Do you ever stay out past bedtime? — The Bump
D.C. Area Babies

Do you ever stay out past bedtime?

DD goes to sleep earlier nowadays, which is fine during the week, but on the weekends we've been invited over to friends' houses for dinners/BBQs with the baby and DH always freaks out that we won't be home in time to put DD to bed so we either have to leave early or we just don't go. My parents took me everywhere as a baby and, according to them, I slept everywhere. So, they would go over to friends' houses and I would sleep in their bedrooms. I don't want DD's schedule to completely run our lives and I'm feeling a little sheltered. I know children change things but I don't think bringing her Rock N Play to a party and sticking her in someone's bedroom for a few hours past bedtime will kill her. I'd like her to become familiar sleeping in strange places since I"m hoping to travel more with her down the road. She's a pretty good sleeper but, as I posted earlier, she does fuss when she's going down. She's been getting better these last few nights. Are we horrible parents for not fully adapting to her schedule so we can have a good time?

ETA: I should add that we've coped with this so far by inviting people to our house so we can put DD to bed and hang out with our friends. DH is a homebody anyway so this is his ideal situation but I like to get out of the house more which is why I'm struggling with this more, I guess.

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Re: Do you ever stay out past bedtime?

  • Flexible schedules and arrangements work for some people and not others.  It wouldn't work for us, since DD was a crappy sleeper when she was small and doesn't transition well from sleeping in the car to bed.  If yours can tolerate that transition and you can enjoy your time with friends or family, then go for it.

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  • I'm like your DH. I don't like to keep DS out past his bed-time. Mostly because I don't want to have to wake him up when we have to put him down in his own bed.

    It's easier to do this when they are younger and they sleep everywhere.

    We started strictly adhering to a bedtime around 6 or 7 months when his sleep went to crap and we were trying everything to get him to sleep better. Since then, I've been the bedtime nazi. DS is not pretty when he doesn't get to bed around 7. Also, DS does not sleep very much so if I put him down later than usual, then he doesn't get enough sleep.

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  • I think it depends on the kid. My son is one who hasn't transferred well from car to crib since he was about four months old, and he can't fall asleep just anywhere. Plus, one bad night's sleep seems to lead to a week of being off schedule. The consequences of staying out late just aren't worth it to us, so, yes, we're generally home by the time that we usually start the bedtime routine unless we're all spending the entire night somewhere else (like traveling). We are more likely to have brunch with friends than dinner :)

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  • you're definitely not horrible parents!

    but I will say that you reap what you sew. kids who have a consistent bedtime routine sleep better period. and I know that even now, if we travel or have a late night or two for Warner, it takes a couple of days to get things back to normal. (and he's been a great, consistent night time sleeper since he was 3 months old)

    so, IMO, you just have to accept that if you are going to take you LO with you and change things up, her sleep might not be as good for a day or so--and then decide if it's worth it ;-) 

    I also think that keeping her out a little late once every couple of weeks is very different than Fri/Sat/Sun night every single weekend.  

    what about getting a babysitter? when Warner was that age he was always asleep by 6:30 or 7 and we would get a sitter to come over after he was asleep and then go out. we knew he was okay because we personally put him to bed and the sitter has the easiest babysitting gig ever :-)

  • My mom and her friends say the same thing to me-- they let their babies sleep anywhere when they were little. They usually say this in response to me turning down an invitation b/c of DS's bedtime. I do think it's important to have a routine and schedule going for your LO, but I wish I didn't limit myself so much and let him sleep in different places just so when the need arises, he can adapt. That said, I often stayed out late at my parent's house because we had a bouncy type chair that DS could sleep in. I don't mind doing it at a family member's home, but I feel like I'm so high maintenance if I'm going over to a friend's and bringing DS's bouncy chair, sound machine, blanket, etc. I know they don't mind, it just seems more of a hassle to me and there is always the risk that he just won't sleep b/c it's a different environment. So I often just opt out of going...

    I think you still have time with your LO since she's much younger, so I would say go for it, be flexible, and let her be flexible. Obviously this is not going to happen that often, so I don't think it will hurt her schedule/routine. GL!

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  • Rarely, but most of our friends have young kids, so they usually don't have parties that last until midnight. I'm very flexible with naps, and we're not always home during nap time on weekends, but I'm pretty strict with the nighttime sleep.

    The other issue is that M gets very cranky if he stays up past a certain hour, so it really wouldn't be fun for anyone if we stay out late with him. We'd have to leave eventually, because he'd be crying and fussing.
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  • This totally depends on your family's priorities, style, and what your kid is up for.

    Because of the nuances DH and my flexible work arrangement, our chosen parenting style, and a LO who goes with the flow, we do everything based on his cues rather than the clock. I don't tally naps, LO doesn't have a bed time, we are out until 10 PM with him at least one night per week. He is thriving and people say he is the happiest baby they have ever met. While being up that late may be uncommon in our culture, it is not in many other cultures where babies also are thriving.

    For us, flexibility is a top priority. LO sleeping anywhere we need him to is key for days when he comes into work with one of us.  So, rather than associating sleep with a time on the clock, we watch for his sleepy cues and  then encourage him to sleep wherever we are with special sleepy massage, pacifier, gentle arms-in swaddle, nursing him down, or wearing him.

    That said, he likes to nurse every 2 hours through the night. We probably could "fix" this if we wanted to do a schedule, but for us the flexibility trumps the mama sleep-cost of latching LO at night (albiet, I go right back to sleep while he eats because we co-sleep).

    Every family is different in what works for them!

  • image bh2720:

    I also think that keeping her out a little late once every couple of weeks is very different than Fri/Sat/Sun night every single weekend.  

