For those of you that keep your kids on a sleep schedule...

Discussion in 'The Toddler Years(1-3)' started by babyhopes09, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. babyhopes09

    babyhopes09 Well-Known Member

    My girls are 14 months and I'm wondering if I'm the only one out there that keeps their kids on a schedule as far as sleep goes. We started to realize just how important sleep was for ALL of us when at 4 months our girls (and us) were waking up more than 25 times per night (I kept track one night and stopped counting when I got up for the 30th time to replace a pacifier). I was SERIOUSLY losing it at that point and could not keep myself together. We did a bunch of research about sleep training and finally settled on Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child and have never regretted it. Within two weeks my girls were taking 2-3 naps and going to bed at 6-6:30 and sleeping until morning. It wasn't until I noticed how much happier and adjusted the girls, DH, and I seemed that I realized how much of a difference decent sleep makes in our lives.. just my opinion and it's what works for us! I have played around with timing of naps and bedtime and my girls truly need the sleep that they get or we start having night wakings..

    SO.. onto my vent... we have sacrificed a lot to stick to their schedule.. within reason (vacations, important events, visits to/from friends and relatives, etc.. we will sacrifice sleep for and be flexible), but for the most part, we do an early bedtime bc that's what keeps us all sane.. I am seriously so tired of defending our decision to family and friends who think that it is their business to comment on when our kids go to sleep.. they think we are insane... ironically they are the same ones that comment on how well-adjusted and pleasant our kids are.

    We had friends come over once and they had a LO and kept her up until 11pm so that they could visit with us... They kept complaining that our girls were already asleep by 7pm and that they couldn't see them. They kept making side comments like.. " you guys just need to let go a little and have fun." DH and I were having a great time having dinner and drinks with them and not dealing with overtired twin screaming infants at the time.. like their child who screamed the last 2 hours of their visit! Last week we went to visit family out of town and they are in a different timezone. I kept the girls up one night way past their bedtime and then they woke every night after that for a week until we got back on track. My family kept making comments like.. "your girls are going to miss out on all the fun when they are older because they will have to go to bed early" Um hello.. they won't go to bed this early or need to take naps forever!!! And I'd like to see everyone else try and keep up with twins!

    I am 32 weeks pregnant and baby will be here in August. I'm so exhausted and don't sleep well myself right now. I just can't imagine not having my girls sleep well at night when we bring our new little guy home and are doing night feedings. I need all the sleep I can get right now! Am I the only one doing the sleep scheduling/timing with their little ones????
  2. juliannepercy

    juliannepercy Well-Known Member

    Wow, I can totally relate. I've kept my boys on a schedule from the start and did sleep training. They slept through early and it was wonderful. We're still at 2 naps a day and they pretty much go down the same time every day as well as for bed. They know how to put themselves to sleep and they seem to need it. I also feel like I've sacrificed a lot... I find it really hard to get out during the day since we're still at 2 naps and there's so much to do between the two naps. If we go out somewhere for dinner it's usually early so we can get home for the 7pm bedtime. We don't mess with it by more than 30 minutes. But I think the sacrifice is worth it. I love having the evening alone with my DH, I love that I can count on my nap times and my boys are very happy because of it. I wouldn't have it any other way. You're right, it doesn't last forever. Everyone can parent how they choose, but I'm with you on the schedule!
  3. miss_bossy18

    miss_bossy18 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I'm with you - my girls need sleep or they're just plain obnoxious. They'll be 3 in less than 2 weeks & still need at least a 2 hour nap each day. We have some flexibility with bedtime now, but if we push it too much, or screw with the schedule too many days in a row, we're in for a rough couple of days/nights of whining, wake ups & overall crankiness. When people have commented, I just say, sure I'll keep them up, then you can come home with me & deal with them when they're over tired. That usually makes the point. Having calm & happy twins is well worth any sacrifices that we may have made - and as you said, it's for such a short period of time in the grand scheme of things. Keep up the good work!
  4. cheezewhiz24

    cheezewhiz24 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    It's not the trend right now, I think, to put tots to bed before 8. That's ok- I want happy, learning children. Sometimes with people who judge harshly I say "When you have a set of twins you can do it that way" & smile and move on. I need a schedule but am finally this month letting go a little bit- of course mine will be 2 fairly soon.
  5. sruth

