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Why I put my kids to bed at 7:00 … it is a hot topic, that’s for sure!   When our  children were younger, we had all of our kids  in bed around 7:00 every night.  They were asleep around 7:30 every night.

UPDATE:   This post was written several years ago in 2014, when our kids were much younger, but I believe that it is important.  We still maintain a regular bedtime, but they no longer go to bed as early as they once did.  


I owe so many well-rested nights and happy children during the day to the fact that we have a regular and early bedtime for our children.  In fact, many Dutch parents put their kids to bed between 6:00 & 7:00 for very similar reasons that we have an early bedtime.    

in bed by 7:00

Before I begin- remember that although this works for us, it is not for everyone.   As with all of my advice, do what works best for your family. ♥

Our kids (ages 2-9) are in bed by 7:00

Yes, our young children are in bed at 7:00.    It is 2014, and my children range from 2 years old to 9 years old.    Our 9 year old now goes to bed at 8:00, because he is older and needs less sleep.   Until they are 9 years old, 7:00 remains their bedtime.  

Last week, a fellow blogger shared my post about what to do when your 2 year old is still waking at night.  In the post I talked about our early bedtime and gave some life-changing advice for our toddler that was waking up.  That post led someone to leave the comment “Who puts their kid to bed at  7:00 pm?”


Yes, We have received mixed feedback about this, but it works for us.  I know that 7:00 is early. I know that it cuts into their day, but I can tell you that I would rather have happy kids for 12 hours a day than tired or grumpy kids for 13 hours a day.    (Our older kids wake up at 7:00 no matter what time they go to sleep.  Really!)

Playing hard in the day makes kids tired by bedtime!

Our four YOUNG kids  play hard during the day.  They run around a lot and they spend a lot of time outside with us.

They are busy in the day, so they are tired when 7:00 rolls around.

 They DO NOT nap anymore and they are just plain worn out by the evening, even if they don’t want to admit it (and they never do! haha!)

We have tried to push this back when we are on vacation, but they just aren’t as relaxed and easy-going the next day.  They are a little more on edge, just like we are  (as adults) when we don’t get the rest that we need.  I put them to bed early because I want them to be smiling & ready to take on the day. 🙂 

Plus- the are usually asleep in 5-15 minutes, so I know they are tired.

A group of people standing on a covered bridge.

Do they ever stay up late?

YES!  Once a month they each stay up late for Their Special Night.   Plus, every night, our oldest son gets to have Read-Alone time in his room before bed, too.    Or they can read their spelling words while they fall asleep with this little hack.

If that have football or wrestling, they are up even later, but we AIM for an early bedtime!  Our younger children have a really hard time waking up for school at 7:00 am when he doesn’t get his full 12 hours of sleep, so I do try to get him to bed as early as possible.  
I want him to be able to focus at school, be energetic in play and at his sports and be happy at home!   This little chart can help you to know how much sleep they truly need…
Sheet on how many hours of sleep children need. says:
“Most kids between 5 and 12 get about 9.5 hours a night, but experts agree that most need more.  When your body doesn’t have enough hours to rest, you may feel tired or cranky, or you may be unable to think clearly. You might have a hard time following directions, or you might have an argument with a friend over something really silly. A school assignment that’s normally easy may feel impossible, or you may feel clumsy playing your favorite sport or instrument.

Sleep Impacts Growth & Health

One more reason to get enough sleep: If you don’t, you may not grow as well. That’s right, researchers believe too little sleep can affect growth and your immune system — which keeps you from getting sick.”  All in all- sleep is important!  Your kids need it, even if they don’t WANT it.”

7:00 bedtime is the rule in our house

Do you have time with them in the evening?

I am not saying that this is right for everyone, so please hear me out.  My husband and I both work from home, so this works for us.   Two of our kids stay home with us during the day, and our older children go to school until 3:30.  We have plenty of family time daily from 3:30 until bedtime.   

Before my husband worked from home, I used to have the kids showered and in their pajamas before he got home, to give us more time together.  Remember that it is quality over quantity.

Does it happen every night?

7:00 bedtime does not happen every single night, but it’s our goal every night.   Most nights, one of our kids will be at practice until 8:00, so of course bedtime is later on that night.  
Sometimes, it’s even earlier than 7:00.  A few years ago, when my youngest kids were 3 & 5, they would  fall asleep in the car at 6:00 on our way to drop the older kids off at practice… and I just take them up to bed and they slept ALL NIGHT LONG.  They never woke up during the transition to bed.  I know it’s crazy, but when I try to wake them, they are NOT happy, so on those nights, I just let it go. 


