Here’s Why I Send My 6-Yr-Old To Bed When It’s Still Light Outside
This past Sunday, we went to my mother in law's for Easter dinner. Dinner didn't start until 5:30 but I made it very clear we HAD to leave by 6:30. I wasn't trying to be mean - we had to leave because my daughter who is six and in Kindergarten HAS to go to bed by 7 PM. OR ELSE... She complains because it's still light outside when she gets in bed but she's usually dead asleep before the sun completely sets.
Earlier in the school year, we allowed her to go to bed at 8 PM. And, after brushing teeth, story, talking, etc. it was usually about 8:30-9 before she would actually fall asleep. Well, it wasn't long into the year that the tantrums started. And by tantrums I mean... I was pretty sure green vomit was going to spew from her mouth and her head was going to turn around 360 degrees. It was horrific! I didn't know what was wrong. I contacted her teacher; I talked to her doctor. Finally, I said that's it - you are going to BED because I can't handle this. Guess what, after that day - we haven't had one more giant meltdown.
She was tired. Exhausted in fact. And that one extra hour made all the difference. Before Kindergarten she had always taken a nap during the day. It got me thinking, is this normal? The World Health Organization just released new guidelines on screen time and sleep for infants and toddlers.
But the American Academy of Pediatrics has a more in-depth guide on sleep times for all youth age groups. From their website:
- Infants 4 months to 12 months should sleep 12 to 16 hours per 24 hours (including naps) on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
- Children 1 to 2 years of age should sleep 11 to 14 hours per 24 hours (including naps) on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
- Children 3 to 5 years of age should sleep 10 to 13 hours per 24 hours (including naps) on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
- Children 6 to 12 years of age should sleep 9 to 12 hours per 24 hours on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
- Teenagers 13 to 18 years of age should sleep 8 to 10 hours per 24 hours on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
My child is on the high end, which is totally fine. So, how much do your kids sleep?