What’s a good bed time for children?

Last week, my god-mother tagged me in a picture on Facebook that detailed the time that you’re children should be going to bed from “sleep-trained” baby to graduation. I didn’t save the picture because I’m slow, but if I recall correctly, it started at like 6pm for a baby and went up 15 mins every year, so per Excel, it should have looked something like this:

0 6:00 PM
1 6:15 PM
2 6:30 PM
3 6:45 PM
4 7:00 PM
5 7:15 PM
6 7:30 PM
7 7:45 PM
8 8:00 PM
9 8:15 PM
10 8:30 PM
11 8:45 PM
12 9:00 PM
13 9:15 PM
14 9:30 PM
15 9:45 PM
16 10:00 PM
17 10:15 PM
18 10:30 PM
19 10:45 PM
20 11:00 PM

Me.. Personally.. In relation to my own upbringing and scheduling of my own child..I found this laughable and ridiculous! I don’t ever recall going to bed this early as a child, for many reasons, but the more I started to think about it, the more I wondered if my sister and I were the minority instead of the majority..

Since joining the motherhood community, I obviously have become much more interested in the ever growing science that IS child-rearing, so I feel like I have a pretty decent, unbiased sample size of opinions to have an open discussion about this. Muffin does not have a bed time anymore, but even when she did when she about 7-9 months, it was 7:45PM. By this chart, which I admit is a estimation  since I couldn’t find the original, she was going to bed at the same time as a 7 year old and now she EASILY stays up past the time that a 20 year old!

Naturally, I started wondering if I was doing my child some sort of injustice by letting her stay up so late and doing her own thing..BUT I hadn’t factored in what time these children get up each day! *whew* Lariah doesn’t go to daycare or have any real reason that she HAS to be up when I get up at 6:45am. On a day with no activities, she used to sleep in until 11 or 12 sometimes  and that works for my household! Speaking of activities brings me to this point, when I was a child, my mom got us involved in extracurricular  activities as soon as we started kindergarten! Now, I don’t exactly remember what time our ballet, piano, karate, choir, or WHATEVER lessons got out, but I’m pretty darn certain that there was never a time in my life, especially by the time that I was 8 or 9, that I was in bed and asleep by 8 or 9! If there wasn’t homework, there was chores. If I wasn’t pretending to do chores, I had rehearsal. If I wasn’t dragging myself through rehearsals, I had to eat, breathe, and have a childhood still. There was no way that I was getting to bed that early. I’m pretty sure that in high school, I regularly did not get to bed until at least 1am.. which made my transition into college and motherhood significantly easier!

This summer, Lariah’s first activity didn’t start until 10:30. So sometimes she’d wake up at 10am and we’d walk right out of the door no problem. Sometimes she slept in the car seat on her way to Kindermusik & Gymnastics. Either way, she’s never cranky or irritable about getting up regardless of what time I get her up! According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “Children 1 to 2 years of age should sleep 11 to 14 hours per 24 hours (including naps) on a regular basis to promote optimal health.” As of late, Lariah’s been going to bed closer to 11pm and if left to her own devices, she may wake up between 8:30-10:30 and if she plays really good that day, she’ll take a 1-2 hour nap later that day or just go to bed earlier and still get up around the same time. That’s STILL 11-13 hours of sleep a day!

As for school attending children, I am not well versed on the amounts of homework that children are receiving nowadays, but even if its light, I need someone to shed light on me about their routines and how they maintain their lives while still putting their children to bed this early! I’m personally not huge on regular scheduling because I like the freedom of taking that random target trip or running to the park to play at the last minute until Sun down, but I’d love to hear some other opinions about this!!

As I love to say, “Let us discuss!!”

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