E.B. asks from Eveleth, MN on November 18, 2008
Holiday Scheule Disruption
My 4 1/2 yo son has started going to bed between 7 and 7:30. This summer, he had been taking three hour afternoon naps, but now that he's in School Readiness 3 days a week, and will be in kindergarten next year, we've HAD to start working him out of those naps. He gets up very early (we're finally sleeping in til 6; it was between 4-5 am) and only naps some days, for about an hour. We have a one year old, also, who follows his brother's schedule, but also takes a morning nap. My question is this: we will be spending 6 days at my inlaws' this Christmas. My nephew, who is 2 1/2, goes to bed at 10:30 and sleeps until 8 and then takes a four hour nap in the afternoon. My inlaws get upset at our "ridiculous" early bedtime and want our children to stay up. I know, from trying to get my children to sleep in past 4 am, that it takes WEEKS to adjust their sleep schedule, and with him going to school, I'm not sure I want those 6 days with my inlaws to screw up all of January for us. Also, I know that if I give in a little (say, an 8 pm bedtime) it very quickly becomes even later, because they plan the fun things for late at night, and my kids certainly don't want to leave the party. Am I being unreasonable and seasonally-challenged? I always feel awful coming away from their house; like my little 2 yo nephew is the life of the party, since he stays up so late, and my kids are the sterile little angels who don't get to have fun. (I can't decide whether that's their attitude or if I imagine it.)
K.B. answers from Milwaukee on November 18, 2008
My daughter is kind of the same way, she is very hard to get on a schedule (about a month) but it only takes a week of doing something else to totally mess that whole scheudle up. She goes to bed around 8/8:30pm, wakes up around 7:30am, and takes one nap in the afternoon for 1-2 hours.
With that what I do is pick ONE night during holidays (or if on vacation) that my daughter can stay up past her bed time (extra hour maybe two if she is not crabby tired). We still do the nap during the day, we let her sleep as long as possible so she can stay up later without being a crab. So far this has worked for us, usually it is a wedding she stays up late and dances but that is only one night and we can jump right back into the "normal" schedule the next day with little or no problems.
Remeber that you are the parents so what you say for YOUR children goes. Do not feel bad about making a good decision for your children, sleep is important and if a "strict" schedule works best for your family do not let someone mess it up. One night is fine to be a "Party Animal" and that should not mess up your scheudle too mcuh. If relative pester you about it say you would love them to stay up late but then you have to come home with me for a month and help get them back into a normal routine. That usually gets the respones, not thanks you have a good night, see you tomorrow for some more fun.
Best of luck, it is great the relatives want to spend time with your kids BUT they are your kids so do what you think is best for them in the long run.
D.M. answers from Duluth on November 19, 2008
I think it just depends on the family. What is right for your family, may not be right for them and vice versa. But they should respect your decision as you should respect theirs. If they want their child to stay up that late, maybe that's okay for them, but for you it's different. Your children are in school, theirs are not. Maybe if you feel they are making comments where you are feeling pressured to let them stay up, just kindly remind them you have school schedules to keep them on and that someday in the not too distant future, they will know what you mean. There is no right or wrong time for your kids to go to sleep when they are that small, but when you have to consider school at a certain age, then there is. When both my kids were very young and not yet in any schools, I kept them up with me til even midnight somenights. I was working nights back then,so I was pretty much a night owl and I figured why should I put my kids to bed at 8pm, so they can wake up at 5am all bright eyed and bushy tailed?? No way. But I always made sure they got enough sleep, they were not deprived. My kids are in middle school now, and the youngest is in Kindergarten. The younges sleep about 11 hours, and the 2 11-year olds sleep about 9-10 hours. They were on my schedule when they were babies, so they could spend more time with me. Only when they started day care and pre-schools did I worry about a bed time. So people making comments about kids being up late have no business being up that late, it just all depends on the family and what the needs are at that time. Everybody is different and it changes so very quickly. Hope this helps you out...Happy Holidays...
A.P. answers from Minneapolis on November 18, 2008
I am not sure what to say, this is always a hard one and it always differs from family to family. I am not sure when your son goes to school. I have two children in school they both are there from 8am to 11:15am, one is 5yo and one is 3yo, they both get naps in the afternoon and both sleep for at least 2 hours, I have not stopped my 5yo from taking naps yet as she hasnt started kindergarten and why break it if it still works. They both go to bed between 8-8:30 and get up(only by me waking them otherwise would sleep till 8 or 9) at 6:30-7am to go to school. I am almost wondering if maybe they are going to about a hour too early and that is why they are getting up soo early.
Now as far as keeping a schedule over Christmas break, in my opinion if it were me, I would keep the schedule, especially if they are so hard to get back on a schedule. If your inlaws dont like it, well too bad they arent there in your home trying to fix it afterwards. Yeah it iis important to have fun over a break but if it doesnt work for you and your family I wouldnt change it! I hope this helps a little
A.M. answers from Appleton on November 18, 2008
I understand your thoughts...we will be spending 5 days w/ my family who sort of feel the same way about our schedules.
I think since you are spending a significant time with them that you compromise. On nights when there isn't much going on I would put them down like usual, and those nights during the festivities let them stay up. I would do the same for naps...some days they may get more sleep than others.
I know it is hard on us as parents when we get home, but I just deal with it--I don't know about you, but I don't give my child enough credit some times, I used to think she couldn't handle staying up, and would be terrible if she did, but I found when I did it, she actually surprised me and was quite sociable, and slept in! They may surprise you! :)
M. answers from Omaha on November 18, 2008
To me, I think 10:30 is the ridiculuous betime for a 2 1/2 yr old. I don't stay up that late! Kids that age SHOULD be in bed by 7:30 or 8:00.
S.F. answers from Madison on November 18, 2008
I would agree with choosing one special night during your stay for your sons (or maybe just older son) to stay up late. Otherwise I think you should not feel bad for sticking with your regular schedule. You know what works best for your kids! It's also nice to have some adults only time. It seems pretty crazy to be going to bed at 10:30pm and taking a 4 hour nap during the day, obviously this is sleep your nephew should be getting at night.
N.J. answers from Minneapolis on November 18, 2008
doctors recommend 12 hours of sleep a night for children...
it isn't about being the spot light, it honeslty is about overall health.
I heard one person say one time, no I love my kids so they stay up until 9:30...
I guess I love mine enough to have them get a healthy night of sleep...
maybe make one night an exception, but I really wouldn't even feel like doing the one night, because is is not something you 'just have to' grin and bear or 'put up with', these are your kids, and your rules and set bedtimes go...
simply ask for respect when it comes to the IL's or have your DH ask them for the respect...