I Put My Kids to Bed Early… And I Love It

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Confession: I put my children to bed early. 

Like really early.

Like before the sun goes down early.

When my son was born, a friend passed on a “first year schedule” to me that was my security blanket as I navigated the different life stages with a newborn, baby, and toddler. Even though the nap times and feeding times fluctuated depending on the day, the bedtime NEVER did. I was a bedtime drill sergeant. My family and friends would laugh and  joke about this routine, but I never wavered. “Put them to bed later and they will sleep later,” they said. Nope! My children woke up at the same time every morning, whether they went to bed at 6:30 or 8:30.

i put my kids to bed early memphis moms blog alissa abercrombie

Our family thrived on the early bedtime routine, especially when my daughter made her appearance 19 months after my son. Our bedtime routine looked like this when the kids were itty bitty…

5:00 – children ate dinner

5:30 – bath time

6:00 – watch TV, cuddle, relax

6:20 – brush teeth, read books

6:30 – prayers and lights out

6:31 – adult time!

In those early years with two little ones, our adult time at night was a lifesaver.  My husband and I ate dinner together, talked, watched our favorite TV shows, and just hung out. Or, if it had been a super long day, I could climb into bed and go to bed early, too!  On date nights, the kids were already asleep, so babysitting was easy for the grandparents.

Early bedtimes were a sacrifice at times, but it was worth it for our family and our children’s happiness. No one wants to be around an overtired toddler. Did we miss birthday parties or family events? Yes! Did we leave events early to make it home by 6:30? You bet!

As the kids have grown and become more mature, we have extended their bedtimes.  They can handle a “late” night for a special occasion, family event, or sports practice. Bedtime doesn’t rule our house anymore, but it still sits on a pretty high horse.

These days, our routine looks something like this…

5:30 – family dinner

6:00 – bath time

6:30 – relax, watch TV, finish up homework, play

7:00 – brush teeth, read books

7:15/7:30 – prayers and lights out

7:31 – adult time!

I know this routine may not work for everyone, but it is a perfect balance of structure for our family.  I need that adult time when my kids are up and ready to take on a new day at 5:45! And no – even today – putting them to bed later does not equal sleeping in for my two!

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Alissa, a native Memphian, is a tried and true VOL fan. She graduated from the University of Tennessee with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Early Childhood Education. Currently, she is the Director of Curriculum at a private school in East Memphis. Alissa is mommy to Jack (January 2010) and Julianne (August 2011) and husband to Scott. Alissa lives in Collierville with her family and their lab, Abbie. She is a type-A planner. Organization is a must for her – both in her professional and family life. She hates odd numbers, onions, and people who drive slowly in the left lane. She loves pedicures, Matilda Jane clothes, the beach, and spending time with her family and friends.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I could have written this word for word!!! I totally agree. My son is up by 6:30 regardless! (and then he’s just cranky if he went to bed later!)

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