    sruth Well-Known Member

    You ARE doing the right thing! My girls are 3 now and have had the same schedule since they were 5 months old! First we dropped the 3rd nap at 9mo and the next at 15mo. They still nap an hour a day and go to bed by 7:30. We missed a lot too but as they get older, naps drop and they are able to stay up later for special occassions so your world opens up a bit. Knowing what I know now I would do two things differently; 1) I would be flexible within a one hour time-frame (one hour early or late doesn't make a difference in the end) and 2) They sleep more deeply the older they get and therefore tip-toeing around the house and sound machines aren't really neccessary (we got rid of ours just months ago and my husband plays his guitar and I watch my tv loudly with no problems). Again we walked around the house like mice for the first two years!! So try not to worry with the new baby, you'll be suprised how soundly they sleep.
  6. eagleswings216

    eagleswings216 Well-Known Member

    We keep our kids on a schedule. They don't go to bed until 8pm, but that's mainly because they are early risers and I like to be able to sleep until 7am. :lazy: (until about two months ago, they went to bed at 7pm and got us up by 6am every morning, which got old, so when the time changed, I shifted their whole schedule an hour).

    I am very, very strict about them missing naps and going to bed no later than 8:30pm. If they miss a nap it is TERRIBLE, and I figure I'm the one who suffers most, so others just have to deal with it! Often that means we miss family events or go late because DH's family always schedules everything for 1pm, which is naptime. If it's a short event starting at 1pm or starts later than 6pm, we just don't go. We've gotten some comments and "looks" from family about it, or they act all hurt that we're not there or coming so late, but I'm more focused on what is good for my kids (DH's family has about 6 reunions a year - seriously). I finally told DH's grandma recently if they wanted us there for the whole event, they could start it at 3pm instead of 1pm and then we'd be there. While my kids are still napping, that is just how it's going to be, KWIM? I'm their mom and have to do what is best with them, even if that means annoying other adults.
  7. KStorey

    KStorey Well-Known Member

    I'm right there with you. Our three little guys go to bed at 6.30 each night and our older ones at 8. No discussion, no mucking around and no coming back out of their rooms after that point (except for toileting) I kept a tight schedule with the older ones when they were little and it has paid off. Our kids are all great sleeper and we will fairly often have friends around for dinner with lots of noise and activity and it doesn't worry them a bit. Sleep is SOOOOO important for everyone. Also I love that at 6.30 DH and I can spend some one on one time with the older kids. And at 8 DH and I can sit back, relax and reconnect with each other. As for those that have an opinion on your choices ... that's their opinion! Sounds like you are doing awesome.
  8. jessicawebb01

    jessicawebb01 Member

    We absolutely keep our kids on a sleep schedule!! They are holy terrors if they don't get the sleep they need. And I def see the difference between our well-rested children and those whose parents just fly by night with sleep. My hubby doesn't normally get home until around 7 so our kids don't go to bed until around 9 but we very rarely let them stay up past that. They still take two naps a day for around 1-2 hours each nap. Often our families are bothered by their excess about of sleep while we home! But I say what makes a happy mommy and family is the only important thing! And it's different for everyone but ultimately your their momma and you have to do what's best for them and your family.
  9. cat mommy

    cat mommy Well-Known Member

    If it works for you, stick with it. It's nobody else's business.

    To answer your question, we have a non-strict schedule. My kids always nap, but it might be an hour earlier or later than typical. And bedtime is around 8:00ish, but again flexible. This works for us, so we will stick with it. :bubble:
  10. w101ttd

    w101ttd Well-Known Member

    We have non strict schedule as well. My kids never fight at nap time. They still have first nap 2.5-3 hrs, second 1-1.5 hrs. We skip the second nap some days and they are just fine, still happy. But they wake up and night and play for hr. So I still put them down for second nap.
  11. MichelleL

    MichelleL Well-Known Member

    You sound like me 3.5 years ago. I did the same thing you were doing and got lots of grief for it. <_< Do what you need to do to make your family happy and :blbl: to all those giving you a hard time. Keep up with the schedule. Not only does it pay off now but will in the long run. :hug:
  12. kingeomer

    kingeomer Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    You are not the only one. My kids are in bed no later then 8:30...that is what works best for them and for us. My philosophy to the people who complain about a strict bedtime is that they will have to deal with my cranky kids the next day. DH and I have been very fortunate that people have been very understanding with us. Now that the kids are 3.5, we do find that they can be a little more flexible with bedtime and not be so grouchy the next day but that's only happened within the last 6 months or so.
  13. gina_leigh

