Midnight Bedtime for a 6 Year Old?

Updated on September 28, 2012
J.M. asks from Doylestown, PA
33 answers

OK so I am not going to put my side of this debate on here so I can use this info for " someone" but I'd like to take a poll of what your thoughts are on a first grader going to bed at midnight or after on Saturday nights (weekly not for special occassions)
1. do you do this?
2. what are your thoughts?
3. reasons for 1 and 2?
4. what is/was your 6 year old's weekend bedtime?

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answers from Bellingham on

Midnight is far beyond my own bedtime, let alone my children's!

No, my kids don't stay up that late, because they get way too tired and J. wouldn't handle it, and because after their bedtime is parents' downtime, and I 'm too selfish to give that up. My 6 year old goes to bed at 7.30 pm.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Erie on

First I will say I have a7 year old who is a big mama's boy so on certain nights I will let him sleep in my bed if ABC family is showing kid movies on the weekend only (I am single so no one else is sleeping in it but M.) and there was one time where he did stay up past midnight and it was fine with M. for him to do it since I can sleep whenever since he is in the same bed but i won't let him so it everyweek nor would he since he usually can't stay up that late. weekend bedtime for him is whenever he is ready. if he has school the next night then he goes to bed at 8:30. i don't mind him going to bed late on weekends cause then he will usually sleep in the next morning instead of getting up at 6:00am or earlier like he usually does

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answers from Detroit on

I have a 5 and 6 year old.. they go to bed between 730 and 800 every day of the week.. they wake up at 7 am NO MATTER WHAT TIME THEY GO TO BED. So if they go to bed later.. they wake up at the same time and get less sleep.. then they are tired and grouchy. If there is a special event.. circus.. party.. play they stay up later. .. but that might be once or twice a month.. and not even every month. kids do better on a schedule...

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answers from Seattle on

Yep. We did for several years. It was "Movies Till Midnight" night.

My son sleeps an average of 10-11 hours.

The next morning... he would wake up at... 10am. And then that night, and the rest of the week, was easily and promptly in bed at 9pm. Never cranky. Never a problem. As homeschooler's that was actually our THURSDAY night's ritual, AND we'd fairly often/regularly have late nights for various other things (star gazing, opera, plays, concerts, etc.). He'd go to sleep late, and then sleep 10 hours, and get up the next day and everything was normal.

Also as homeschoolers, we changed our schedule around seasonally. 9pm was actually fall and spring. 10pm was summer. But winter was actually 7pm (we had to be up at 4am... but he'd sleep more in the car), because of snowboarding / needing to drive 2 hours up to the mountains.

Universally... he's slept 10 hours a night, regardless of WHEN he goes to bed.

((Ahem. Except in Italy. In Italy everyone takes a nap in the afternoon and then dinner is 10pm-midnight... and bedtime is 2am (the piazzas are full of kids running around and playing by the fountains and in the playgrounds at midnight/1am)... and then getting up at 7pm. So sleep is split. But it was still apx 10 hours total...J. chopped up.))

The 8pm (ish) bedtime is a product of kids needing to be up at 6am. If they don't need to be up at 6am (or they take a nap, like in Italy)... there's no need or reason for an early bedtime. 10 hours is 10 hours is 10 hours.

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answers from San Francisco on

Of course most of us think that's a bad idea.
But you know what's interesting?
When my kids were little, we had a lot of weekend play dates and often had Saturday night sleepovers with the cousins, twice a month, sometimes more (we took turns at each others' houses.) Even if they were put down with the lights out by 10 or 11 they NEVER went to sleep before midnight, more like 1:00 am for the most part.
Other than sleeping in on Sunday they were J. fine.
But as TEENAGERS? OMG if my kids have a sleepover on the weekend, they are cranky and J. plain "off" for two or three days!
So I guess my point is that it's not necessarily the age but the stage of development of the child. My children were pretty resilient as little kids but as teenagers they seem to NEED their sleep even more, like a junkie needs his fix.
J. a different perspective, and something to think about :)

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

My kids go to bed around 9:00 with lights out around 10:00 during the week. We entertain most weekends so our company usually doesn't leave until around midnight. All of the kids stay up from toddlers through teenagers. They J. sleep in the next morning. I have no problem with it but we are a bunch of night owls:)

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answers from New York on

My son is 4.5....

