How regular should my child's bedtime be?

How strict should my husband and I be about bedtime for our 5-year-old? He never stays up too late, of course, but we have trouble getting him to bed at a consistent time each night - partly because of my husband’s unpredictable work schedule. Our LO wants to wait up for him. Does this matter?

2 Likes 7 Replies


Marissa posted July 31, 2019

It’s extremely important, actually. He should have a consistent bedtime that he’s aware of and one that you and your husband stick to every night. Kids need routines and patterns they can expect. The willy-nilly bedtime schedule will only become a larger problem as he gets older if you don’t nip it in the bud now. 0 Likes

Joy posted July 31, 2019

It can be really tough to keep a regular schedule for a child if a parent’s schedule is unpredictable - I get it. On evenings that your husband won’t be home at a reasonable time, why doesn’t he quickly call or FaceTime your son to say goodnight? 0 Likes

Taryn posted July 31, 2019

Getting enough sleep as well as maintaining a consistent sleep schedule is crucial for a person’s health at any age, but especially for children. There is even research that links erratic bedtimes and sleep schedules with behavior problems in children. It’s not worth sacrificing your son’s well-being or development simply to give him a two-parent goodnight and you’re doing him a disservice. Pick a bedtime and stick to your guns! 0 Likes

Amber posted July 31, 2019

It is extremely important to have children on a bedtime schedule and I know it is difficult at times because their schedules are often altered due to the demands of our adult responsibilities. My son was always put to bed promptly at 8pm each night, however that changed when I started night school. Although he fell asleep at 8pm like clock work, his sleep was interrupted every Tuesday and Thursday night when I picked him up and headed home. Being that online courses were not an option for the specific classes I needed, I had to make it work. Set a scheduled time and be as consistent as possible. Allow life to happen and when you get off course a bit, as long as it's for a good reason, make the adjustments. Another important component to this is making sure your child has sufficient rest hours each night. 0 Likes

Carina posted August 6, 2019

The routine of bedtime is more important than the timing. Children begin to follow sleep cues as infants (low lights, soft music, bedtime stories) and they are not aware of timing (630pm vs. 8). At age 5, your child need 10-13 hrs of sleep/night. If he can get that and still wait up for your partner, why not? Just know that the longer you wait in the evenings to get to bed it’s more likely your child will become grumpy or have those tired eyes you know all about. It’s time to start talking to him about taking care of his body and not every night is the same: he should begin to identify his boys signs of tiredness: yawning, wanting to lie flat, rubbing eyes, etc. It’s a lifetime skill to take care out ourselves, this bedtime routine might be a good opener. :) 0 Likes

Justin posted August 13, 2019

Sleep is super important for everyone but especially for our little ones, as they begin to develop healthy sleeping habits from a young age. Research has been done by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) that provides helpful guidelines on how much sleep children need at different ages of their development. For example preschoolers from 3-5 years should be sleeping 10-13 hours a day (including nap times). Don't stress out too much if you aren't even close to this, but there are some things you can try and do to help your child get there!

- Try and stick to a regular routine
- Lead by example - make sleep a family priority
- Be active during the day
- Create an optimum sleep/bedroom environment
- Limit screen time - TV and iPad etc.

Everyone benefits from getting enough sleep! We have a healthier immune system, better performance, behavior, memory, and mental health.

Maggie posted August 15, 2019

It is super important for children to stick to a bedtime and routine, it will make your life much easier when he/she starts school. 0 Likes