It’s good for your marriage: 

My husband and I see each other all day long while we work from home or while we are spending time with the kids, but at night we have time to watch a show, play a board game, etc…  

Now, I am not saying that this is why we put them to bed early or that it is why we started, because it’s not, but we do enjoy that time together.   Did you know that the #1 fear of preteens and teenagers is divorce among their parents?  Quality time together, with your spouse, reduces this risk greatly.Make it a point to tell your children that you are going to spend time with your spouse. 

Children Need Sleep

Remember- our bedtime certainly isn’t for everyone, but it works for us.  It is healthy for our kids to get that amount of sleep and it helps them overall.   Quality sleep + healthy foods make a huge difference for children (and adults).

On the other hand…

I wanted to share a story, for those of you that have a late bedtime.  My very dear, long-time friend, Julia, has always had a late bedtime and her children follow her lead.  They stay up well past 10:00 and it works for them.  They sleep in every morning and they are happy, healthy, smart children.   Her children are the same ages as mine.   I know that I need to wait until 11:00 or later to talk to her on the phone.  🙂   

All of that to say that this is what works for us, but it is up to you to find out what works best for your family.  

I hope this helped to shed a little light on families with early bedtimes.  Sleep well… no matter the time!♥


Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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  1. I’m in complete agreement with you! It’s so, so important for kids to get the sleep that they need, for all of the reasons that you cite. We aim to get our two children (aged 2 and 4) to bed by 7pm, and they generally wake up some time between 7 -8am in the morning.

    It’s also important to my husband and I to have some quiet time together every evening, once the kids are in bed.

      1. You don’t owe anyone an explanation. Remember that next time someone makes you feel guilty enough to make you have to explain yourself. Keep doing your thing. There will always be someone doing something different. Happy to read that you and your husband make time for each other. That’s what people should be complimenting you on. Just my two cents.

        1. I totally agree, I have custody of my son’s son he is six yrs old. I put him to bed now later than 8pm, but we are laying in bed by 7pm watching the goodnight show and various. This time is our cuddle slow down time. My grandson is the first child I know that if our schedule gets pushed back he’s tugging on me beginning cmon nan it’s time for bed. I should mention this is on top of a two hour nap that he refuses to go with out. I should mention he is disabled he has autism and epilepsy and still sleeps with me he came to me at 4 Mo having night terrors so if anyone can help me get him in his own bed. I have tried many things including letting him fall asleep on the couch and sneaking off to bed but by 1am he comes crying and stumbling into my room to crawl in bed.

          1. OH wow- that’s great that you are able to take care of him like that.

            1. What a great grandma you are! Have you tried putting his bed in your room so he is still close to you, but not in the same bed? Maybe a sticker chart or reward system would help?

        2. I agree 100%! If it works for your family, why should anyone feel they need to voice their negative opinion! I have an almost 11 year old and 9 year old. They go to bed by 7:30 as often as I can manage. They are asleep within a few minutes and pleasant the next day!!!

          1. My sibling is withholding her children (my niece & nephew) from important family events. The kids miss out due to strict parental bedtime rules (mostly her husbands rules). My Niece and Nephew have missed out on family weddings, every single birthday, Christmas night, and the list goes on. They are 4 and 5 years old… imagine not attending one single event because the parents are afraid the kids being a bit ratty the next day. These kids are a huge part of my life, and they missed my wedding because their parents couldn’t deal with the kids being a bit agitated the next day… I was incredibly upset, I included the kids in the wedding party, however they were whisked away before the reception :_(

            1. It actually sounds like the rest of the family is being insensitive to the fact that they have kids and need to plan things earlier if it’s that important to you that they be there. I’m sure they want to be there but as a mom of 3 kids (6yo 3.75yo, 3.5 months) I have missed things because of bedtime and when I choose not to it takes more than one day to right the ship and I regret it and say it won’t happen again! It sounds like you don’t have kids and maybe everyone else has forgotten what it’s like to have little kids. I’m surprised your parents especially your mother hasn’t said as much to you. Try walking in her shoes and watch the kids for a week and keep them up like you say and see what happens. Trust me you’ll be changing your tune, lol. Not trying to be mean here but before I had kids I thought I knew better too but really I just had no clue!!! 😉

            2. I know this is old, but wow! Your sibling is doing you an enormous favor by not having her 4 and 5-year-old kids attend late night family events! Wired small kids are not a lot of fun. If she weren’t whisking them off to bed, they’d be climbing the XMas tree, diving into the wedding cake or laying on the floor screaming. You might think young kids are fun after 8 pm, but the novelty wears off on the people who have to set limits for them. If they stay up for some special occasion, they won’t just politely go to sleep after like mature humans. They’ll scream, whine and writhe on the floor when we attempt to put their PJs on and forget getting teeth brushed. I have three kids and we never do late night outings any more. The after effects are just a beast. Maybe you could offer to put the kids to bed for your sibling after some late night family gatherings and see how that works out. And no, you can’t pass the torch back to the parents when they’re up at 1 a.m. still and screeching like wild animals and running in circles around the house insisting that they’re not tired! Even if you’re tired and ready to pass out on the floor. You must stay awake and get them to sleep! It’s a ton of fun! I’d rather miss the wedding, quite honestly!