    gina_leigh Well-Known Member

    I also ran a tight ship when it came to their schedule for a long time. It was basically me by myself with them for the most part and I needed my sanity. I also read (and loved) HSHHC. I got flack for it, but ultimately people realized that it made for much happier babies and they at least shut up if they still didn't agree with me.
  14. slugrad1998

    slugrad1998 Well-Known Member

    We also followed HSHHC as it was our savior to getting our children to not be overtired cranky monsters. We were very strict about their schedule until just recently. Just in the last few months we have been able to play with the timing of their nap a little if we need to for things like their own birthday party. We still stick to a strict bedtime but they modify it in that some nights they go right to sleep and some nights they play for quite a while. Children thrive on routine. When I go out and see a child up late I think "what is that child doing up at this hour"!
    1 person likes this.
  15. miss_bossy18

    miss_bossy18 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I totally have judgy-mom thoughts about that too! :blush:
  16. E's 3

    E's 3 Well-Known Member

    I am 100% with you. We've been doing this since my son was born so for almost 4 years now we've been "missing out". My sister STILL does not get it and gets so frustrated and upset with me. She is constantly telling me about her friends and how their kids miss naps and stay up until 11 pm for dinners, parties, etc.

    The way I see it, it's a limited amount of time in the grand scheme of things where we will be at the whim of the kids schedule. DS is almost 4 and is not as affected by disruptions in his schedule. He no longer naps during the day and can stay up a bit later at night without it causing chaos for the next week.

    I tell my sister, and everyone else, that these are MY kids and this is MY decision...when she has kids she can keep them up as late as she wants. She's preggers with #1 now and I am SOOO interested to see what happens when he/she arrives :). My whole family NEEDS to have a routine...none of us can live with the chaos of not having a schedule so I'm willing to sacrifice whatever I need to to protect that!
  17. babyhopes09

    babyhopes09 Well-Known Member

    I'm totally with you on this! I have a lot of friends that complain about their kids waking 2-3 times per night and are also the ones who are the most critical of our sleep schedule. I have no problem with what they do, but with twins and one on the way there is no way we could do without good sleep! Many times I just want to tell them that they may have a different opinion on things if they had more than 1 child who was waking up at night! I, for one, feel like this is setting up good sleep habits for my kids all the way through life!
  18. DblStuffOreo

    DblStuffOreo Well-Known Member

    My friends call me the Nap Nazi.

    I used to be offended, but now I wear that mantle with pride. My new mom friends told me I was missing out, that they were getting together without me, and that life was passing me by. So one day I joined them (without my twins who were at home being kept on a schedule dictated by me). You know what I found out??? The get togethers that I was "missing" out on (because inevitably the get together conflicted with our nap schedule) weren't all that fun. At least one baby was screaming and the mothers were edgy because their kids were edgy. Now that my girls take two naps, we can join in - again provided that it fits in within our schedule. Everyone compliments me on how loving and happy my girls are. They say I am lucky to have babies with such good dispositions. I simply say, "Yes, I am lucky," but I know that it is the consistency that I create for my girls that enables them to be stellar little people.

    So, forget the nay sayers. These are also probably the people who claim to be super-moms.
  19. afrostygirl

    afrostygirl Member

    It took 6 months to get my boys on a successful sleep schedule. Once we did, there was no turning back! Their attitudes during the day changed SO much once they were taking regular scheduled naps and having a bed time of 7pm. I too plan everything I do around naps, going out is only for that window of opportunity between morning and afternoon nap.
    I'm now faced with the challenge that the boys started going to daycare last week as I am back at work. Unfortunately, the sitter does not adhere to my strict schedule and we are suffering for it. Luckily, they are still going to be early, but they are seriously cranky from pick up time to bed time. I'm hoping after a couple weeks with the new routine at the sitters they will adjust back to their happy little selves!
  20. Rollergiraffe

    Rollergiraffe Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    We are bigtime schedulers too, for the same reasons as everyone else. Yes, we have to leave family dinners at 6 pm and yes, we've given up lots of "fun", but there's nothing like calm, relaxed kids. If it's a really important event or if we're seeing relatives we haven't seen in a long time then we'll be a bit flexible, but fortunately most of our family is pretty understanding about bedtime.

