. But dh is self employed and has always worked odd hours, usually late in the day. So there was no routine. I still don’t really understand why people obsessively put their children to bed early, maybe they read a different manual to me! But it doesn’t really matter what they do. They probably think I’m barmy. Btw dd and ds are 22 and 18 now and have always been night owls.

DixieNormas Mon 23-Oct-17 23:20:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DixieNormas Mon 23-Oct-17 23:21:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Goldfishshoals Mon 23-Oct-17 23:22:55

I agree with you op.

In the early days of parenthood I read an article where the writer claimed that babies need early bedtime and gave their suggested routine. It had DC awake at 5 in the morning!!

I mean I take on board people points about not always having a choice with early risers etc, but I can't see why anyone would think being woken by DC at 5am was something to AIM for.

KC225 Mon 23-Oct-17 23:23:00

Like the above poster, I had an early riser 5 to 5.30. He is now 10 and is still an early riser. If he went to bed later, he still woke up at the same time only grumpier tdue to less sleep. Even now at 10 he is never up later than 7 even at weekends and school holidays. And yes horror upon horrors both twins napped during the day until the age of 3.

When my children were younger they had early bedtime routines and O feel that because of that they never saw bed as the enemy. They were snug in bed and I felt I had an evening. My twins are now 10 and it seems they have the same bed time as your under 5s. 8.30 on a school night and 9 on a weekend, school holiday.

You sound very Judgy. Yours is a different way not necessarily the only way.

Trying2bgd Mon 23-Oct-17 23:24:08

Whatever works for a happy family life! My children went to bed relatively early - about 7pm at that age. Other people I knew had kids up to midnight and slept a lot during the day. I didn't care as they weren't my kids! I just enjoyed the hours of watching box sets in the evening, it was during this time we discovered west wing! Also babysitters loved us, we put our kids to bed before we went out and they pretty much just watched tv quietly til we got back! I agree that the less we judge other parents (non abusive) the better!

expatinscotland Mon 23-Oct-17 23:25:39

We're all night owls here.

yorkshireyummymummy Mon 23-Oct-17 23:25:40

God , my DD has never ever been awake wanting to get up @ 05.30.
I thank God daily for her sleeping pattern.
Even on Christmas Day, the earliest she has ever got up is 07.45. DH and I used to lie in bed giggling waiting for her to wake up on Christmas Day!
Personally I think you have to do what's right for you but your SIL does seem to be putting her kids to bed to early as it impacts on their fun levels during the day- how sad they miss out on family parties etc. I wonder if she has tried shifting their bed time till 7.30pm? That's what I would do.
And I think OP that yours will need to be in bed a bit earlier when they start school. They get knackered by it!
It's each to their own isn't it but I have got some great memories of my DD - one is dancing and singing by the pool in Portugal at midnight when she was 5, she just slept till 10.00 the next morning and had a siesta.
I would be like death warmed up if I was up @05:30 every day.
I would probably go to bed at 6 pm too!!

Sashkin Mon 23-Oct-17 23:26:42

I think your children are obviously better sleepers than hers. I doubt she wants to structure her life around naps.

When DS was little, he slept anywhere and I used to go out for the whole day with him in the sling. Nowadays he doesn’t really sleep well in the sling or buggy (wakes up after 20mins, as opposed to an hour in the cot), and he starts screaming and lashing out when he gets overtired, so I’m much more of a slave to nap time now. I’m looking forward to him growing out of it - apparently I never had naps as a toddler, but DS still really needs them.

internetCrazies Mon 23-Oct-17 23:30:35

It's good for their health to sleep a minimum of 12 hours. If mine went to bed at 9pm, they would be getting up after school starts in order to get the required amount of sleep. (Also, by 8pm I just want some f*%#ing peace!)

Let your sister get on with her life and you get on with yours.

Flywheel Mon 23-Oct-17 23:30:39

I'm with you op. No issue if it's working for people, but I have also had friends and relations complaining endlessly about the early starts, while sticking to a ridiculously early bedtime.
I'm also not convinced that waking time can't be changed. How would you manage jetlag? Sure it could take days or even weeks to settle into a new routine, but I imagine it's possible with most children.

tempstamos Mon 23-Oct-17 23:30:57

DD(10) is still up with me now, only put my 8 year old to bed at 10 and 2 and 4 year olds around 8. No one will be up before 8/9.

