Thursday, 14 February 2013

Children's bedtimes

Most of us have a pretty good idea of when our children need to be in bed but I am always surprised by how different bedtimes can be amongst the same age children. For example, I have Spanish friends who put their three and four olds to bed around 9pm, more in line with the Mediterranean lifestyle.That's nearly two hours later than our four-year old goes to bed.On the odd night we have done a later bedtime for my son for whatever reason, he hasn't slept the same amount of time - he's woken at the same time as he would with his regular bedtime.

Earlier this week, I read with interest, 'When should your children go to bed?' in the Guardian. It gives a useful breakdown of different ages from one to eighteen and how much sleep a child typically needs. I was quite surprised to read that apparently a six-year old needs the same 12 hours of sleep that a three-year old does.

We've been lucky to have two great sleepers who have never really fought going to bed. My son will even sometimes tell me that he's ready to go to bed! I have always been consistent about bedtimes and bedtime routines and in our case, it has paid off.

Do your children have the amount of sleep that is indicated in the article for their age group? Are they good about going to bed?
photo credit


  1. My 6 year old gets 10-11 hours and my (just turned) 2 year old gets 11-12 hours (which includes a nap in the buggy during the afternoon school run). Ideally they would both be in bed half an hour to an hour earlier, they're knackered come weekend/ half term, but then they'd only see their dad at weekends (and I'd be too stressed trying to get everything done before bedtime). I do try to have them ready for bed before my husband gets back though so there's no arguments about tidying up or getting ready, just some nice time with daddy, then bedtime stories.

    1. Hi Carin, thanks for your comment! You bring up a good point that sometimes things like fitting in around school runs and getting to see daddy before bedtime can affect how much sleep they get. Sounds like you have a nice routine of getting them ready so they can spend some quality time with daddy before bed :-)

  2. Looks like we're both blessed with the willing sleepers :)

    My daughter spends 12 or 13 hours in bed on a night when she has pre-school the next day, and 13-14 when she hasn't. She's very happy to go to bed and we have a wonderful ablutions, story, cuddles routine. She will generally play very loudly for half an hour to an hour before falling asleep. And she will generally stay that way until the next morning when I wake her. And yes, I usually have to wake her! Thursday morning I was greeted with a grumpy turning her back on me, yanking her duvet over her head and "It's not morning yet mummy!" This morning we let her sleep in 'til 9.30am. But then she zips around all day like the Duracel bunny so we have no concerns that she's lethargic or lazy.

    So yeah, no issues here with lack of sleep either! :D xx

  3. Wow, that's great that she loves her sleep so much! As much as I have good sleepers, it's rare that I get the opportunity to wake them up ;-). xx


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