When should my child be going to bed at night?
Real Mom Problem
“My daughter refuses to go to bed at night. Her bedtime is 8 pm, which I think is OK for a kindergartener. She tells me that she doesn't want to sleep. What time do all of you send your kids to bed?”
- 1. Base your child's bedtime on when they need to wake in the morning, and whether they nap during the day
- 2. Children 3-6 years old should get 10-12 hours sleep per day
- 3. Children 7-12 should get 10-11 hours sleep per day
- 4. Children 12-18 should get 8-9 hours sleep per day
- 5. A consistent bedtime routine can make it easier to stick to a set bedtime
Real Mom Solutions
We all know that our kids need a good night's sleep, but what time should they go to bed? The moms of CafeMom break it down for you by age, the time their kids get up for school, and other considerations.
Consider How Much Sleep Your Kid Needs
My daughter will be seven, and provided she can wake up cheerfully, her bedtime will be 9:00. Her bedtime last year was 8:00 and she was an absolute terror in the mornings. Toward the end of the school year, I let her stay up until 9:00 and she did much better.
My daughter is seven and goes to bed around 7-7:30 and gets up between 7-7:30 on school nights. She needs 12 hours of sleep still! On weekends she gets to stay up late because she doesn't see her dad after school during the week because he works late.
I have an 11-year-old son. His bed time is 8-8:30pm and he gets up at 6:00 am to catch the bus at 6:45 am. He gets ready for bed around 8:00 pm. His school day starts at 7:45 and ends at 4:00 pm. So his day is long and busy. 8:30 bedtime works best for him. We tried 9:00 but he says he needs more sleep.
My son is nine and he goes to bed at 9:00 pm no matter what time of year it is. He needs his sleep and doesn't always sleep well, so I have to keep his bedtime consistent. Even during the summer he is in bed at 9:00.
It isn't about what time they go to bed or even their age, but about how much sleep they should be getting at night. So you need to figure out their bedtime based on the time that they need to get up in the morning. Kids 7-12 need 10-11 hours per day.
Set Bedtime to Make Mornings Easier
My daughter is seven. She will be going into the second grade. Bedtime is 8:00 pm. She has to be up by 6:00 am and in school by 7:15 am.
My son is 10 years old. School nights, his bedtime is 9:00 pm. He is up at 5:45 am. If he does not get up at first call his bedtime goes back to 8:30 pm.
We head up to bed around 7:30 to shower and read a book. He wakes up around 7:15 in the morning to get ready for school. He is six years old.
Some Moms Stay Flexible
My boys are ten, eight, six, and almost two. We don't have set bedtimes. My youngest goes to bed between 8:00 and 9:00 on his own. The rest are usually out between 10:00 and 11:00. We homeschool and set our own schedule so for us, no real set bedtime works just fine.