            3. I think you are being a bit insensitive to the needs of the children! My kids aren’t just a wreck the next day if they stay up way past bedtime, it’s about 3 days of horrible behavior and meltdowns. So if someone schedules something that late at night, we usually skip it for everyone’s sanity!

          2. Hey! I have a 7, 8, and 11 year old. Just wondering what time your kids wake up in the mornings when you put them to bed at 7:30 at night. I’ve been wanting to get my kids in bed earlier, but hubby isn’t quite on board and he gets home at various times in the evening so is worried about spending time with them… add that to my less than stellar (to put it mildly) scheduling routine and… yeah. thanks!

        3. I know how you are feeling,i am from Romania (Europe). I always feel I have to explain why my 18 months toddler is in bed by 6.45 pm (she sleeps all night, no wake ups) and sleeps 11-12 h/night. If I am trying to put her at 7.30 pm she is so tired that she will sleep less (like 10 hours and her sleep is so agitated). I am getting so frustrated so many times when I have to explain myself why I am doing this. For me this is working… indeed, during the summer days I would like to go out with her later(because of the heat) but we manage that also, it is also frustrating that all of the toddler programs (groups working together, playing, English classes, etc) start from 6pm. But we manage to have QUALITY time together.

      2. Thank you so much for such a wonderful article. I love it. I also put my 2 year 3 month old in the bed by 7pm.

        1. Our kids just do better with an early bedtime. Looks like yours do, too. 🙂

          1. Hi- I stumbled across this article today. I am quite curious to know how you get all four kids ready for bed in one hour and including dinner? We have four kids as well. To get dinner, cleanup, pjs, toothbrushing and family worship time all done in one hour sounds amazing. I am intrigued. Right now it takes us from 7-8:30pm to get all that done (often not including dinnertime).
            Also, how does this work when the sun starts to stay out longer?
            Our kids start kindergarten in the fall and we need to figure out how to get bedtime routine to not take so long.

            1. Our 3 boys take showers, so they are about 10 minutes & can do it by themselves. I just have to give our daughter a bath. They come down for dinner in their PJ’s, so its just dinner (which lasts about 20 minutes. If it takes much longer than that, they are just ‘goofing off’ and dinner ends. They know this. If they are eating or talking to us, no rush- but if not, we don’t really let them just “play around” or anything). They usually get a quick snack after dinner (an orange, a cup of frozen yogurt, a cup of yogurt, a handful of goldfish). So now its around 6:30. They clean up the kitchen with us (everyone clears the table) and then they go right upstairs to brush their teeth and use the bathroom. Lately we have been doing prayer time with each of them alone, so I tell them to each go into their room & pick out their bible story. IF they are in the beds, ready, we get to read the story & then I lay with them, etc…
              If they are NOT in their beds, waiting for me, I read the story and put them to bed. I tell them that they have LOST time with me because they were being silly. They don’t like this, so they always want to go right to sleep.

              The sun being out later is hard, but we don’t waiver on bedtime. I just tell them the truth- the sun is out because people used to work on farms, even the kids, and they needed it to be lighter longer. They were not busy working on the farm all day and they will not be staying up late like the farmers did. 🙂 They don’t argue with me at all on this because it wasn’t even an option to stay up (except on weekends – which is usually around 7:30 or 8).

              Hope that was helpful!! 🙂

              1. I do the same. My son is 9 years old and since he started Pre-K he has been going to bed by 7:30 – 8:00 pm, except Fridays and Saturdays, because on Sunday we go back to 8:00 pm . It has worked great for me. Children do need at least their 10-12 hours of sleep especially during the school nights. My son never has problems waking up in the morning to go school. Does great when in his school, has played in a soccer team which practiced twice a week and still I managed to have him in bed by 8:00pm. I learned this from my sister how she would put my nephew to be a specific time in be, and boy have that been a plus in my life. Thanks for your post and like others have said, if it has worked for you keep it up. Also it has helped me to avoid him watching or hearing inappropriate advertisements that come on TV past 6:30pm which we have no control over even on rated G or family programs.

