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Routine vs none

My friends criticizes me for having a set bedtime every night. My son's been going to bed at 7h30 everyday since he's 8 weeks and he's now 14 months old. I think it's great that he has a routine so we can relax after his bedtime and watch TV etc...the only thing is that we don't go out anywhere later than 7 so we can come back on time for his bedtime routine. So my friends says we're slaves of our son's routine. Her daughter goes to bed at odd times and sometimes, stays up until 2m, when they're at parties for example! I couldn't do that. I'd rather sacrifice those party days for a couple of years and make sure my baby gets his sleep.

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Asked by Anonymous at 2:17 PM on Jan. 6, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

Answers (14)
  • We were major sticklers for routine with our first daughter, and she totally thrived on it... she was really thrown off when it was upset by things out of our control (travels, things like that). So I'm a fan. Kids do well when their lives are predictable. Although it may seem counterintuitive, they actually adjust better to change when the day-to-day is consistent and predictable. We've always been able to put our daughter down for naps and bedtime on vacation without missing a beat simply because if all the steps remain the same, she's only dealing with the new environment, instead of total and utter unpredictabiity all the time. I'd say go with it. You'll find that you'll be able to be a little more flexible as time goes on. We finally let ourselves stay out a little later for dinner (bed at 8:30 instead of 7:30, things like that) when she got a little older... around age 2, you'll be less a slave to the nap...

    Answer by EmilySusan at 2:24 PM on Jan. 6, 2010

  • all of my kids have a very set routine, they need it to function. they go to bed no later than 7:30, and wake early. they nap at regular intervals, and have com eto depend on their routine. they know when it is time to eat, to be quiet, to play, etc. and it helps them associate times of day, week, etc. they do not fuss or fight because this is what they know and expect of life.

    i feel sorry for your friends little one. rest assured that you're doing the right thing. for a couple of years, yes- we are slaves to routine, and our kids benefit from it.
    your friend sounds pitifully immature (and that is something coming from me- i had my 1st @ 16), perhaps you should just lead by example. maybe she'll take the hint.

    Answer by ObbyDobbie at 2:25 PM on Jan. 6, 2010

  • I should say, though, with our second daughter it's been much harder to stick to a really solid routine, simply because with two little ones (they're 15 months apart), it seems like every week something is changing, and the routine does have to be in sync with the child's changing needs, not a totally rigid mould imposed by the parents. So our little one has done alright. She definitely doesn't stay up until 2 am for a party, but she does occasionally go down for a really late nap and she's only 16 months. She roles with the punches, as second children tend to do. I think if the routine's working for your daughter, you should go with it...

    Answer by EmilySusan at 2:26 PM on Jan. 6, 2010

  • Sorry, your son!

    Answer by EmilySusan at 2:27 PM on Jan. 6, 2010

  • I'm definitely with you on this one! My daughter goes to bed at 8 pm- she is 15 months old and this has been her bedtime for at least six months. I love it because it keeps her on schedule, she usually goes right down, and then the DH and I have the evening to ourselves. We still go out sometimes- we just never do anything until AFTER 8:00- I am happy to leave her at home with someone once she is sound asleep. But otherwise we are home for the evening by 7:30 at the latest so we can do bath and story time. Maybe your friends want to come over to your house? Also, 2 am for a baby? That's just crazy! Poor kiddo probably just wants to go home to sleep.

    Answer by MaryMW at 2:32 PM on Jan. 6, 2010

  • It's one thing to have a routine early in their lives as far as sleeping. However, it's also good for a child to be able to sleep somewhere else too. If we are at a friends and it is getting late, we will sometimes stay and let the child sleep right there on the couch while we are talking. It's good to help them adjust to different environments so they can adjust to the change their lives will experience thru adulthood. I'm not ditching a schedule.....just not so strick that family fun and relationships can't have their place too.

    Answer by momof2wneeds at 2:34 PM on Jan. 6, 2010

  • We love having a routine in our house. 7:30 is also bedtime here. Yes, we may let him stay up a little later every now and then, but really never past 8:30. He needs this routine. He has also been on the same schedule with feedings and naps (except he only naps once now, rather that two or three times as an infant) since maybe 2 months old. He thrives like this. When he was a baby, he would crawl over to his teachers at daycare at the time he was supposed to have snack and shake his finger at them with a big smile on his face lik e"You know you are supposed to feed me now!" And he would be at the stroke of lunch or snack time.

    We do go off by an hour here and there now that he is older, but try not to.

    Answer by Glowing4Caleb at 2:35 PM on Jan. 6, 2010

  • I would say that our family is in the middle of you and your friend. Our boys have a bed time, between 8:30 and 9pm. But if we have somewhere to go, we go. But we never stay out until 2am. Our boys are also very easy going. If we are out late somewhere, they will fall asleep anyway and be out for the night. So, I guess I am saying, we have a schedule but we are very flexible and our boys just go with it. I would also say that our schedule if followed more by the order of things and not so much by time. They know what is going to happen next even though it might not take place the same time every day if that makes sense. Our boys by the way are 2 and 3.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:37 PM on Jan. 6, 2010

  • We have a school/work week routine. They get to stay up a bit later on Fri and Sat. Most of the time they are ready to go to bed by 8:30 on the weekends though.. They are up by 6:30 am every morning anyway so they are okay with an early bedtime. I agree that children thrive on routine. They know what's expected, and are so much happier for it. It's so funny, our youngest has to lay down for 30 minutes in kindergarten and hates it, but our 13 yr old wishes they had a naptime,lol...

    Answer by MrsLeftlane at 2:39 PM on Jan. 6, 2010

  • I don't think she'll take the hint. She's actually proud of it and tells me that it's the baby who needs to adapt to our lifestyle and not the reverse. Which amazes me! She reminded me of those days when we were young and fell asleep in a guest room bed when our parents were at parties...I do remember those days, but I was probably at least 4 years old! Not a baby or a toddler! Anyways. So, if I want a second baby sometime soon..I guess we'll be slaves to nap and bedtime for at least 4 more years....It may suck for those days I wish we could stay later at family parties and all, but how often do we go out vs everyday at home? My son knows when it's nap and bedtime and I don't need to rock him to sleep. He just sleeps cause he's used to his schedule, as opposed to my friend who needs to calm her little one sometime up to 1-2 hours until she settles down!

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:42 PM on Jan. 6, 2010

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