    I get the people who don't have kids not understanding why you'd need to keep a kid on a sleep schedule; I used to wonder why before I had kids too. But I don't understand parents who don't keep their kids on some sort of schedule! I know every kid is a bit different, but sleep seems to be one of those universal things that has to happen. I wonder how many behavioural issues would be solved if all kids were just getting enough sleep.
  21. lianyla

    lianyla Well-Known Member

    Great topic! My boys are 3y9m. I've had them on the HSHHC "schedule" since the beginning. I used to be a teacher so I KNOW all too well how overtired kids struggle. I also learned early on that my kids NEEEEEED their sleep!

    I know that w/o my sleep, I'm sunk so.. I've always provided ample opportunity for my kids to sleep. I'm definitely a planner/scheduler. ILOVESCHEDULES!!
  22. Danibell

    Danibell Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    While we are fairly flexible about naps and bedtime within reason (about a 30 min window), I do kinda resent some of the implications here that if my kids go to bed late, they aren't getting enough sleep and are cranky or have behaviour issues. My older 2 kids go to bed at 8-8:30 during the school year, and 9:30 in the summer or weekends. The twins go to bed at 9:30 all the time. I have very non grouchy, very well adjusted kids ;) It works for us! While I don't judge anyone who puts their kids down early (my hubby doesn't even get home from work until 7, if I put the kids down then they'd never see their dad because he leaves at 5am), I'd appreciate not being judged for putting my kids down late :) Often we go out to eat after dh gets home from work, so we are just eating supper around 7:30 or so. I'm also a night owl, and prefer to stay up late and sleep in, rather than go to bed early and get up early. I like that my kids sleep until 9am :wub:

    You gotta do what works for you. For us, I don't leave family functions or get togethers or night outs early just for nap/bedtime. But my kids don't get overly grouchy or tired when they miss a nap, or stay up late one night. I guess we've either been blessed with good kids, or that being a little bit flexible has helped allow the kids to be more flexible with their sleep too.
    1 person likes this.
  23. Rollergiraffe

    Rollergiraffe Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I didn't mean my post that way at all.. like others on the post I have met many moms who are dealing with a screaming fussy baby all while telling me I should be more flexible about bedtime. A while ago I had a mom who was telling me all about her attachment parenting method (which wasn't really attachment parenting, but basically letting her kid run wild and not parenting at all) of letting her kid determine everything.. where and when she slept, what she ate etc. Two glasses of wine later she was talking about how her life was hell and she hadn't slept in the last 2 years because her daughter wanted to co-sleep and wasn't growing properly etc. etc. My mind was shouting STRUCTURE! SHE NEEDS STRUCTURE!. Fortunately even after all the wine I more or less kept my mouth shut. ;)

    It sounds like you are lucky to have flexible kids! My cousin has kids like that who can be at a party until midnight and get up at 7 am the next morning with no problem. They've been like that their whole lives. I am so jealous when we have to leave early and can't really travel anywhere because our kids are prone to meltdowns. But, the scheduling lasts for such a short time, so it's just something to live with for now.
  24. ohd1974

    ohd1974 Well-Known Member

    Here, here on the sleep schedules!! I am not even nice anymore if someone makes a comment. I am sick of hearing it. I don't tell you how to wipe your a*s, don't tell me how to wipe mine.
  25. tinalb

    tinalb Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I am with you on this Danielle. I was really picky about sticking to a schedule with my oldest, but with all of the other ones have been much more flexible. We don't leave events early either (well, within reason, I don't usually keep them out too late, but a couple of hours past bedtime on nights we are out somewhere, sure) and I was always flexible about missing naps to do other fun things. But, I have kids who are flexible that way & don't get too cranky. If they do get a little tired, a quick nap the next day takes care of the problem. Anyway, everyone has to do what works, if that is a strict schedule & you and your kids are happiest that way, then no one should be judging you for it and if no particular schedule works for you & your kids, that is fine too.
  26. mommylaura

    mommylaura Well-Known Member

    I can totally relate. I followed the same sleep book, and all three of my kids are great sleepers now. That being said, I am a little more liberal the second time around than I was with the first. I occasionally keep the twins out later into the evening, or allow a morning nap (with my first I would never have let him fall asleep in the morning after dropping to one nap a day out of fear that it would ruin the afternoon nap) or whatever. But these deviations from our normal routine don't happen very often - maybe twice a month. I also think that my twins are just a little more flexible then my first and can tolerate a little (still very little!) deviation. I love having happy well rested kids!
  27. bellawillawyatt

