Summer Bedtimes

Updated on June 05, 2013
B.B. asks from Lolo, MT
18 answers

My son finishes kindergarten on Friday and is looking forward to his first "real" summer vacation. My question is, how do you handle bedtimes during the summer? Do they remain constant all year or are they relaxed when school is out?

My kids usually go to bed about 7:30, but I think that may be harder to stick to during the summer when it stays light til well after 9 and there isn't a compelling reason to get up early, but I don't want them up all night and I know they do better on a consistant sleep schedule. Just wondering what works for you all.


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answers from New York on

Really depended on what we were doing. In my neighborhood, the kids likes to all play outside together. I always thought, hey it is summertime. In the NE it is a long winter. If we had to be out early for some reason, they went to bed earlier. We just went with the flow.

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answers from Los Angeles on

I plan on letting my girls stay up till about 8, *possibly* later on special occasions.

We have blackout blinds and noise machines, but the girls still scoff at going to bed while it's still light out. They're 5 and almost 7, so I can't have them staying up too late or they're cranky as all hell the next day.

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answers from Knoxville on

My girls bedtime during school is 8:30 pm. During summer they go to summer camp 4 days a week, so they still go to bed at 8:30 those nights. The other 3 nights we usually let them stay up until 9 or 9:30 pm. They are 7 and 8 years old.

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answers from Minneapolis on

Wow! I feel like we're suddenly the "bad parents" at this....So many are saying 9 or so for bedtime!

We have 5 kids- 16, 13, 5, 3, 1 1/2. The youngest is still on her own time, usually by 8:30-9 she's out. The next two have a bedtime of around 7. At least that's what we shoot for! I want them in bed by 7:30, so we tell them 7, if they want stories. Our 13 and 16 year olds have a bedtime of 8. YES, I said 8. The reason why? - Both kids have pretty serious ADHD (if they weren't on medication they would be in trouble 24/7), so they need that down time up in their room without any other distractions in order for them to finally be sleeping by 9. Also, seriously what's on tv that is appropriate for kids to watch at 8 or 9 at night. And the oldest, if she had her way would stay up until 1-2 am and then want to sleep in until noon or later.

We like to have our own down time too and since both of us are up around 5/5:30, we can't stay up too late.

This is the schedule that we stick with year round. Granted during the summer we are more lenient, but we still get them up in the morning no later than 8.

It also doesn't help that the older two spend time at their mom's more frequently in the summer, currently this year two weeks a time. Usually when they come back they are so sleep deprived that they need to go to bed early for almost a week straight before they are decent to be around!

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answers from Washington DC on

I feel my DD has a late enough bedtime already, so I try to stay consistent. We have things to do and places to be, so I don't let her sleep in too late, except on weekends. When I was a kid, I lamented to my mom that I had to be in bed sooo early, so I kind of feel for my DD when everyone else is still bopping around. But 9:30 is late enough.

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answers from Kalamazoo on

Really whatever works for this situation I might do an 8pm during the week and 9pm on Fri and Sat unless something really special was going on and then even 10pm would be fine. Buy some of those plastic type roll down room darkening shades. They're pretty cheap and work great!!!!!! and maybe a fan for white noise???

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answers from Anchorage on

school night bed time for our house is 830. during the summer we push that back to between 9 and 930 depending on the night and what we are doing. But when they were in Kindergarden we stuck with 830 because at that age 9 seemed a little late. They are 7 and 9 this year so the later bed time seems appropriate.

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answers from Houston on

Yikes! Montana? Does it even get dark during the summer in Montana?

During the school year my 1st grader goes to bed between 8-8:30p. This summer we are probably looking at 8:30-9p.

We spend alot of time outdoors - sports, swimming, bikes - so bedtime has never been an issue in the summer because he is always so worn too!

