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Friday, January 25, 2008

Staggered bedtime or sleep at the same time?

"I was wondering if anyone has to deal having a 7 and 10 year old and whether they have different bed times for each. This is causing a big problem for me right now as the 10 year old stays up til 9 at his mom's while the 7 year old is supposed to be in bed by 8. When the 10 year old is over this causes a big problem as the 7 year old starts screaming and crying that it's not fair. any ideas?"

This is my reply to the reader:

This sounds really tough. I'm afraid I am in no position to comment because my 3 and 5 year old go to bed at 10-11pm. I'd really like to know how you get them to bed by 8 or 9pm! Lol. I can only think of letting them go to bed at the same time which means bringing up the 7 year old's bedtime till later and the 10 year's old earlier or allowing the 10 year old to bed only after the 7 year old is sound asleep. Perhaps make them go to bed only when they are very sleepy otherwise they get very restless if they have to stay in bed too long. Is your 7 year old woken up by the 10 year old or still awake by 9pm? If so, the 7 year old may be resting in bed too long (an hour) which explains the cries and complains. I will put your question for discussion on my other blog which usually draws more comments so perhaps we can find some solutions for you. :)

To everyone:

Can you give some better suggestions or help to the reader?
Do you practise staggered bedtime or does all your kids go to bed at the same time?

Note: I've always practised the same bedtime for my kids. I guess its easier because their ages are only 2 years apart and it was easy during the early days because I would breastfeed the baby while reading to the toddler then everyone goes to sleep. I feel that allowing them to sleep at the same time makes my bedtime routine easier to handle. But thats just me. Others may feel differently. What do you feel?


  1. My children sleep at the same time so that no one can cry unfair. 10pm means lights all off. I think must train them from young.

  2. mine both sleep at the same time....now i even force them nap same time kekeke

  3. Yep both my boys (almost 11 yro & 7 plus yro) sleep (latest by 9pm) & nap in the afternoon same time. Then only mummy can have her much deserved peace & quiet, LOL!

  4. Mine seems to be the opposite - older one sleeps earlier at 9pm. Younger one says he does not need to go to school, so can sleep later. Sigh! The little "lawyer buruk".

  5. We do the segregated bedtime... 6 yr old gets to stay up an extra hour to read. Once the 4 yr old is literate he can stay up up too.

    I'm just hoping they don't twig they can do other things too soon; I'm polishing off novel at a rate of knots in solidarity.

  6. Growing up we always went to bed at the same times too, my sister is 2 1/2 yrs older than I am but we also shared a room.

  7. ling,
    Training from young helps in a lot of things. I've got to do retraining now because they go to bed late from young. :P

    Yes, mine naps at the same time too. Makes it easier for me to manage.

    Yes, thats when there is some peace and quiet. Lol!

    Hahaha. Such a lawyer buruk.

    Actually I think that same time or segregrated is fine as long as it works well for you.

    I shared a room with my sisters too. They are 5 years and 8 years older than me. Oh those good ole days. Hehe.

  8. Ian used to sleep at 10/11pm, even when he was a baby! After Isabel was born, she has a different timing. She wants to sleep earlier, at around 7pm already started crying.

    Then, after Ian started schooling, the kind of late sleep will result in difficulty for him to wake up in the morning.

    So, after some training (including for myself), we all try to get into bed at 8:30pm. Though lately it is moved to 9:30pm, it still helps a lot. Not only to comfort Isabel, Ian also get enough sleep and able to wake up early.


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