                1. I agree- they just wake up feeling better when they have had enough rest.
                  PS- great point about the TV advertisements!

              2. Thank you for writing about this. I get a lot of flack from friends and family for the 7 pm bedtime. We played around with having my son go to bed later, but he’s really a bear the next day. The later he goes to bed, the earlier he wakes up! He just turned 6 and is still sleeping 12 hrs on average. He’s really tall (4’5″), so maybe I should keep him up so he’ll stop growing so much. 😉

                We have dinner at 5:30, bedtime prep starting at 6:30. When he had t-ball we had to move his schedule a little later, but he ate in the car on the way and usually got to bed only 15-10 min late. It is workable.

                By the way, daylight savings is not for farmers. It was started by the Germans during the WW1 to save on fuel costs. Check out John Oliver Daylight savings time, why is this still a thing? We have black out blinds and curtains, so it’s nice and dark in the bedroom yr round.

            2. I agree with you, I’m a single mom with two kidz, I drop them of at 6:00 and only see them just before 5:00. Then its homework, bath, supper and you want to spent some time with them. 7:00 is just not an option in our lives……even at 8:00, I feel sad to put them in bed………

              1. That would be really hard. I work from home and now my husband does, as well. We really get to be with them most of the day, so it works well for us. You have to find what works in your family and stick with that. 🙂

            3. My 4.5yo and 10yo are in bed at 7/7:30 every night- we eat dinner by 5:30, dine by 6. One of us will tackle shower/bath while the other cleans up from dinner (they only shower every other day unless they are extra dirty). Once they are in PJ’s, they don’t go back downstairs, otherwise they get wound up. I give them a small snack if they need it, then we do teeth, faces and get in bed. The 4yo gets read to first (usually while the 10yo is still getting her teeth and stuff done). Then she gets lights out and I move on with the 10yo- we will read and/or watch a quick Ellen video and it’s lights out for her also. I lay with the 10yo until she falls asleep, which is usually within 5-10min of lights out.

              We started the early bedtime when my 10yo started pre-k. She was going to bed around 8:30 and it wasn’t working anymore. I slowly moved her bedtime up by a few minutes every couple days until we were at 7. The 4yo has never known anything different.

      3. I liked your reasoning on putting the children to bed early. We put our boys to bed at 8pm from the first day they came home, of course they got up for feedings back then and only slept in our room till they were about 2 months but they never left their bed rooms at night for feedings the rocker was set up in their room.
        The time was important to pick up the house, relax and spend time with each other. When they were teens and old enough to negotiate for a different bed time we listened. now I am a grand mother and it is hard to see the grand children are not on a schedule, my son wants one but his wife doesn’t help get that done. anyway not my job they get to hear the whinning. LOL

      4. Hello!
        My name is Rosa and I’d like to tell you that I agree to what you say about sleep time.
        I am alone with a 27 months daughter. I don’t work since she was born and I spend all the time with her.
        I try to put her in bed early but she doesn’t want to as you already mention. So I put her in bed at 20:00 and she sleeps at 20:30. In the morning she wakes up between 06:30-08:00. During the day she sleeps 1-2 hours. Generally our day is quiet,so she doesn’t get tired.How can I make her go at 19:00? I don’t like it when she cries. I want her to sleep in peace. Should I change something or leave it like it is.?
        Tnx in advance

    1. my kids get that bedtime too and it gives me me time at night. they don’t sleep until 9pm but my daughters teacher told her bedtime at 7pm and she is only 5

    2. Completely agree! Its about the family as a whole. But it is clear that children need as much sleep as they can possibly get in order to achieve healthy development.

    3. I have two girls, ages 3 and 4. Their bedtime is 7 pm. I hadn’t thought it when my first was born but my pediatrician recommended “Health Sleep Habits, Happy Child” by Marc Weissbluth. She questioned us regularly about sleep habits and encouraged us to develop a consistent routine and bedtime. I am a strong believer in it now. We have several neighbors with children the same age and younger. They regularly go to bed between 9 and 11 pm. I see the difference in behavior and health. My daughters have had very few colds, no other illnesses, despite being in preschool. They are generally well behaved. Sometimes it doesn’t seem so to me but when I see the behavior of the children around us I see an astounding difference. I do not want to judge other parents but how do you deal with the impact on your children by others who don’t see the value and importance of sleep and an appropriate bed time? I am so frustrated by the activities that are scheduled well past by children’s bed time. I have gotten the looks and comments more times than I can count when I say that my children’s bedtime is 7 pm. Our society as a whole does not share these values. Holiday cartoons aimed at children are coming on at 8 pm or even later. My children are already asleep! My local fire department has decided it is a good idea to ride through the neighborhoods with sirens blaring with Santa on the truck at 8 pm. I am so frustrated by being treated like a freak or a tyrant for putting my child to bed at an appropriate time. Does anyone have any coping strategies?

