Is Your Baby Not Sleeping And Out Partying With You? Why Aren’t Your Kids In Bed?
If you ask any parent of young children what they wished they could have more of, sex or sleep, I’m guessing that most parents would say sleep. For some reason, being sleep-deprived, and overtired has become synonymous with being a parent. Truth be told, I’m not sure why. There are plenty of great sleep tips on this site. But this is not another blog about sleep; this is plea to fellow parents to get your kids to bed at a reasonable time. Is your child or baby not sleeping, and instead out with you until late?
I am a firm believer in doing what is best for you and your family. Who am I to judge your behaviours? I am open to the idea of keeping kids up later so that working parents have time to spend with their kids. This is great, within reason, do what works best for you and your family. Here is where I have a problem: parents that are out with their kids, way past what should be an acceptable bedtime.
I often see children out with their parents, well after 10:00pm and even later. We may be out for dinner or a party, and we see parents and kids walking down the street. At 11pm? 12AM? This is what I question. Children need sleep more than parents think. If there is one thing that I have learned first hand, with my own kids, is that keeping them up late, does not make them sleep in longer. In fact I believe the opposite is true, kids who stay up later are often up sooner; sleep begets sleep. Putting a kid down overtired often leads to early morning waking, or so my wife tells me.
I get it, when kids are freshly hatched they sleep anywhere, and this is how it was so easy for us to bring Dyl to 2 weddings before he was 2 weeks old. His young age made it easy, because he was still able to sleep either being carried or in his car seat whilst we celebrated. On the opposite end of the spectrum was my brother in-law’s wedding. Dyl and Ry were both well beyond the point where they could sleep anywhere. We didn’t even try to get them to sleep in make-shift beds at the reception hall. We arranged with a friend to babysit for us, and just around bedtime, I took the boys home, got them in bed, and went back to continue the celebrations.
I get the importance of keeping your adult life and fully encourage parents to continue to enjoy life as they did before they have kids. But that’s the issue; don’t drag your kids into your adult lifestyle of staying up late. Get a babysitter and enjoy your night. If you have friends with young kids offer to sit for their kids and they can sit for you when you want to go out. Alternatively, ask family or hire a neighbourhood kid. I know babysitting is expensive, but there are ways around it.
What we have found works well for us, is we only go out once the kids are in bed. We let the boys know we are going out, who is sitting for us. I know that once the boys are in bed they are often good for the night, so we as parents can go and have fun without worrying.
So please, next time we are out for a date, and you see us, please say hi, without your kids in tow.
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Andrew obtained his PhD from the University of Waterloo in Physiology, a topic not entirely having to do with with kids health specifically. Andrew’s expertise in kids health and raising children stems from his now 4+ years of direct hands on experiences with 4 young boys. My goal is to share some practical advice and some of the little not-so-perfect things my kids have done and how we managed to figure it all out so you can too.