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Bedtime for a 2 year old? Later to see DH or earlier and not?

(28 Posts)
Bradsmum Wed 09-Feb-05 14:58:52

My ds tends not to go to bed until 8.30 in order to be able to see dh when he gets home from work. Is this too late for a 2 yr old? Would love him to be in bed by 7.00 but then he wouldn't see dh until weekends - maybe 20 minutes in the morning. What does everyone else do?

PrettyCandles Wed 09-Feb-05 15:05:13

I think 8.30 is too late for a 2yo. We generally put our lot to bed at 7-7.30. Of course it's important that they see their daddy, so he often goes to work gruesomely early so that he'll be home for suppertime. Doesn't always work and he ends up doing an even longer day than he would have done had he gone in at a more ordinary time . Sometimes he has to work late in any case and comes home after bedtime.

Perhaps you could vary your ds's bedtime: weekends 7.00; Mon, Weds, Fri 8.30; Tues & Thurs 7.00. That way he only misses his daddy twice a week, and has a chance of longer sleep to recharge in between each longer day.

Gwenick Wed 09-Feb-05 15:06:38

That's when my DS's go to bed - aged 14months and 4yrs. I think as long as it's 'routine' and he's not overtired by then there's nothing wrong with it. Even when we only had DS1 his bedtime (as a baby) was 8pm....

morningpaper Wed 09-Feb-05 15:06:53

I would think you'd be lucky to get away with varying it - sounds like a recipe for disaster.

If you put him to bed 1-2 hours early then he would probably get up 1-2 hours earlier - what time does your DH leave?

handlemecarefully Wed 09-Feb-05 15:07:25

Well, wouldn't you like him to go to bed a bit earlier so that you can have a bit of peace?

My 2.6 dd goes to bed at 19.30 (but after books etc lights out is probably circa 19.45/50).

Dh works stupid hours (still - it does fund my frivolous spending!) and doesn't get in until after her bed time. Likewise he only sees her for about 20 mins each morning - however he does devote himself to family life at the w/ends.

There is no way I would keep dd up until daddy gets home. But I am being selfish. I need some peace and quiet of an evening hence up she goes at the allocated time.

KateandtheGirls Wed 09-Feb-05 15:07:37

If he doesn't need to get up at a particular time in the morning, than I think that's perfectly fine. There's no reason he has to go to bed at a certain time. As long as you're happy with the situation.

handlemecarefully Wed 09-Feb-05 15:09:15


Dd doesn't seem unduly scarred by not seeing her dad in the evenings, and remains very close to him.

PrettyCandles Wed 09-Feb-05 15:10:08

From our experience, some children can take varying bed-times without upsetting their getting-up times. The important thing seemed to be jiggling their naps to fit, ie longer/more naps on later bed-time days.

handlemecarefully Wed 09-Feb-05 15:10:36


You've said yourself that you would love him to go up earlier at 7pm. Go for it and sod dh!

Mum2girls Wed 09-Feb-05 15:12:02

Bradsmum - DP would often go 3/4 days without seeing our DDs, which was awful, but tbh, most days couldn't keep them up till 8 - they're at nursery, so knackered by 7.

If it suits your Ds and you, then I don't see an obvious problem. On the ocassions I did do it, found it was doubly hard to get them to bed once they'd seen him, and then I was the one peeling them off their beds next morning.

Happily now he has another job so the late nights are the exception rather than the rule.

Hulababy Wed 09-Feb-05 15:13:14

8:30 is only too late IMO if he has to get up early! I work on giving DD 11-12 hours sleep time.

Bedtime is normally 7:30 for my DD (2y 10m) but we are very flexible. At weekends when DH and I would prefer to get up later, she may well go to bed later too. Luckily for us - this does mean a later wake up for us all

You have to do what is right for you and your family. If the current system works for you - stick to it. If it isn't working - try changing it.

Maybe when your DS is at school/nursery it may be more of a problem. But if no such morning committments it isn't so bad at all I feel.

And I actually believe the benefit of seeing daddy each night is very important. DD would be devasted is she didn't get to see her daddy - and it would cause me more bedtime problems than it's worth TBH.

Bozza Wed 09-Feb-05 15:13:14

How much sleep is he getting altogether? Think that is the key issue.

scotlou Wed 09-Feb-05 15:15:59

My dd (2.5) goes around 8.30 and ds (5) around 9-9.30. I would like them to go earlier, but dh and I work full time and don't get home till around 6.30. By the time I've cooked tea, fed and bathed them it's well after 8 p.m. Also, since my ds is picked up by my mum and taken back to her house for me to collect, he then has a 30 minute car drive home and frequently falls asleep - so an earlier bedtime for him is impossible. I have to say though that we are all fine with this - dd gets up around 7.30 and ds around 8 a.m. with no ill effects.
Go with what suits you! If I put mine to bed at 7 or 7.30 I would never see them!

tarantula Wed 09-Feb-05 15:16:20

As long as there is no need to get up early in the mornig then I cant see any problem with staying up late. DD is nearly 13 mnths and goes to bed at 9 every night and sleeps through till 8 or 9 (plus two naps a day) so gets plenty of sleep. In fact if dp suggested putting her to bed earlier so he could have a quiet evening Id hit the roof. Evenings are my time with my dd and its very important to me as I dont get to see her all day. Having said that I do bath (while he watches eastenders) and bedtime etc so he gets a break.

handlemecarefully Wed 09-Feb-05 15:21:14

But Hulababy - perhaps this (i.e. that she would be devastated) is because your dd is accustomed to seeing her daddy at night?