    bellawillawyatt Well-Known Member

    Mine are a NIGHTMARE if they are off their schedule by more than 45 minutes MAX. We have missed out on some things and thats because we said yes to things we shouldn't have and have learned our lesson. Not only are they a mess that day but normally for 2 days after that we have cranky acting and night waking. Its so easy for people to judge when they have ONE baby!~ I will admit I was alot more lax with my 1st child because she was a singleton. The twins feed off each other. They have been on a set schedule from day one. That my friends is the silver lining of the NICU. My babys came home at 11 days old already hard core scheduled and we have tweaked it as they grew but more because they didn't need to eat every 3 hours around the clock that sort of thing but we have pretty much kept it the same as far as napping and bedtime for the last 8 months or so. They are your babies do what you have to do and never ever say your sorry for that.
  28. slugrad1998

    slugrad1998 Well-Known Member

    I will say that my kids have gotten more flexible as they have gotten older. When they were infants, if I kept them up even 10 minutes past bedtime they melted down and wouldn't fall asleep. Now I cam skip a nap if we are busy and just put them to bed early.

    My "judgy" moments come when I am at Walmart at midnight and a 2 yr old is tantruming or when my friend tells me that her 15 month old still won't nap without co-sleeping.
  29. Danibell

    Danibell Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    :give_rose: I get what you mean! We really have been lucky that our kids are fairly easygoing. It's a good thing, since every summer we take a drive to my parents place, which is 2 time zones behind us, and so when my kids are up until 9-10pm there, their bodies think it's 11pm-12am! It takes them a couple days to get adjusted, and then they go back to normal. But it also means that they wake up at 7am, because their bodies think it's 9am already! :crazy: I don't like those mornings until they get adjusted to the time change ;)
  30. silver_stardust

    silver_stardust Well-Known Member

    Sleep begets sleep. I ran a really tight ship too. Both of our families would make comments at an event when we would have to pack up and leave because it was time for the boys to go to bed. But they weren't the ones having to get up with them or deal with them the next day so I learned real quick to just let those comments and feelings slide. I needed sleep, the boys needed sleep and like you, it made us all happy. Stick to what you feel is best for your family. At almost 3, I've finally let up a little and know what the next will hold if the boys miss a nap or go to bed late. Totally different ballgame when you have two or more. Would they make those comments to someone that had triplets or more??? Not trying to be superwoman here; just trying to make it through the day!!!
  31. SC

    SC Well-Known Member

    I haven't read any replies, but I'd guess just the opposite, that the majority of people do keep their twins on a sleep schedule. We also followed HSHHC and our boys have slept well through the night for quite some time. I have heard a few comments here and there about being more flexible, but for the most part people respect our schedule, especially family (and we do flex every now and then for special occasions). I have to think that with multiples most people keep them on a schedule, otherwise life would quickly turn (more) chaotic.
  32. vharrison1969

    vharrison1969 Well-Known Member

    Since the boys were about 7 months old, we've always stuck to a good schedule. My guys do a lot better when they know what to expect from the day. :) They do pretty well if we keep them up an hour later, or postpone a nap for a special occasion, but I try not to push it too often! :p

    None of my friends or family have *ever* made a negative comment about the schedule we keep though. They're impressed enough that I've survived twins and they're usually in awe of how well we are doing!! :lol:
  33. Reeny691

    Reeny691 Well-Known Member

    I am soooooo with you. My kids go to bed at 8pm every night. It better be a holiday or big event for them to be up later. DH's family gets annoyed cause his sister keeps her kid, now 6, up till all hours. But I say forget you, I have to deal with cranky monsters if they don't sleep. I think most people without twins doesn't get it. Having more than one kid doesn't really give them an idea. Having two miserable cranky mosters it toooooo much. Sleep is #1 in our house.
  34. MrsBirch

    MrsBirch Well-Known Member

    I am a huge fan of the schedule too...but I allow flexibility sometimes. One thing I am not flexible with is the morning nap. If they miss that nap the rest of the day is miserable, for all 3 of us. If we have a playdate they miss their afternoon nap and I am fine with that - once in a while. Friday was Canada Day so they were up until 9 - their usual bedtime is 7:30. But most of the time we either host family dinners so the kids go to bed at their normal time (and the house gets cleaned, but that's a different topic :) ) or if we are out they get their bottle at 7:30 and we leave right after. They fall asleep in the car and I can transfer them to their cribs without them waking up.
  35. bellawillawyatt

    bellawillawyatt Well-Known Member

    LOL that is sooo us! I would much rather have everyone over and get my kids to bed on time AND get a clean house out of it LOL
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