Hello and happy Monday; I hope y’all had a nice weekend! We had a date night at 90Novanta on Friday evening after a meeting our financial adviser. Hailey had a basketball game on Saturday, then we spent the evening with friends.
They recently moved and invited us over for dinner. It was so much fun seeing their new home, but also just taking time to hang out and chat, eat, and laugh while the kids ran amok. Plus, Mike makes a mean cocktail. I mean, I don’t even like gin, but this was tasty!
We stayed out late! The girls ended up climbing into their own beds at 11:00 PM, a mere 4 hours after their normal bedtimes. Needless to say, we paid for it Sunday, but sometimes those nights are worth it. While Kaitlyn bounded out of bed around 7:30 AM, only a few minutes past her normal, Hailey was out. It seriously took me a few minutes of shaking her around 8:30 AM to rouse her in the slightest.
Girlfriend loves her sleep.
That morning had me thinking about kids and sleep in general. I’ve always been fairly strict on the amount of sleep our girls get and for the most part I still am. Of course exceptions happen, and Saturday night was certainly worth it, but on the regular we are firm when it comes to how we handle sleep around here.
In our house, for both girls (ages 6 and 3 1/2), we have a 7:00 PM bedtime. Sometimes in the summer it edges closer to 7:30 PM. I really don’t know when we will change this. According to the National Sleep Foundation, children need the following amount of sleep:
This chart rings true in our house, with Hailey needing more on the high end and Kaitlyn being a little closer to the lower end. However, if either one drops below their threshold for even one night, it’s obvious. They become more emotional, quicker to lose their cool, more whiny, and they struggle with getting quality rest the next night. I also see a quick drop in the strength of their immune systems if we go more than one night being short on sleep. Read how we keep their immune systems strong here.
So to keep sleep a priority, here are our kid sleep rules:
- 7:00 PM bedtime. We usually eat dinner between 5:30/6:00, then it’s straight to brushing teeth, going potty, reading books, and in bed no later than 7:15 PM.
- They may read in bed. They are allowed to read until they fall asleep. We don’t have a cut off time established at this point, but we’ll consider it if it gets out of hand. Hailey got a new book light for Christmas that has two different light settings, and the dimmer one is perfect for bedtime reading.
- We cut off naps. Honestly, this isn’t a big issue for us anymore since neither one of our girls nap, but when they did, we would not let them sleep later than 4:00 PM. That way they’d be ready for bed on time.
- Not allowed out of their room until 7:00 AM. Here’s what I’ve noticed: Kaitlyn will sometimes wake up at 6:30 AM, and when she was younger it would sometimes be earlier (5:15 AM, I’m looking at you). However, this doesn’t mean she is ready to get up for the day and oftentimes she will go back to sleep with a gentle reminder that the day has not started yet. However sometimes she wakes up early and doesn’t go back to sleep. Though it isn’t ideal, she still is not allowed out of her room before 7:00 AM. Both girls are allowed to read books or quietly play until it’s time to get up.
- We limit evening activities. Hailey has basketball practice one night a week from 5:30-6:30 PM. I totally understand that an earlier practice time doesn’t make sense and we can swing this one night a week with Hailey now at 6 years old. However, more than that would be too much at this point.
All these work really well for us. However, I am finding myself in a new pickle on the other side of the challenge- Hailey wanting to sleep late! With homeschooling, we are fortunate to have some flexibility, but she literally slept to 9:15 AM the other day, which while comical to me, isn’t going to work on a regular basis. I’m trying to decide an appropriate wake up time and am leaning towards 8:00 AM (though I won’t lie, when I wake her she often gives me the mom whyyyyyy). Anyone have any advice in this area? I believe a consistent bedtime and wake up time is important, and need to just figure out what wake up time makes the most sense.
Whew, you know you are a mom when you can talk about kids and sleep to no end!
So chat with me-
What sleep guidelines work for your family?
What are your biggest struggles when it comes to sleep?