1. No
2. Midnight is far too late for most people to go to sleep and be able to function the next day. If there is a special occassion, fine.
3. Sleep is the time during which your body rests and restores. A school-aged child needs approximately 10 hours of sleep. If this child is staying up until midnight, does he/she sleep until 10 the next morning? If so, then what time is he/she tired on Sunday night? Regular sleep schedules are essential for good health.
4. My son goes to sleep by 8:00 every night. If it is a special occassion, he's been known to stay up until 10, but the rest of us suffer for it the next day.

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answers from Seattle on

No. My girls would become raving lunatics. They need their structured sleep. Frankly, we don't even allow them to stay up until midnight on special occasions. Maybe (hopefully) we'll be able to do it in a couple of years.

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answers from Los Angeles on

1. no
2. it is not necessary for a 6 year old to be up til midnight without a good reason (special occasion)
3. It throws off my kids sleeping schedule to do it all the time. (weekly)
4. during the week my 4 and 7 year old got to bed at 8pm. (sometimes it is a little later) unless we are going and doing something special we still try to stick to the 8pm bedtime (maybe a little later) to keep their bodies functioning on a routine.

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answers from Detroit on

Um, no not every weekend, but yeah on special occasions my kid has stayed up that late.
For example, this weekend we had nothing going on, so they were up until 10pm, but the weekend before we were at the lake with family, and I ended up passing out a 10pm before they did because they were hanging out with their grandma that they do not see very often, and my husband of course.
I try to let them live a little on the weekends because I make them go to bed at 7:30pm on week days. I know it seems early, but that is what they need.

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answers from Lansing on

1. do you do this? Eh, my kids stay up late on a Friday or Saturday night... I'm not going to lie. Especially if we don't have anywhere to be the next morning. But mostly because my girls will sleep in the next day. Do they stay up until midnight...not usually or likely (mostly because I don't allow them to stay up later than M. and its highly unlikely I'm up that late). But perhaps 11pm (I'd say sometimes this would be the latest)? Yup. But again if they are up until 11 they sleep until 9am or 10am.

2. what are your thoughts? Not too big of a deal for M. as long as the child in question sleeps in...and getting the accurate amount of sleep and is not cranky. And if it doesn't effect their sleep the next day. Which obviously is not a problem with my kids.

3. reasons for 1 and 2? I'm a full time working mom...so yes I tend to let them cut loose from such a rigid schedule during the week.

4. what is/was your 6 year old's weekend bedtime? My girls are 5 and 7 and their Sunday - Thursday night bedtime is a strict 8pm. But I usually have them ready for bed by 7:30pm. We start bedtime at 7pm. ETA Oops read this wrong. Their weekend schedule is Friday night probably until around 10-11pm and sleep in until 8:30-9am. Saturday night usually no later than 10pm and up around the 8-9am. But sometimes they go to bed no later than 9pm too...J. depends.

I don't think any kid should stay up late though if it effects their day or the next night.

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answers from Rochester on

Okay, my 7 year old has a bedtime of 8:00. She's allowed to read in bed until nine if she likes, with a low light on. That's it. Sometimes, on Fridays, I let her stay up until 9:00, but then it's lights out with no books. Saturdays are as strict as a school day, though, because we get up early for church.

1. No, I do not do this.

2. My thoughts are that this disrupts whatever sleep pattern has been accomplished during the week (if at all) and makes it harder for that child to go to bed early and arise early for school.