My dd is unconcerned about not seeing daddy at night (although she adores him), simply because she has not become used to this and he never has been there. It's an exciting novelty if he turns up before bed time....and I don't think it's so awful for her, because dh doesn't do solo stuff at the weekends (like golf, footie etc like many other dh's I know) but totally devotes his time to me and the kids.

I actually think that maybe Bradsmum is asking for 'permission' that it's okay to put her son to bed earlier and miss seeing daddy...she does say "Would love him to be in bed by 7.00"...

and I can't blame her. We all love our little ones but I can't believe I am the only one counting the minutes until bed time sometimes!

tarantula Wed 09-Feb-05 15:21:21

I mean dd and I have a bath not together so he can watch EE in peace.

Bradsmum Wed 09-Feb-05 15:21:53

Thanks for all your posts. Situation is that both dh and I work full time and ds goes to nursery 4 days a week - dm has him 1 day. I am knackered by the time I've done a full day at work, picked ds up, got his tea, bathed him, then started on our dinner, DH gets in about 7.45 ususally and reads to ds before bed but I think ds gets excited by seeing dh and won't go to bed till 8.30/8.45. He tends to wake up during the night and because we are tired he goes with one of us to the spare room (otherwise he cries till he makes himself sick). He gets 1-1.5 hours sleep at lunchtime so probably 11 hours a day.

mummylonglegs Wed 09-Feb-05 15:22:44

My dd's 2.4 and has always gone to bed at 8pm though sometimes it's a bit later because she's had a long nap or we've been out etc. So long as she gets her 11 hours at night and makes up for lost sleep during her naps I don't see a problem.

handlemecarefully Wed 09-Feb-05 15:28:26

In which case (i.e. Bradsmum working full time), I've been talking utter bollocks (no change there then)

You probably aren't mad keen to despatch him upstairs at 7.00 ish if you haven't seen him all day!

Bozza Wed 09-Feb-05 15:39:06

Eleven hours in total doesn't seem that much for a 2yo but you know your DS. Is he tired during the day? Would him going to bed earlier mean getting up earlier?

handlemecarefully Wed 09-Feb-05 15:43:29

My 2 year old gets 11 hours Monday to Wednesday (I get her up early for Nursery) and has a lunch time nap of an hour on those days

She gets 12 hours sleep on the other 4 days of the week, but seems to skip her day time nap then.

So 11 hours is fine for her...

CountessDracula Wed 09-Feb-05 15:46:34

Dd goes between 8 and 8.30 and wakes between 7.30 and 9. Not a problem. A bit concerned that when she starts nursery she will need to go earlier and then dh won't see her

NotQuiteCockney Wed 09-Feb-05 15:51:12

I've kept my DS1 (3y4m) napping in the afternoon so he can stay up late and see DH every evening. He goes to sleep at 8:30, as a result. We're happy with this, although we know the nap will disappear at some point, at which time he can start going to school full-time, but will have to go to sleep earlier.

At 3y4m, he sleeps 8:30pm to 7:45 or 8:00, and 2:00 to 3:30 in the afternoon.

At any rate, there are no rules as to when they have to go to sleep. 11 hours does sound like not that much sleep to me for a two-year-old (at two, I think DS1 was sleeping as now, but with a longer nap - so 13.5 hours/day?), but you know your child.

Maybe you could get DH to focus on helping your DS calm down? Avoid any lively games, work on reading with him, or bathing him?

fisil Wed 09-Feb-05 16:00:26

I hope I'm not going to be harsh on this one (well, if I am, just count yourself lucky that you're not living with me!). Ds needs to be in bed early. When I first started back at work (we both work full time), ds needed to be in bed asleep by 6pm. He would get 2nd wind if we kept him up later (after a whingey period about 6), and be happy and entertaining, but he needed to be in bed by 6 - it would be borrowed time if we kept him up later. So I arranged my working hours so that I could pick him up in time to get him into bed for 6p.m. Some days (you know, late meetings) that meant simply picking him up and straight into bed).

I made it very clear to dp that if he wanted to see ds in the evenings, then he needed to be home before ds' bedtime. DP is the adult, and the one with control over his life and ds was the child who needed his sleep. Luckily DP has a senior position and so is able to organise his hours in order to be home in time. When I first met dp he and I were both driven career minded people who worked until late every night. When we decided to have a family we both entered a different phase (well, I took a bit longer than him, but I am 5 years younger!), deciding that our work-life balance was more important than our careers. So DP went to working 4 days a week, for example, works from home one day, and manages to get home by lights out time 9 times out of 10. We do feel good that we've managed to push ds' bedtime to nearly 7 now, though. But both of us really strongly feel that we do not have a right to keep ds up later than he wants/needs just for our sake.

Bozza Wed 09-Feb-05 16:07:57

hmc as I understand it bradsmum is saying 11 hours including nap whereas you are saying 11 hours not including nap. And I did qualify with asking whether he was tired etc.

Actually my DS is 4 in a few days and needs more sleep than that. He operates best on 12 hours at night. At 2 he was having 11-11.5 hours at night and a 2 hour nap which is 13-13.5 hours. But I think he does need a lot of sleep.

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