The day we discovered that our one year old wasn’t getting enough sleep was a dark time in our household. We would put him to bed at 9pm — around the same time my husband and I went to bed, but he’d wake up at 6am, on the dot. To top it off, his afternoon naps were erratic. This meant that he was only getting nine hours — a whole three hours off his required 12 hours!
It was that day we decided to move up his bedtime to 7pm— and our lives have never been the same since. And after adopting the same practice with our second, everyone in the house is so.much.happier. Yay for early bedtimes!
Why you should start put your kids to sleep earlier:
Kids need lots of sleep!
Did you know that kids need at least 12 to 14 hours of sleep per day, ideally till the age of 10? And yes, this includes naps too. Sleep helps kids feel well-rested and ready for the day, which explains why some kids are just so darn grumpy all the time. Most importantly, it aids mental and physical development.
You’ll have your mornings AND evenings to yourselves
Remember those nights when you could eat a REAL meal, enjoy yourself and have a decent, adult conversation? Well, you can have it all again once you move bedtime earlier. Who knows, you could even throw in a movie or a glass of wine in there too!
Good news for early birds: you can finally drink AND enjoy a cup of hot coffee in the morning. You’re welcome.
“Me” time is a must!
Yes, motherhood is all kinds of awesome, but it doesn’t have to be tiring and emotionally draining all the time. Having any kind of relaxing me-time, whether it’s in the morning or in the evening, will help you gather the strength you need to work, be the best mom you could be to your kids and more!
It will help you with other aspects of parenting
Being strict about bedtime and sleep makes you more aware about all the other aspects of parenting you probably weren’t paying attention to. Encouraging our kids to eat better and be more active, ensuring they don’t have too much screen time, or making the decision to have more outdoor time — it puts these all into perspective.
If you’re going to move your kids’ bedtime earlier, you need to be committed to it. Sure, there might be times when the kids need to stay up late (e.g. when family gatherings are allowed again) but you’ll probably have to pay for it the next day with a whole lotta’ crankiness.
Be firm with your decision and stick to the plan — make sure everyone at home is on board with it. By following an early bedtime, your kids will get the rest they need AND finally, you’ll be able to enjoy yourself. You deserve it.