3. See above.

4. See above.

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answers from San Francisco on

1. No,

2. Too late.

3. My GD doesn't really "sleep in." She has that internal clock that wakes her up at 7:00 or shortly after, no matter what time she goes to bed. So, if she were to stay up that late on Saturday night and get up at her usual 7:00 - 7:15 on Sunday, even if she goes to bed on time Sunday night, she's going to still be tired. Also, hubby and I wait for her to go to bed so we can have adult fun. If she's up past midnight, it really puts a damper on our plans!

4. At six, she went to bed at 9:30 on Saturdays. Then at 8, she went to bed by 10:00 on Saturdays. Now that she's 10, going on 11, she gets to stay up until 10:30.

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answers from Seattle on

1. NO!
2. Not in my house
3. My children get up at 7:30-8 every day. Doesn't matter what time I put them to bed, that's what time they get up. If my 7 year old doesn't get enough sleep he is SO SASSY and ornery and my 10 year old is a bundle of teary nerves. bleh. ALSO, after 9pm is my time to relax. I have had the kids all day, cooked, cleaned, wiped up messes, and done homework. Now I want to watch TV without being bothered and have fabulous monkey sex with my husband and I can't do that if the kid is up until midnight.
4. My kids go to bed the same time on the weekend as during the week. Between 9 and 9:15.


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answers from St. Louis on

It really depends on the kid but in general no. If you let them stay up on Saturday do you get them up at their usual time on Sunday or let them sleep in? If you let them sleep in what happens when they aren't tired Sunday night, what does that look like Monday?

You know what my Monday's look like after dipshit has the kids all weekend, ya know?

Nine is the latest I let the kids stay up because it is the latest that have proven they can still get up on time the next day. If they reach a point where staying up later does not effect their mornings then we will adapt.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

I think that each family has their own way of doing things. My grand kids have stayed up way later than that on occasion. It's not something that happens often though. Their little bodies usually pass out way before they make it that late.

If something special is going on then by all means they can stand staying up late occasionally. As for this being regular bedtime during the school year, they should be watched closely to make sure they're not falling asleep during the day. IF they are then something needs to be done to make sure they are getting enough sleep.

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answers from Grand Forks on

I do, but on Friday night, not Saturday night. They have to get up for church on Sunday morning, but Saturday mornings they are free to sleep in. When they have sleepovers they like to stay up late and watch movies. I don't make them stay up until midnight, but I let them if they choose to. I guess it depends on the kids. My kids sleep 10 hours a night. If they get a little less sleep it doesn't throw them off. They are pretty even tempered and able to adapt. My kids go to bed at 10:00pm and get up at 8:00am the rest of the week (unless there is a special occasion), but Friday nights are our night to unwind and have some fun.

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answers from Detroit on

Midnight is too late. That kid's getting, what, seven hours of sleep a night at best? I guess it might be okay on the weekend but I wouldn't want to deal with the crankiness that would cause.

My daughter had a 9 pm bedtime in first, 9:30 in 2nd, and back to 9 this year for third. My sons (kindergartener and a toddler) go to bed at 8 pm. My daughter never needed as much sleep as my sons. We moved back her bedtime this year because she has to wake up earlier (7 am).

Aside from making sure they are rested enough to get through the day, I treasure the hour or two of adult time that gives M. before bed.

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answers from Youngstown on

My daughter will be 7 next month. She has gone to bed at 8:30 for years. Two months ago we switched it to 9 pm. We keep the same time every night unless something is going on. She does fine with it. We homeschool so there is no worry about getting up early for school. J. a side note we watched a movie late on Friday night and the kids were up until 10:30. It took until Monday for my daughter to be back to normal. She was tired and cranky both Saturday and Sunday even with a normal bed time Saturday night.

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answers from Boise on

I used to love staying up late on weekends, but I can see now as an adult that it really isn't a great idea.
My kids go to bed at the same time every night, regardless of which day of the week it is.
Most people are shocked at how late I put my kids to bed, and it's 9 o'clock. So midnight is outrageous, IMO.
Actually, I've moved bedtime up a bit. Pajamas on at 8, in bed by 8:30, and they can read until 9, when it's lights-out.

