April 01, 2009,
J.P. asks from Phillipsburg, KS on March 28, 2009
What Is a Reasonable Bedtime for a 4 Year Old?
I have a 4 year old and a 2 year old, both girls. They sleep together in the same bed. We try to get them in bed at 7:00 or 7:30 each night. We wake up on weekdays at 7:00 and I let them sleep till they wake up on the weekends, usually they are up by 8. My 2 year old is slowly giving up her naps and my 4 year old hasn't taken a daytime nap in years. The 2 year old usually goes to sleep fairly easily, but my 4 year old keeps getting out of bed and trying to get out of sleeping. Am I trying to get her to go to sleep too early? If I stagger their bedtimes, does anyone have any suggestions on how to do it? I can put them in separate beds (although they say they like sleeping together), but I can't put them in separate rooms. I'm just curious to know what time other moms put their 4 and 2 year olds to bed. Thanks for your input.
L.M. answers from Rapid City on April 01, 2009
My four year old and almost-2 year old are both in bed at 8:30. My 2 year old still takes two hour long naps. They also get up around 7 on weekdays.
Occasionally my four year old will go to bed at 8 and sometimes he can't fall asleep until 9:30. Both of my boys seem to not need as much sleep as my daughter did at their ages.
E.B. answers from Duluth on March 30, 2009
My kids, 5 (in June) and 18 months, go to bed around that time as well. Lately, with it being light out and with my almost-5 having had a cold that hangs on forever, has been going to bed about 8, but then he'll religiously take an afternoon nap. I personally find it hard to put them down when our neighborhood is all awake and still playing in the daylight at 7, but if it works for your family, I don't think the amount of time they're sleeping or the time of day is inaccurate. I also think it will be a good precedent for when she goes to school, esp if that's this coming fall. I am thinking that during the summer, they may stay up til 8 or 8:30, but my kids tend to wake with the dawn (or before) too, so I'll only do that if it means they'll sleep in a bit.
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B.W. answers from Minneapolis on March 28, 2009
my boys are 6.5 and 3.5, and they are both in bed by 7:30pm every night.
Maybe she is ready to have her own bed... that way she can go into bed 1/2hr after her sister, and once she is in her bed, no more getting out.
B.H. answers from Minneapolis on March 28, 2009
My 7 yr.old goes to bed at 9-11pm depending on her she's a night owl and wakes up at 8am.
7-7:30 seems really really early to me but every kid is different. My 7 year old is a night owl I've caught her up til 3am before and then my 6mo.old baby is a early bird and asleep for the night on her own by 7-8pm every kid is a little different.
T.S. answers from Fargo on March 29, 2009
Our 4 yr old girl gets up around 7 am...naps at 1 pm for 1-2 hours...and we start bedtime routine at 7 so she's in bed by 8...and sometimes is quiet in her room until 9 pm before she falls asleep.
R.B. answers from La Crosse on March 28, 2009
7-7:30 is very reasonable for a 4 year old. My kids went to bed at 7:30 until they were about 7. When they turned 8 we moved it up to 8. My 12 year old goes to bed at 8:30 still.
S.P. answers from Minneapolis on March 29, 2009
If you're having to wake them up and they're sleeping longer than that on weekends when you don't wake them, then they are not getting enough sleep and should actually go to bed earlier. Every child is different, and the 11-12 hour recommendation is only that, a recommendation. My daughter needed considerably more sleep than that, and still does at age 7 1/2.
It sounds like your four year old is testing you, not that she isn't tired.
L.L. answers from Omaha on March 28, 2009
My 5 year old doesn't take a nap and no matter what time we put him to bed, he's usually up at 630 or 7 am (ugg!). Since he seems to get a second wind after 8 pm or so, we put him down at 730...works great for us! At this age they need about 11-12 hours of sleep per day.