Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Staying Up Late

Early on in this whole child raising adventure, we put our kids to bed late because of our schedules. My wife has always worked and breastfed and so it worked out better (meaning she had to pump less) if the babies sort of slept from 11pm to 11am (waking up to feed once before she went in to work).

Babies can seriously sleep anywhere.

As they got older, they usually worked their way into a more normal schedule (going to bed between 8 and 9 and then waking up between 7 and 8), but it was sort of shocking for some people to hear about the whole 11pm bedtime thing for a baby.

Yeah, it's a little weird, but it worked for us, and I'm a firm believer in fitting the baby into your schedule.  

I have noticed with our three-year-old though, that she is a little more rigid in her need for routine. Including an early bedtime. On a normal day, she is usually asleep by 7:30. Sometimes earlier.  And when this routine gets out of whack, so does she. 

But we try to not be ruled by this little quirk of hers. Because, after all, things happen sometimes. We visit with friends or family, there's a special thing at church, fireworks on the fourth of July, you get the idea. These are experiences we want her to have (and we want the rest of the family to have them too).

So, she has to deal (and we do too - with the fallout, that is). Like when she calls random things like food "dumb-o" or "stupid." (Words she picked up from her older sisters.) And it's good for her, and us, as long as we can get back to our regular schedule eventually. 

But that's just one kid. Our others are really much more flexible. Currently, I'm letting the older ones stay up until about 10:00, as long as their behavior is good. We play Minecraft or a board game or something like that, or we just hang out. 

Since they're homeschooled, I figure it's one of the perks.  I mean, they don't have to be up at a certain time, so they can sleep a little later and it's no big deal.

My wife and I are definitely night owls, and so it doesn't bother us. Although if a child has to be nursed or snuggled with for longer than 5 or 10 minutes, Liz WILL fall asleep.  And then be groggy for a bit. 

But that's nothing that a fresh cup of coffee won't fix! And yes, we have both been known to brew a cup of joe after the kids go to bed. 

But unhealthy habits aside, that's how bedtime has gone down in our house lately... Although, here's how it was happening back in June - they still do the delay tactics, although not as much, when they go to bed late. It's really quite unbelievable.

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