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answers from Chicago on

We push bedtime back an hour over the summer. If there's something going on early the next morning or we've had a particularly long, busy day we'll go back to the school year bed time. But for the most part, during the summer our 8 year old's bedtime is 9:30. Then about 2 weeks before school we start gradually backing the bedtime down to the regular time until a few days before school starts she's back at her regular bedtime of 8:30.
My daughter is a naturally early riser. No matter what time she goes to sleep she's up by 7:30ish in the morning. Super early for a late sleeper like myself. But the amount of sleep determines her attitude- I can always tell when she's tired or hasn't had enough sleep- she cries. A lot. I mean, a lot a lot. At everything.
And like others have said, if an activity we're doing goes past her bedtime, we're not really strict about it like we are doing the school year. We compensate by having a quiet day the next day where she and I will just stay home and play quiet games and watch tv. Doesn't give her much to cry about and she usually ends up taking a nap.

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answers from Columbus on

My daughter will start middle school in the fall and her start time will move from 9:00 am to 7:30 am. I had a hard enough time getting her up for school when it started at 9, so we're keeping bedtime fairly consistent since in 12 short weeks all hell's gonna break loose.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

We live where it stays bright till pretty late, we also had a neighborhood full of kids and we could hear them outside playing.. And so we played it by ear.

I did hang up quilts and had music that played so that she would not be distracted by the outside noises, BUT our neighbors little girl was a screamer AND they had a door on that side of the house that they tended to slam closed!!!! So some times our daughter had trouble settling down or would wake up earlier than we wanted.

We also do like to attend evening events in town, so there were times we stayed put pretty late.. No regrets.. So many great memories, but in August, I started getting her on a school sleep and wake up schedule.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

It's daytime until well after your kids are going to bed. That's just hard on them when they really just want to be outside playing with the neighborhood kids.

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answers from Honolulu on

Ours remain constant.
But more liberal during summer.
I go by my kids' cues.

BUT, keep in mind, that a kid "may" get used to sleeping later at night and then sleeping in later... the next morning.
Hence, once school starts again, then WILL they, or CAN they, transition back... to a regular school bedtime and wake up time????

And then, once school starts, they may NOT want to, go back to their regular school sleep times.
And then you may have a bedtime battle. About sleep times.

I don't let my kids sleep later at night during summer just because... it is summer. They sleep at a constant time, and because, THEY are tired, already by then.
BUT per activities and events, they may sleep later. During summer.
If a kid is tired, they are tired and should go to bed.

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answers from Chicago on

My son has the same bed time as yours!!! Yeah! most people think I am a crack pot for a 7:30 bed time.

On to your question, what we have done is he is IN his bed at 7:30 still but may read to self, or watch an episode on his 3Ds or have 30 min cuddle time with us in his bed (his choice - episode is not everynight) so he tends to fall asleep around 8/8:30 as it gets closer to dark. He is waking at the same time and it seems to be working for us - it's what we did last year too! I think keeping things consistant is important.

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answers from Salt Lake City on

Our kids are 7, 4, and 2 and we keep their bedtimes consistent. They go to bed at 7 pm. We've found that they do better with an earlier bedtime, and so do us parents. :) We let our oldest daughter, 7, read in bed for an hour until 8 because she is quite a bookworm, but the other two go to sleep at 7. They have never had a harder time going to sleep at the same time in the summer, but we have shutters, which keep more light out than blinds when closed.

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answers from San Francisco on

For the most part, I extend bedtime by 1 hour during the summer, but I do allow her to stay up even later than that on occasion if she asks. That way it's not a big adjustment when school starts again. Besides, hubby and I like an hour or so of "us" time each evening, even if we're just talking.

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answers from Phoenix on

My children go to bedtime no,if,ands or butt

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answers from Denver on

Bedtime in the summer is a bit hit or miss here. In the winter we eat at 5-5:30 relax a little, do dishes, and get ready for bed at 7:30 for an 8 bed time. In the summer it is usually, mom and dad out in the garden or yard, dinner at 6-7 then often everyone back out for a walk, bike ride, or playtime, until about 9 at which point I shove everyone inside brush their teeth and put them to bed. I feel like we have to take full advantage of summer because we are stuck inside so much int the winter. But to each their own.

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