This is for a 6 year old and an 8 year old. It's true for my 2 year old, too, since they all share a room, but it's a bit late for him. He often sleeps in until 10am if I can managed to sneak his brothers out of bed in the morning, or if he sleeps in my bed.

My kids have a GREAT time when I let them stay up until midnight on New Year's Eve. That's the only night it happens on purpose. Sometimes in the summer we go to a baseball game or the fair, etc. and don't get home until 11 or so, but it is not a regular event.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

1. My son (6-1/2) goes to bed about 8 pm on weekdays and maybe 8:30 on weekends. We don't have a real set time. It was later during the summer.

2. Depends on the kid's schedule. If he is an unschooled/home schooled child who wakes up at 10 am - I have no issue at all with it. If he still wakes up at 8 am - then he is not getting enough sleep.

3. ???
4. See #1

When my son was little (<2) and took naps, his bedtime was pretty much our bedtime - 11 pm or so, . He got plenty of sleep.

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answers from Dallas on

My husband is working out of town and is home for a few weeks every couple of months. We let my son, who is 5, stay up till 10pm the weekend before he left. It really wasn't enough sleep and it can screw things up.

So I would say 1) no. 2) not good for the kid 3) they need their sleep and you will all pay for it if they don't get it. 4) 9ish - consistency = sanity

Heck, I have to get up with him at 7am for school, so I don't even like staying up past 12:00am - even on the weekends.

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answers from Las Vegas on

I don't let my son, he's 6, stay up very late on weekends. He goes to bed at 8 during school nights and weekends he stays up to 8:30 maybe 9 but later than that not really. It's once in a blue moon that he does stay up very late on the weekends. My son's school starts at 8am and if he doesn't get enough sleep he's a bear with M. trying to get him ready for school so he needs all the sleep he can get.

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answers from Casper on

The only reason my kids (now 8 & 10) have a bed time is school. If I'm up, they can be up. If, for some odd reason I want to go to bed early, they have to go to their rooms but can stay up as late as they want. School nights, bed time is 8:30 and not once have I had a problem getting them to bed.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Lakeland on

1. Do you do this?
No but it has happened during holiday breaks with family visiting.

2. What are your thoughts?
I guess if the parent’s don’t mind a cranky kid then it is up to them. Also if they homeschool it doesn’t really matter if they don’t have to be up early.

3. Reasons for 1 and 2?
I don't like my daughter up too much later on the weekends because her schedule will be all off on Monday and I don’t want to deal with crankzilla.

4. What is/was your 6 year olds weekend bedtime?
My 6yo goes to bed at 9ish and the weekends she can stay up to 10. She doesn’t have to get up during the week until 7:30 and she gets plenty of rest.

In the summer time I don’t really keep her on a schedule, but she is always in bed long before midnight unless we are out late or traveling.

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answers from Austin on

1. do you do this? Only on special occasion if family is in town or holiday and we loose track of time.
2. what are your thoughts? I think it way to late for a first grader to be going to bed that late even if it is a weekend. It throws off their schedule for the rest of the week. If you want to let you child stay up a little later on the weekend that's fine but an hour or so maybe.
3. reasons for 1 and 2? Children need that sleep especially once they get into school for their brains to function and retain the information. Takes way too long to get the child back on schedule J. by doing that over the weekend.
4. what is/was your 6 year old's weekend bedtime? My children even my 11 year old go to bed by 9 on weekdays and 10ish on the weekend. If they stay up much later they are really cranky and tired the next 2 days. Sometimes 9 isn't early enough and they wake up tired.
My SIL and Brother do this with their 3 yr old J. let him stay up until they go to bed sometimes 1 and then wander why he sleep s all day and doesn't eat well. Kids need consistancey and enough sleep for their body to rejuvinate. Sorry my spelling is way off today.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Not appropriate. Children need sleep. Sleep makes everything better for them--their brain function, attitude etc. This is way too late. My childs bedtime is 8pm weekdays and weekend 9pm at the latest.