RosieBucket Mon 23-Oct-17 23:32:06

I wish I could have got my children (now adults) fast asleep by 6.30pm. I've always had more energy in the evenings and can get more done. Also, the evening is better for having social time with friends (without children). As it was, the final one was often still awake at 11pm (SN) and then they were all up and raring to go by 5/6am.
I think people do it their own way, the way that suits them best, the way circumstances allow. Maybe she 'is' tired in the mornings, and complains about it, but also maybe if she didn't have that downtime in the evenings she'd go round the bend.
I think your way is fine, but everybody should leave her alone and respect her decision to do it her way.

wobblywonderwoman Mon 23-Oct-17 23:32:15

Each to their own I suppose.
I have two under 4 and bed is 8 - 8.30.

I personally feel 6 is really early. I work full time, I wouldn't get to see them. We tend to do stuff in the evening. This evening we went to Asda and didn't return until 7.45pm and ended up 8.40pm bed.

Maybe people would raise an eyebrow at me too. Each to their own, as I said.

Long as the children are OK and parents like that routine... So be it.

BlueSapp Mon 23-Oct-17 23:32:18

My SIL is exactly like this too, ours is a 9pm bedtime and the up around 8am so works well plus we don’t get home till around 6.30 in the evening so there is no way early bed would work.

Spikeyball Mon 23-Oct-17 23:34:33

Mine has a fixed sleep pattern and if you try to get him to stay up when he is tired, he is a nightmare and still wakes up before 6am.

BrieAndChilli Mon 23-Oct-17 23:35:40

Judgy much??hmm

Where do I fall then as kids bedtime at pre-5 was 7ish and is now 8pm now they are all in secondary school. Yet they are more than capable of staying up until midnight when needed, could come home 5 minutes and go to bed without any wind down. DS1 has always woken at 6am at the latest and DD at 8am at the earliest despite both going to bed at the same time.
Despite DS1 getting up several hours earlier than DD he never slept in the day yet DD who was the last to get up would have a long nap in the afternoon.

BrieAndChilli Mon 23-Oct-17 23:36:31

Primary not secondary!! No idea how autocorrect did that as sure I put primary!!

hiddley Mon 23-Oct-17 23:37:26

I had one who needed sleep. Not an early riser. His bedtime was 7.30pm until about aged 6, gradually now 9pm. I think if people have not had good sleepers (mine was) they might be a little paranoid about sleep. If ds didn't have a full nights sleep he was like the second coming of the antichrist.

Misspilly88 Mon 23-Oct-17 23:41:37

Since dropping his nap my child is going to bed at 630 and it's wonderful. I really need my evenings. I would never see my husband otherwise. It works for us and my mental health. Yours seems to work for you. Stop judging.

ElspethFlashman Mon 23-Oct-17 23:41:54

I think it depends on the family. Neither myself or DH have a long commute so are home fairly early. So everything is earlier than other families. Their bedtime is 7 and we're rigid about it as they start getting sleepy and cranky.

They have 12 hours sleep and are up by 6.30/7. It suits us as we have to leave the house by 8.

What do people do with later bedtimes/later wakers when school is on? Do they just get less sleep then?

orangeowls Mon 23-Oct-17 23:46:23

My LO can’t cope being up later than about 6:30, I’ve tried and she just goes to sleep wherever she is. I kind of like it though cos although we can’t go out together it’s nice to have the evenings with my husband alone smile

Also as others have said, stop judging each other and do what works for you!

tabulahrasa Mon 23-Oct-17 23:46:47

Assuming that getting up time is dictated by going to bed time (and it's not always some DC just have a time they wake up at no matter what) you're choosing to have them up later and have a lie in, she's choosing to have child free time in the evening instead. There's no real right or wrong.

Though is nobody else finding the 2 hours to put them to bed a bit odd? What's that about?

DeleteOrDecay Mon 23-Oct-17 23:49:16

You should both stop judging each other, both ways of doing things are fine.

We have an early riser and later bedtimes make no difference, so 7pm bedtime it is (and occasionally 6pm if needed). That said I’m not against keeping them up later as and when required so they don’t ‘miss out’ on anything. How ever they will be cranky the next day and of course, it’s us who has to deal with that which is ^so fun^hmm So unless you want to deal with her over tired kids after a late night then keep your judginess to yourself.

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