      1. My kids, newly 2 and 4, never slept on their own and still go to bed with me – even later than your neighbor’s kids. This is because I am a night owl with intermittent insomnia issues still needing 10 hours a night, and could not fall asleep earlier than midnight even while working a 7-4 office job. Anyway – my kids are both happy, bright (fighting over who gets to name the countries on the world map shower curtain bright) and small on the charts (as was I) but growing well and rarely sick. Never sick enough for a doctor’s visit, actually. No one would EVER guess we have such a weird sleep schedule for the time being. I personally feel like I have to defend myself much more than a parent putting their kids to bed earlier than some norm, because sleeping late seems to automatically equate to a lack of discipline – which in our case, it most definitely is not. If my kids were up at 7am I would be a wreck of a mom, so unfortunately this is what we have to do to ensure everyone is well-rested. And, hey, the kids are loved and THRIVING, so – just thought I’d chime in from the other side 🙂 Different strokes, after all.

      2. Sherree….
        You want coping suggestions for putting your kids to bed early and missing out on activities? How about you just record the shows and watch them at a different time? (FYI some of these shows come on at an earlier time in different time zones). Or you don’t get to go to some things because you are a parent and that means sometimes you have to sacrifice. Does Santa ride through the neighborhood nightly? Or is it a one time deal? I mean, really, that’s not a huge deal if it’s one time. So other people don’t put their kids to bed as early as yours. Its your family and you do what is best for you and yours. And others will do what is best for them. We go to bed between 9 and 10 because my kids don’t have to wake up early. And my husband sometimes doesnt get home until 7 or later. An “appropriate” time isn’t as important as the length of sleep. Just because others don’t do things the same way as you doesn’t mean they are wrong. People can value sleep without having their kids in bed by 7. My kids sleep until 9 or 10 in the morning and we miss out on some cartoons, community activities, and play groups, especially on the weekends. But I’m not over here expecting shows to be on at a different time or everyone to stay quiet until my kids wake up. Here is the best “coping” strategy: don’t worry about what others do with their families. Take care of your family and let others do the same. Raise your family the best you can.

      3. For the cartoons you could tape them and watch at your convenience.
        As for Santa perhaps one time the bedtime could be adjusted for this.


      1. Yes- we see a really big change in them if they have to stay up later than normal. I prefer them to be in bed and get a good night’s rest. We all (adults included) feel better with adequate hours of rest. 🙂

        Thank you for your sweet comment!

      2. I like the article and appreciate how non-judgmental it was. Not impressed by the self-righteous tone of some of the comments left by the readers. Hey crazy Texas lady, maybe go easy on the all caps eh? Not sure avoiding drugs and jail are the gold standard of successful parenting either…just saying. I think it’s true that everyone has to find what is right for them. My kids go to bed around 8 and sleep fairly late. I’m not a morning person so I really don’t want them waking up extra early. We live close to school and have a pretty solid half-hour routine for getting out the door. If I put the kids in bed before 7, I wouldn’t get much time with them since I work.

        1. To Sebine (the previous commenter): Nice to know we can all comment on not being impressed with the self righteous comments and then turn around and call someone a senior citizen a “Crazy Texas Lady”.

    5. I agree with you wholeheartedly. They will retain more and be less troublesome with appropriate rest.

    6. We also put our 3 kids to bed at 7:00pm. Not only does it avoid the late night arguing, whining, and extra messed it allows me and my husband to have daily time together to chat, unwind, and play games together and reconnect. We totally can relate to the criticism from friends but I chose not to listen and do what WE know is best! Great job moms!!

    7. Exactly!!!
      The best advice my doula ever gave me, when our daughter was a month old, was to put her to bed early, like at 4pm. I started doing it back then, and she would only wake up for nursing through the night, but would otherwise sleep like an angel till the morning.
      Now at two years old, we have pushed it slowly back to 6-6:30pm and she sleeps through the night (and even through the diaper change we do, before we go to bed) until 7-30am.
      I am so glad, we are doing it this way, not only for her, but for us, we have wonderful evenings with friends over or just us as a couple, and no over tired kid, driving us all nuts.

