>Early to Bed, Early to Rise

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works for me wednesday at we are that familyI’d like to share one principle in our house that really works well for our family.  I can see how it might not work for everyone, but I am a huge advocate of putting my kids to bed early.  Early by a LOT of my friends’ standards anyway.  My family does well with a fair amount of routine, which I believe has helped nurture amazing sleepers in my two boys.  Alex, my two year old, gets marched up the stairs at 7pm sharp every night to start the bedtime routine, which only takes 15 minutes on non-bath nights and maybe 30 minutes with a bath or shower, which is every other night.  Nathan, my five year old, gets marched up the stairs at 8pm and it’s the same deal.  His bedtime routine takes a little longer because the books he chooses are longer and I have to floss his teeth.  But generally by 8:45 the house is quiet and my husband and I can rest and relax, watch TV and get a little blogging done.
Naptime is also pretty strict for Alex, immediately following lunch if we are home.  I will let him sleep as long as he wants, up to 4pm.  It does sometimes take him awhile to actually fall asleep, but not always.  When Nathan is home I encourage him to nap, and sometimes he does but since he started Kindergarten he usually skips it. 
This in turn leads to another thing that really does work for us, and that’s getting up early in the morning.  Nathan knows he has to stay in bed until 6am, but then he is allowed to head to the playroom.  Alex generally wakes a bit after that, occasionally sleeping in until 7.  If I’m not going to the gym that morning, I get a quick shower, get dressed and throw in a load of laundry and then head up to the playroom to get the kiddos dressed.  Breakfast doesn’t usually take very long and I get a lot done and spend as much time chatting with my boys as possible.  On work days, three days a week, I drop them at school/camp by 8am and come right back home to eat breakfast and work.  Despite my secret desire to sleep in, which my husband sometimes lets me do on weekends, I really like getting up at the crack of dawn and tackling my day.  A good night’s sleep and a cup of coffee and I feel like I can take on the world. 
Do you follow a routine in your house or is it more relaxed?  I’d love to know what works for you.
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6 responses to this post.

  1. >I've done it both ways and found it depends on the child and the circumstances at the time. When I had two the same age as yours, I did almost exactly what you do! Now, with two quite a bit older and two littles (12, 9, 4, and 1), I have to do things a bit differently! That quiet time to unwind in the evening is priceless, isn't it?

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  2. >Our bedtimes are much later. We start the bedtime routine at 9, and the kids are usually asleep at 9:30. During the times that Don teaches classes at night (about 5-6 months of the year), we don't even get home in the evenings until 6:45. By the time I cook dinner (even if it's pre-prepped), we rarely eat before 7:30. Add in homework and it's 8:45 by the time I come up for air. With that said, we all nap on the weekends and I let the kids sleep as long as possible in the mornings. Since we've always done fulltime daycare, this has always been our schedule. We don't know any different!

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  3. >I found that a routine worked well when my kids were young, too. My oldest was not one that required a lot of sleep. She responded better with a routine. She was also much easier to deal with behavior-wise also. She is a VERY strong-willed child. I personally think you are on the right track! Enjoy those babies!

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  4. >We still follow a routine. Now that it is summer they will go to bed a bit later, but only by a half hour or so. That mean 9 pm they get the story and then off to sleep.

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  5. >When the boys were little we had a strict, early bedtime. (7 p.m. for everyone.) Now that they're older, they stay up until 8 on school nights…during the summer, we're up until 9 or 9:30, and we all sleep in late. I have to say, now that the boys are older, I LOVE our late summer nights / sleep in mornings! 🙂

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  6. >My kids are in bed by 8 at the latest, though the baby usually gets put down by 7:30 (routinely speaking–we just did a 4 day weekend at my parents' and they were up until nearly 10 each night. Needless to say, tonight they were all in bed by 7). I've had neighbors' kids ring our bell at 8 or even 9 at night (summer time) to play with mine, and I have to turn them away, while simultaneously wondering how their parents ever get "alone" time and also feeling a little guilty for being such a bedtime-stick-in-the-mud.BUT, most of their parents work outside the home all day and don't get to see/spend time with their kids, and weekends are busy with activities, so evenings after supper is it for them. I would probably do the same, if I were in their place.I, on the other hand, am blessed to see my 4 sweet faces from 6:30 am to 7:30/8pm every day, plus I homeschool, plus my husband travels for weeks at a time, so yeah…8pm is my generous limit!And you know what? All four of mine generally have never complained about or fought the nap (also very non-wavering on that!) and all four, at some point or another during their 1st 2 years of life, have literally flung themselves out of my arms in an effort to plunk themselves down in their cribs.It's hard to fight habits, so I'm so thankful that we've helped them to have a least one good one they don't have to fight.Now if I could just curtail the TV requests…

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