I’m a nationally published sleep expert, journalist, and the mom of three young kids. I’ve been helping tired families sleep since 2007 (more about me here). Subscribe to The Well Rested Family for fresh news and tips on keeping your bunch happy and healthy. Thanks for stopping by!

SEARCH THIS BLOG

Find Me Here!

Tag cloud
10 month old sleep 11 month old 2 year old can't fall asleep 2 year old nap 3 year old stops napping 4 month old 45 minute naps 8 month old adults adults sleep alarm clock babies baby baby bedtime baby doesn't nap baby fall back baby nursing to sleep baby rolling at night baby short naps baby sleep baby sleep positioners baby sleep routine bad bedtimes bedroom too loud bedsharing bedtime bedtime baby bedtime books bedtime child bedtime for teens bedtime problem bedtime routine bedtime snacks bedtimes bedwetting best bedtime stories for kids big boy bed blackout curtains boost breastfed baby sleep through the night bsby cosleeping bumpers caffeine child child bedtime child can't sleep child sleeping in a tent childcare childhood fears and sleep children cosleeping cover story creativity crib cry it out cultural intelligence daycare daylight savings time Daylight Savings Time kid bedtime daylight savings time sleep DHA does exercise help kids sleep dropping a nap DST early waker early waking ebook education energy equality equally shared parenting exercise and kids exercise and sleep fall back falling back families family five month old naps five month old short naps five month old sleep five year old bedtime food getting baby to bed getting dad to help with bedtime Getting kids to bed getting kids to bed during the summer getting kids to bed when it's light out getting rid of the pacifier giveaway green Harvey Karp Hawaii health heart health tips help helping kids adjust to daylight savings time helping kids get to sleep after vacation Helping kids sleep in the summer helping kids sleep through the night helping twins sleep holiday how long should babies nap how long should bedtime take how much sleep do adults need how to get rid of nightmares how to help a preschooler nap how to stop nightmares humor immune system infant sleep insomnia kids kids always get sick kids and daylight savings time kids sharing bedrooms kids sleep questions Kindle king 5 large family late bedtime learning leg cramps light math Moms moving child to his own bedroom nap nap routine napping in arms naps new sibling newborn news night terror night waking nightlights nightmare nightmares nighttime dryness nurse to sleep association nutrition one year old overtied kids overtired overtired child overtiredness pacifier pajamas nightmares parenting parentmap pediatric restless legs syndrome potty training pregnancy and newborn preschool Preschooler problem problem solving product productivity pull ups putting kids to bed questions raising a boy robotic safety safey separation anxiety setting a bedtime for kids shared bedroom shared bedrooms Shopping short naps short sleeper six month old sleep skipped naps sleep sleep and learning sleep coach sleep coaching sleep consulting sleep expert sleep for moms sleep gadgets sleep help sleep hygiene sleep pregnancy sleep questions sleep regression sleep through the night sleeping during the summer sleeping well during pregnancy sleeping while camping soundproof spring forward standing and screaming in crib stress sugar summer summer bedtime swaddle teen teen bedtime Teenage brains television time change time zone adjustment toddler toddler 4 am toddler bed toddler leg cramps toddler naps toddler sleep toddlers toilet transition transition to one nap travel with kids tryptophan twins undertired up all night violence and kids violent video games and children waking warm bedroom hurts sleep weaning the swaddle winter women heart health won't fall asleep work worries

Entries in late bedtime (1)

Friday
Apr272012

Ask Malia: Handling "Special Treat" Bedtimes

Dear Malia,

Since I’ve started reading your blog, I’ve created an earlier bedtime for my two kids (a 4-year-old boy and 6-year-old girl). They used to stay up until 10, but now they’re in bed by 8 p.m. most nights, and it’s great. They’re less moody and much happier in the morning, and my daughter’s more attentive and happier in school. But my parents are visiting from out of town next week and we’ll be eating in restaurants and visiting all week. I know they’ll be up later than I want them to be. How should I handle this—and other “special occasions” that keep my kids up?

***********************************

Though I’m a devoted fan of earlier bedtimes for young kids, late bedtimes happen. I liken them to special desserts. They’re for special celebrations and holidays (making them all the more cherished).

If kids get special treats every day, they’re not so special anymore (and they cavities and stomachaches to boot). Think of your child’s standard, early bedtime like his normal, healthy diet. Later bedtimes are once-in-a-while treats.

Here’s how to make “special treat” late bedtimes work for you:

  • Vacation and holiday bedtimes should be no more than one hour later than your child’s normal bedtime.
  • After a “special treat” later bedtime, don’t allow your child to sleep in more than one hour past his normal wake-up time. Doing so throws off that day’s routine and bedtime.
  • Flexibility is great. But something is flexible only if it goes back to its original state. Otherwise, it’s just broken. So when you bend your routine to allow for a late bedtime, make sure to bend it back. A late bedtime that occurs more than three nights in a row is becoming a habit. Return to your regular routine as quickly as you can.
  • If your child goes to bed ultra-late (for example, after a wedding or New Year’s), compensate with an early bedtime the following night. Do not allow him to “nap it off” with an overly-long daytime nap the next day.