My daughter doesn’t have a bedtime. I know this might surprise some of you, but it is a decision I made less than a year ago that has worked out well for our family. We still have a routine we follow each night, but my daughter and how she is feeling that day, determine what time we will start. Today, I want to talk about three of the reasons why we skip bedtime in our house.
I used to put my daughter to bed exactly at 7:15, but it was often a struggle. One day, I decided to just wing it and let her tell me when she was ready to get to bed. She slept better than she had for a long time that night. Now, it’s not uncommon for her to sleep 12 hours, which did not happen at all when we were setting her bedtime. Taking away the pressure of a bedtime gives children the opportunity to listen to their body and to set their own sleep patterns.
Have you ever laid in bed feeling powerless because you just can’t fall asleep? Imagine how stressful that is for a child! Struggling each night at bedtime may actually cause a child to have long term sleep difficulties.
Letting your child decide when to go to bed puts them in command of their own routine and helps them learn how to develop healthy habits. It’s crucial that children learn how to make good decisions for themselves. The more small decisions we can let our children make, the better they will be able to adjust as they get older and are faced with more serious decisions.
Developing healthy sleep habits in the early years of a child’s life is very important. Instead of a strict bedtime, I’ve chosen to empower my preschooler to trust her instincts and make her own sleep decisions.
I’d love to hear from you! Do you have a bedtime for your children or do you let them guide the nighttime routine?