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Appropriate bedtime for 4-year-old

(18 Posts)
RobotGoat Sat 28-Oct-17 20:07:00

I have a daughter who's nearly 3 and a son who is 4.5. At the moment they both go to bed at the same time, between 7 and 7.30. Son is constantly getting out of bed, jumping about etc. sometimes until as late as 9pm, although he settles down eventually. They share a room, and daughter does fall asleep without much trouble despite son's noise.

We were out today and had a late dinner, which means they've only just gone to bed, and son seemed to go down much better than usual. I'm now wondering if we're just trying to put him to bed before he's ready, and thinking about moving his bedtime to 8pm and leaving daughter's as 7pm. That way, she gets a chance to fall asleep without him disturbing her, and he might be more tired when he goes up.

I've got two concerns about this. First, I wonder if it's going to put him to bed will disturb her if she's not already asleep by 8. More importantly, I don't know if 8 is a reasonable bedtime for a 4YO or if it's too late. Any advice?

Applesandpears23 Sat 28-Oct-17 20:09:46

I think it depends what time he needs to get up and how tired he is the next day. My 3.5 year old often goes to bed slightly after 8 but she can and does sleep in until 9 if she is tired.

wobblywonderwoman Sat 28-Oct-17 20:10:49

I have a 3 and a 4 year old - both go at 8

Kragghooooooullllll Sat 28-Oct-17 20:10:55

My dd is 4.7 and she goes up for a bath between 6.30/7 has stories and in bed by half 7ish normally asleep by 8.

She is (always has been, nothing we've tried has changed her) an early riser, never sleeping past half 6 so is tired by this time of night.

If we had something on she could stay up but her behaviour would start to deteriorate and we'd know about it the next day too!

Quartz2208 Sat 28-Oct-17 20:13:29

I think it depends on the child and how much sleep is needed (found this out the hard way with my 8 year old) an 8 pm bedtime might suit him better

RobotGoat Sat 28-Oct-17 20:32:16

I think it depends what time he needs to get up and how tired he is the next day. My 3.5 year old often goes to bed slightly after 8 but she can and does sleep in until 9 if she is tired.

That's partly what I'm worried about. He generally wakes up between 5 and 6 no matter what we do, so if he was going to bed at 8 that would mean only getting 9-10 hours sleep per night. He might wake up later if he went to bed later, but I don't know for definite that he would.

Thanks for all the responses. It sounds like it's not totally unreasonable to think of an 8pm bedtime, from what people have said. We haven't heard a peep from him since 8 tonight, which is unheard of when he goes up earlier! I think we might try it for a few days and see how it goes. We can always switch it back if he seems to be getting overtired. I'm well aware that tonight could be a fluke!

FATEdestiny Sat 28-Oct-17 21:24:38

If he's waking early and (I assume) not napping in the daytime, then I'd say an earlier bedtime is better than a later one.

My 3yo (who still naps) shares a bedtime with her 8yo brother. Both go up at 7.30 and asleep by 8pm.

When my toddler stops napping and starts school, her bedtime will get earlier. I foresee a 7pm bedtime, maybe even 6.30pm.

RobotGoat Sat 28-Oct-17 22:01:32

Yes, he's not napping during the day. Might be worth trying an earlier bedtime as well, and just seeing what works. He seems so full of energy at that time in the evening, which I know can be a sign of bring overtired as well, but it doesn't feel like he's overtired to me. Worth a go, though.

wobblywonderwoman Sat 28-Oct-17 22:16:23

Do you bath him and give him something to eat before hr heads off to bed? That ensures they sleep

43percentburnt Sat 28-Oct-17 22:36:02

Ds is a lark, he is usually awake 6.30 ish. He goes to bed between 6.30 and 7.30 depending on how tired he is. We have tried pushing it back but he asks to go to bed. He has been known to ask to go to bed at 5.30 if he has had a really busy week. He loves his bedtime routine with stories, baths, gro clock etc. His older sister was a baby owl - bed between 9 and 10 and woke 9.30ish the next day.

CountDuckulaTheSqueaky Sat 28-Oct-17 22:37:55

What time does he get up? You should be aiming for about 11 hours sleep.

43percentburnt Sat 28-Oct-17 22:39:00

Posted too soon. It may be that they need different bedtimes. If she falls asleep ok with the noise I wouldn’t worry about it.

crimsonlake Sat 28-Oct-17 22:41:00

If he goes to school I think extending the bedtime would not be a good idea.

Milkandtwosugars Sat 28-Oct-17 22:55:07

DS has always been a perfect sleeper. I can’t fault him one bit. He will be 6 in February.
DD is not a very good sleeper. She was 4 in July.

On a school night, we take them up at 6:45 for 2 stories and a cuddle.
DS will go straight to sleep after, so asleep between 7-7:30.
DD is harder and needs someone to stay with her, she will be asleep by 8 at the latest.

DS gets up between 6-7. No matter when he goes to sleep.
DD gets up between 7-9. It’s later if it’s a weekend/half term and she’s in our bed.

We’ve just put them in the same room as I’m pregnant so had to swap our room with DS as he had a better layout for when we have the baby. DD was in our bed every night before that but she’s now in her own bed so her sleep isn’t great at the minute - she hates her bed so tries to get in with us a lot.

On a weekend we’re more slack obviously. But they’re still in bed before 8 with a film.

RobotGoat Sat 28-Oct-17 23:16:07

All really helpful; thanks, everyone. He doesn't go to sleep right away when we put him up at 7/7.30. I'd say he probably falls asleep by 9 most nights, and generally wakes closer to 6 than 5. He sleeps through, so he's getting around 9 hours at the moment, which obviously isn't enough. Earlier bedtime rather than later might be the answer, then.

I might suggest to my partner that we aim for 6.30 instead, and see if that makes a difference. If DS then settled down more quickly, he'd be getting 11 hours assuming he didn't wake up earlier.

TBH we've always been a bit crap at routine. They don't have a bath every night, and it can be almost impossible to get DS to settle down for a story/song at bedtime, although we do try every night. That's definitely something for us to work at.

headintheproverbial Sat 28-Oct-17 23:33:06

Mine goes 7-7.30. He'd be shattered by 8 but I don't necessarily think it's too late if it works. 9 is too late.

RobotGoat Sun 29-Oct-17 12:06:09

I forgot about the clocks going back! Now I'm not sure what to do. 6.30 bedtime will feel like 7.30 to them, so no different to normal. 5.30 doesn't even remotely work for us. But an 8pm bedtime will feel like 9, which is way too late. Now I'm thinking maybe we should just aim for normal bedtime, and see how it goes. Arrgh!

CountDuckulaTheSqueaky Sun 29-Oct-17 12:49:46

Go for 6.30, they'll take about a week to adjust to the clocks going back.

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