My Early Birds.

BlogHer Original Post

I've never been big on schedules really, meals and naps and things have always been pretty lax in my house, but my daughters' nightly bedtime has always been 7:30, for as long as I can remember. Every single person I've ever relayed this information to, be it parent or not, has looked at me horrifically wondering why on Earth I'd put them down so early.

My reason? I don't have one. My bedtime was always 8pm growing up, until I pretty much in high school, and I figured that because my girls are so young (soon to be 6 and sooner to be 4) that a bit earlier than that was good, and when they were in school, I'd move it to 8 or 8:30, depending on how they did.

This time has always worked well for us, and as long as I'm paying attention to the clock, that's how it works. We have bath time every other night around 7pm, then doing whatever they'd like to wind down before I tuck them in at 30 minutes later. They're used to this and it's normally only a problem when there's OHMYGOD a BRAND NEW Spongebob Squarepants airing at 8 and they HAVE to stay up for it, even though it will play 50 times during their normal awake hours the following week.

People always inevitably ask the same question - "Well don't they wake up really early?" and the answer is no. No earlier than those rare nights where they're watching a movie that's not over until pretty late, or they happened to take accidental naps at 4pm, making a 7:30pm bedtime cruel and unusual punishment for us all.

My oldest, Bella, has always woken up around 7am without fail, her sister, Arí, around 8am if left to her own devices. No matter how late they go to sleep, or early, they always wake up around that time. Yes, I hate that. There are those nights that I've tested out a later bedtime, hoping they sleep in but it's never worked. They are just early birds, naturally, like I used to be as a child and even as an adult before insomnia set in.

I figure since our routine works for us, and they seem to have great, energetic days every single day, we'll keep it for now. Yes, it might be a tad early for any child over 6 months of age, but I have no reason to put them down later. Except for friggin' SpongeBob and his damned square pants.

What time do your children go to bed and wake up?

Contributing Editor Maria Young also blogs at Immoral Matriarch.


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