At that age, my boys were in bed, lights out no later than 7:30pm because we were always up pretty early (5:30-6am-ish) and kids need LOTS of sleep. Even now, as teens, there are nights when my sons are in bed asleep by 7:30-8pm because they're worn out from the day.
I agree with MamaLucky. My grandchildren's bedtime when they were 6 was 8PM. They got up at 7AM. The books say kids this age need approximately 12 hours of sleep. Of course children vary in their needs for sleep. If 8PM doesn't work, try another time.
The book "Nurtureshock" talks about recent research on the negative effects on kids of too little sleep. It was pretty shocking how much even an hour less of sleep affects kids ability to do well in school. Lack of sleep has also been linked quite conclusively with weight gain and obesity at all ages.
my kids go to bed about 7-7:30p. i'm a SAHM though so if i worked it might be later. they sleep until about 6-6:30am, which is the time they need to get up so bedtime seems to work then for them. plus when i lay them down, we read so it's probably about 15 mins later then the times i lay them down. i was thinking about laying them down about 8 this year because they are changing schools and its closer so i don't have to leave so early. my kids are 5 & 7.
Ours start getting ready, bath, drying hair, etc...around 8-8:30 and to their bedroom around 9. If they are asleep by 9:30 that is 9 1/2 hours before they need to get up for school.
My friend has always told her kids bedtime at 10pm. They get up at 7 for school so they get 8 hours. They go right to bed and are asleep by 10:15 nearly every night. No fights, no arguments, nothing, they are ready and go.
8 is the time we did until the kids hit about 3rd grade then up to 8:30 then at 5th grade we gave another half hour. But that was only if they were still able to function in the morning lol. I had one kid who still went to bed at 8 when he was in highschool because he just could not function without enough sleep.
I would say start at 8; by the time you brush teeth, chat, change to pajamas, and read it'll be 8:30/8:40. If you do, 8:30 it just delays to
9:00/9:10. Our son functions so much more when he is well rested.
He's a little older now but 9:00 is good. His reading is already done so
when he goes up it's brushing his teeth, changing and decideing what
to wear the next day. Heck, these school hours are kicking my _ _ __! lol
I think it varies with each child. Some need more sleep than others. My 6 and 8 year old both go to bed at 8pm. We do the whole routine (pajamas, teeth, story) and they are in bed by 8 pm and are allowed to read independently for a little while. My 6 year old usually falls alseep within about 10 minutes and my 8 year old will usually need to be told at 8.30 that it's "lights out" time.
The best way to guage with your own child is how easily they get up in the morning. Both my kids get up without having to be woken up so i know they have had enough sleep. If you have to shake your 6 year old out of bed every morning then he/she probaly needs to go to bed earlier.
It depends on what time she needs to get up and how many hours of sleep she needs. I consider how many hours of sleep my boys need (they have different schedules) and what time I need them to wake up in order for us to have enough time in the morning. Then I count backwards to find their "bedtime."
Might take a few days to get the routine down, but you will :-)