  2. Couldn’t agree more with you, my son is nearly 3 and has had a bedtime of 7 since he was born. I remember sitting in his room at 6 weeks old to settle him down. He plays extremely hard all day and is exhausted. He needs his sleep in fact he is very aware what time bath and bedtime is and even says it is soon and he needs to get ready. He functions better with sleep, is happier with sleep and as he says he grows and mends any ow ows when he has his sleep. As parents we appreciate that he settles well and we can have the evening to ourselves to catch up with the things we can’t do in the day. It shocks me to see people out with their children at 8, 9pm and then these same parents complain that their children won’t go to bed when they do want them to have an early night. Yes this has been detrimental to us being able to go out late, yes as adults our lives have been put on hold for a period of time, but that is it a period of time and our son getting enough sleep to allow him to grow and develop into the charming little character he has become is more than worth it. I am so pleased we are not alone. 🙂

  3. I 100% agree!! I have two sons aged 3.5 and 5.5. Bedtime is 6pm every night. We have the same routine of bath/shower, story time then cuddles and maybe a song in bed. Some nights we may be a bit later but rarely any later than 7pm and sometimes as early as 5.30pm (when mummy has HAD ENOUGH!) My boys are full-on and being a single mother I NEED my alone/downtime to relax and unwind. I get a bit upset when I see parents regularly keeping their kids up far too late at night.

    1. To get my kids into bed by 7 would mean I would only see them in the weekends due to my work schedule. Boy do they grow up fast the years flash by before your eyes. My partner and I never seem to get time without them but that suits us fine because unlike many parents we actually enjoy their company. Our kids go to bed later than most yet we know that a lot of children go to bed early but don’t actually sleep and we believe this is so the parents can get “rid” of them. We would prefer to spend those precious moments with them before they disappear. Our kids don’t seem to be at affected by less sleep than their peers health and education wise. Yet people have described us as a bad parents for letting them stay up later. I personally have terrible memories being a child spending countless hours sitting alone in my room because my parents “got rid of me” nice and early for the night. Parents like this always come across to society as the good parents. I am a bad parent but I don’t care because I know that my children will grow up instead with happy and fun memories of us doing things together as a family while all their friends are lying for endless hours staring at ceilings. My kids are incredibly active yet nothing ever is enough to be able to get them to sleep before 9pm so forcing them any earlier just is hopeless and I know this not through lack of trying. They still end up averaging 10 -11 hours a night and based on how the are the next day must mean that is enough. Even if they only get only 9 hours it seems to make no difference. Just my point of view and I don’t blame single parents or stay at home mums. If you you get sick of the sight and sound of your children throughout the day then maybe it is best for everyone’s sanity that you part ways early in the evening like you say you have to do what works for your individual situation. If your child is lucky enough to be able to go straight to sleep at 7pm then that’s wonderful and obviously they need lots of extra sleep to function. I see this with my nephew he is a nightmare and cannot cope the next day if he has a sleepover and has a late night but that is how he is wired his mother is the same. My children’s father and I are night owls and our children share that gene. I just wish people weren’t so critical about night owls we cannot help the way we are wired. As for our childrens bedtimes we have our reasons we know what works for our kids.

      1. Oh goodness- I could ever get sick of them. <3 Different strokes for different folks, but when our kids go to bed at 7, they are usually sound asleep by like 7:15 (no joke- usually sooner!) Our 2 and 4 year old are asleep by like 7:02! haha. Exhausted!! I even have to wake the little ones the next morning to take their big brothers to school. 🙂 The older ones wake up between 6:50 & 7:45. (I have to wake them up by 7:45 to get ready for school).

        1. Hi – my first time reading your blog as I stumbled across this post searching for tips on my current situation! We have a very similar parenting philosophy and a similar family structure (kids same ages). I have one question though – are your kids in separate bedrooms? All my hard work is starting to unravel as cheeky mr 4 is creating bedtime chaos. He’s exhausted as are his brothers, but they find it so exciting to be in the same room. A mix of giggles, singing and getting in and out of bed shenanigans end up waking their little brother (18 months) who sleeps in the sunroom. I despise my last words being cross ones to them, but I do invariably end up being cross, taking away cuddlies or sending one to fall asleep in our bed (to transfer back later). They are never usually quiet until 745/8pm. The same child is also an early riser, so anytime around 6am I have him awake and calling to wake everyone else up! Any tips/advice for this scenario? I am genuinely interested in suggestions that we could try. Thanks so much!

          1. Yes- they are all in different rooms. We used to have our oldest kids together but decided to moe them to their own rooms. When they were in the same room, I would sit in the room with them and read a book (to myself) for about 10 minutes until one of them was asleep, or I would stagger their bedtimes. In the morning, I would let the oldest one look at a book in his bed if he was quiet, or use the Kindle with wireless headphones.
            I’m sorry- I wish that I could be of more help!