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answers from St. Louis on

Hi there,

I think it is too late for anyone....people and children go to school, go to work, etc..it is J. not healthy.
We are a home schooling family (J. to clarify......we don't wake up at 10 am, not even the kids!!!!). We start our daily routine early (6:30am-7:00 am) so the older child (12) goes to bed at 9:00 pm,but Fri and Sat, he stays up late around 10:30pm, and the little one (6) goes to bed at 8:30 pm, from Mon to Sunday, but he falls asleep at around 8:45pm. Sometimes when my husband returns from a trip or some holidays, my little one goes to bed a little bit later, but I try to avoid it. Routine and good sleep are essential for little ones in my opinion.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

1) no. Never understood why anyone would allow this. My kids have ALWAYS gone to bed by 8pm on school nights (under 12 yrs old) and then by 9pm after that age.
2) Kids need sleep. I J. don't understand why anyone would allow their kids to be overtired.
3) As I said, my kids NEED their sleep. Also, they don't sleep in. They will wake up at stupid o clock anyway, so they need to go to bed on time. Plus. I want MY down time without having to think about kids. I refuse to give that up on a regular basis. I have done it for special occasions like parties, new years eve, fourth of july, etc. NOT on a regular basis though. I also never had my child fall asleep BEFORE putting them into their bed. It made no sense to M.. I wasn't asleep before I got in bed, so why did they have to be?
4) My 6 yr old children always went to bed at 8pm. Weekend or weekday. It didn't change. That was for MY sanity.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

My son is only five, but I'll bite.

1. No
2. My thought is this: I am the adult. Kids do not know what is 'best' for them... if they did, they would hatch from eggs and walk away from us. :)

Reasons: I know how much sleep my child needs. He, on the other hand, does not. His 'bedtime' is seven-thirty. If he's tired, he'll sleep then. If not, he can stay up until 8 on school nights, 8:30 on other nights, looking at books quietly in his room.

I do not believe my son has enough information and self-regulation-- and will likely not have it until he is much, much older-- to make choices regarding health and nutrition for himself. I don't let him do the grocery shopping, he doesn't get to choose his meals, he doesn't get to choose if he gets shots... Children need adults who take charge and set the ground rules.

I have two neighborhood families I like very much. That said, they choose to let their children 'decide' about some of these things, and sometimes, their kids are a mess the next day because they haven't slept well. Then the parents complain that they can't do this or that because the kid is cranky or needs a nap... and then the child with the nap stays up late again and the cycle continues.

No thanks.

At six, his bedtime will likely be 7:45-8:00, because he'll be going to full-day kindergarten (he's half-day now) and we still want to leave room at the end for him to wind down looking at books. So, pushing things 15-3- minutes later at that point seems reasonable.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

1. No.
2. Too late for a kid and throws off the regular schedule for school. Also, eats into any parental unit together time. I'm the boss and I said so.
3. Saturday night means sleep deficit for Sunday or sleeping too late Sunday and not wanting to go to bed that night. Parents need a break, too. DD does stay up later on weekends, but not midnight.
4. When SD was 6, her bedtime was 8PM. DD is 4 and her bedtime is currently 9-9:30 and she sleeps til about 7:30-8AM. We have played with this time and that works for us this year. Bedtime is defined by child's needs and behavior the next day. I do better with less sleep than DH does and DD trends after M.. But SS needs a greater amount of sleep (like DH) or he gets sick (like DH).

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answers from Phoenix on

Yeah, no!!!

Who's the parent here?



answers from Albuquerque on

Not a chance. Sleep is necessary, and good sleep habits are hard to come by, even as an adult. Not to mention that the adults should have time to themselves. An appropriate bedtime for a 6 year old would be around 8.

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