      2. Becca, I am exactly the same – a night owl, and whether my kids are or just naturally adapted to my odd clock and need for a later schedule I’m not sure. But, I need 10 hours a night myself, and my kids go to bed with me, never having slept on their own even as babies (smart little guys). So, late to bed and late to rise, cause early just might be the death of me 🙂 I hear you on feeling some parents who put their kids to bed so early are just trying to be done with them for the day! However, I hate feeling judged by others simply having my kids up and about with me “late” – as if that by itself is a sign of neglect or lack of discipline and consideration. Obviously we know it’s not, at least for us!

        1. Just remember “different strokes for different folks”, as my grandma used to say. What works for one family doesn’t always work for another. 🙂

  4. Firstly, you don’t have to explain yourself to anyone. You’re doing an amazing job!

    Secondly, it’s important that as adults we get some “me” and “us” quality time and we use this time for this. Without it we’d never get to relax and connect.

    Lastly, it’s hard enough being a parent and we judge ourselves enough without others doing it too.

    Thank you

  5. Becky, my kids are going up at 7:00 pm too! After a busy day , i don’t know why i would put them later than 7 pm. They get soo cranky the following morning. I do know a lot of mothers put their children 9 pm or 10 pm and their kids wake up very cranky on school days..I don’t find it very healthy.
    The only time I find makes sense for me, when it’s summer time they get to sleep from 8 to 9 pm.

    Everyone has his own way.
    But i do agree with you!!


  6. My boys are 21, 14 & 12 (the oldest just happens to have Down Syndrome, OCD, ADD, and ASD as well as sleep issues, as in doesn’t stay asleep, falling asleep usually isn’t the issue). The boys are all in bed by 8:30p on a school night (well the 14 year old is sometimes up later doing homework much to my dismay). I really suspect my youngest (12) still needs a 7:30-8p bedtime but he typically fights sleep if his brothers stay up later than he does. Reason I suspect he needs more? He gets up at 5:45a so he can catch his bus at 6:30a (we leave the house to go to the bus stop around 6:20a) and has a full day. (The 14 year old runs on the same schedule and he probably needs more as well, but too many late nights while at band camp this summer messed up his sleep schedule so he really fights sleep until he is totally worn out.) Both the younger boys will now sleep until 10a or later on the weekends if we let them (another indicator, to me at least,) they aren’t getting enough sleep. I applaud families that keep earlier bedtimes for their kids, in today’s world it is often that to do so requires swimming upstream

    1. 6:30 am bus- that is going to be hard for us in HighSchool! (they start early, too!)

    2. Cari, I certainly can relate to many things you have said. I have 7 children 24, 23, 21, 17, 15, 13, & 10; when my oldest three were little things ran pretty smoothly and bed time was around 8:30. They would sleep in till about 9 a.m. and that was fine with me since I was a stay at home mom and needed my sleep too. As my fourth and fifth child came along things were for the most part were about the same and bedtime was still at 8:30. When my oldest child was a freshman in high school and I had my seventh child things were a lot more chaotic and the younger ones wanted to stay up later since the older ones would stay stay up to 9, 9:30 or sometimes 10 p.m. since she was in marching band. It became a power struggle which became an everyday battle to get the youngest 4 to bed. I didn’t get much help with my spouse and he would complain that I never had time for him but, he didn’t make it any easier. I guess I kind of failed and became a mean mom and would threaten them to go to bed because I needed my quiet time which I never seemed to get unless I stayed up late and would sometimes go to bed at midnight. It was a vicious cycle, I wish I could say it has gotten better, but it hasn’t. I am now going through a divorce, and by myself in raising the last 5. No one wants to “ever” sleep especially my two high school students, who I know are most likely sleep deprived, because they have to get up at 5 a.m. for early morning seminary, but you can’t tell a teenager that! I am tired of the constant struggle to get them to bed for their own good! They barely get 5 hours sleep sometimes! At times I wish they were younger again because that was so much easier and they did what they were told and didn’t talk back or think they were going to miss out on something if they didn’t stay up. :/

      1. This comment by Tammy is the only comment I can relate to. I want to get my 3 kids to bed earlier, but have very very little help from my husband. In fact, he’s pretty much against getting them to bed earlier than 10pm. I struggle every night to get them to bed by 8:30pm- and that’s early for my husband who uses it as part of his excuse to not help me. He won’t read to them and now refuses bath time. I know he’s in his office looking at Reddit most of the time instead of doing all the “work” he’s claiming needs to be done. I’m trying my best, but getting only about 4 to 5 hours of sleep myself and that is not straight sleep- I’ve finally caved to co-sleeping with my 8 month old most nights because all my kids are in one room and she wakes them up. I want so badly to have this perfect thing going like everybody else, but no matter how hard I try I just can’t do it all. 🙁

        1. I’m so sorry- it has to be hard feeling like you are doing it all. Sending you a virtual hug for a job-well-done. I don’t really have any advice, just wanted you to know that I’m cheering for you.

        2. I know this is an old post but I just had to reply. My heart goes out to you Lisa. I really do hope your situation is better now.

      2. I’m so sorry, Tammy. I’m praying for you to get through this season in your life. You can do this and you can still have an awesome relationship with your kids. Wish that I could offer more advice…

  7. This sounds exactly like our house! A 4 yr old, 20 month and 8 month old. We run on the exact same schedule for the exact same reasons. If I drive anywhere mid afternoon he is passed out! But can’t nap either for the sake of not being up til 10pm.
    Also he gets up in the middle of the night as well as the other two

  8. My 6 month old sleeps from 5:30pm to 7am, morning naps for 1 hour and afternoon naps for 1.5 hours! My 3 year old goes to bed at 6:30 and afternoon naps 1.5 hours. We are huge believers of early bed times. They are hardly ever cranky. 🙂

    1. Can l aske you how you make your baby sleep at 5pm &wakeup at 7 am I have a 3 months old baby I wish she sleep at night well. when I read this article l feel that I am a loser mom!

      1. OH- 3 months old would be so hard. When our baby was that age, she went to bed around 6, but woke up at midnight, 5 am & 9 am to eat. Sorry- but hang in there!

      2. Sweetie, no, you are so not a loser mom. At 3 months infants still require feeding every 3-4 hours. She will begin to sleep through much better after she starts solid foods at about 6 months. I would also like to let you know that some babies are sleepers and some just are not. I have 9 children and out of those 4 are long 10+ hours sleepers, 3 don’t sleep more than 5 hours a night even at 6, 8, and 18. And 2 sleep an average 8 or 9 hours nightly.

        You are still in that horrible adjustment to mommyhood stage where you doubt everything you do. Not enough sleep makes that worse. Relax and forgive yourself little momma, you’re doing fine!

  9. I wish our school started at 8 around here! Mine are too little for school still. Before I had them I taught kindergarten and school started at 7:35. Now, it’s been moved even earlier and starts at 7:05!! We are in a rural area, so kids that ride the bus have to leve their house as early as 6am. My opinion is that is not healthy for them. Those that play sports are sometimes not even home until 9 or 10. Lots of kids don’t even get picked up from daycare until 6pm. There just isn’t enough time in the day for some families to get their child the sleep they need. Not with school starting so early. Lots of times the younger kids are stuck out at these sports events of brothers or sisters, too.

    1. My nephew starts Kindergarten at 7:00- I always feel so bad knowing that he has to be up at 6:00!
      Yes- sports are hard. Thankfully, my husband coaches, so he brings them home after practice and the little ones are already asleep. (twice a week)

      1. Wow! I don’t think I would be able to do that (let alone the kids… haha!) Good for you!

  10. I am so behind you on this Becky! I’m serious. We are determined to maintain an early bedtime in our home because our marriage is the foundation of a strong family. My husband and I need an early bedtime to enable adult time and invest only in each other. Keep doing what you are doing. I’m right behind you!


  11. My kids have exactly the same schedule at 2 and 4 years old. They are very busy and active little boys. They definitely need 11-12 hours of sleep every night.

  12. I agree. All of my girls are in bed at 7 during the week and 8 on weekends. It just works so much better for them and me. I’m a single mom with 3, the oldest is 6.

      1. If they are not in bed on time they go into meltdown. Even the weekends when they go to sleep around 8, I still lay them down with a movie by 7. That’s their treat for a week well done at school. A lot of people don’t understand because it seems hard in the beginning to get them on that schedule, but if they’d try for even a week, they’d understand.

  13. We have a 3yr old, same issue if she naps.. So she is usually asleep by 6/6:30. It’s so nice for everyone!

  14. I love this! I have always been very big on my son getting enough sleep. I could go in to my tirade about how I feel our society undervalues sleep (i.e. “Sleep is for the weak”) but I will refrain…LOL. Healthy sleep habits must be TAUGHT…just like any other habits we teach our children. Good for you!

  15. My Daughter has just had her sixth baby. Her two older boys, 6 and 7, are generally in bed by 7pm. Her younger ones, girls 4 and 2, and boy 1, are all in bed by 6-6.30. They are an energetic bunch who like to play outside a lot as well. With a big family my Daughter and SIL like to have some time to themselves and go to bed early themselves.