    Yeah, probably once a month or so since C was a baby we've kept him up. BUT, he has always been very social at parties and things, so we usually follow his lead. Once he starts showing signs of crankiness, we swoop him up and head out the door. If we know we'll be out past bedtime, we usually pack his pjs to put him in before we get in the car.

    He also transfers well from the car to crib - just last weekend he fell asleep in the car on the way home from dinner (at a restaurant, so couldn't change him beforehand) and when we got home I couldn't even get his pjs on because he kept trying to roll over on the changing table to get more comfortable in his sleep. 

    If we're going to be out late, we always make sure he has the opportunity to have a good long afternoon nap. And if he doesn't nap well, we don't plan on keeping him up. 

  • Bedtime for our girls is about 7:30pm. I will occasionally (maybe once a month) keep them out until 8pm or 8:30pm but not later than that.

    My philosophy is that quality sleep for everyone in our family is a very high priority. I know that for us, routines and schedules regarding sleep = kids STTN. If kids STTN, then parents STTN. And if parents STTN, we are better at being parents (both DH and I are cranky when we don't get sleep). Also, my pediatrician said that sleep habits develop early so even with my baby, I try to keep as much consistency as possible.

    I know it's different for every family, for every child, and that it's sort of related to your overall personality and style as a parent. But for us, making sleep a priority works. It means I have to give up certain social outlets but I'm willing to do that for sleep (and my own sanity). When people have occasionally balked at me for keeping to my schedule, I jokingly tell them that they are welcome to come stay at our house and be the one to get up with my child at night when they wake up. Otherwise, I'm keeping to my schedule.

    I agree with BH that one idea is to put the kids to bed and get a babysitter. We do that sometimes and it works really well because the babysitter doesn't even really have to do anything.

    ETA: DD still sleeps well in different places. She sleeps at daycare, at both grandparent's houses, and has not had any issues on vacations. As long as we stick with our routine, she pretty much does well anywhere.

     

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  • We never keep the LOs out past bedtime, and we try really hard not to miss any naps either. When they were little (until about 6 months), we could be out and they'd fall asleep in their carseat, we'd put them in the car, and then they'd easily transfer to their crib. But, after 6 months, we couldn't do that anymore. We do feel really sheltered at times, but it's just temporary. And, as a PP said, missing bedtime isn't worth the consequences the next day, especially with two LOs.

  • If they were at the stage of waking up at 11 to feed I probably would have considered it but we really didn't have anywhere to go.  For us exceptions turned out to be family gatherings that we had to travel for and they were nightmares I only dealt with because BIL was getting married.
  • image bh2720:

     

    what about getting a babysitter? when Warner was that age he was always asleep by 6:30 or 7 and we would get a sitter to come over after he was asleep and then go out. we knew he was okay because we personally put him to bed and the sitter has the easiest babysitting gig ever :-)

    We love doing this. We have a great babysitting co-op in our neighborhood that we can always find a sitter to come after DS goes to bed.

     

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  • With DD we were really flexible and often took her out with us even if we were staying out late.  She is very social and loves interacting and when she was tired, she would sleep.  We did this until she was about 9 months old when she became a lot less flexible and we slowed it down.  We would just do it on occasion, not every week.  Now that she's 2.5 and we have a second one, we are more of a slave to their schedule, but in the same time period, most of our friends had children so parties have moved to afternoon start times and we now invite our friends without children over to our house on a weekly basis so we can socialize.     

     

  • my kids are horrible sleepers and do not transfer, one touch and they are awake and NOT happy; I can't imagine them falling asleep in someone else's house! So we are sticklers - dinner @5, bath @6, bed @7, every single night. Most of my friends have kids and I can't remember the last time anyone had a party at night (GTGs are usually BBQ-type). We were not overly social to begin with so it's not a huge sacrifice to us; plus I knew going in there would be a few years of not going out much and we are totally fine w/ it! 

    there is no right or wrong, do what works for your family!

  • If we want to have a good time, we get a sitter. Our DD does not do well if her schedule gets interrupted in any way.

     

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  • I'm on the fence about this... we have lots of friends who happily keep their babies/toddlers up late, but it usually backfires on them (although, occasionally you'll get the exceptional kid who will sleep anywhere - period).  My kid is not like that, BUT, he's on such a great schedule, and has been since he was 4 months out, that I wouldn't trade it for all the late nights out in the world. 

    Last night, we were at a family dinner, and we left 30 mins past Liam's bedtime.  Liam didn't fall asleep until close to 9:30, when he usually is in bed by 8 and is almost always asleep no later than 8:30. He still woke up at the same time this morning (6:45) so he got an hour less of sleep.  He doesn't seem to be too cranky today, but he might be by tonight (when we're having 15 people over for dinner!) 

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  • image bh2720:

    what about getting a babysitter? when Warner was that age he was always asleep by 6:30 or 7 and we would get a sitter to come over after he was asleep and then go out. we knew he was okay because we personally put him to bed and the sitter has the easiest babysitting gig ever :-)

    This is exactly what we do.  It was a little easier when DS when to bed at 7:30, so we still felt like we got a whole evening out. Now that he goes to bed around 8, it's a little tougher... but we may be able to solve it with the time change in a month or so.  Again, easiest babysitting job in the world - we have one sitter who literally just watches movies on our TV.  

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  • image vtkendra:

    Bedtime for our girls is about 7:30pm. I will occasionally (maybe once a month) keep them out until 8pm or 8:30pm but not later than that.

    My philosophy is that quality sleep for everyone in our family is a very high priority. I know that for us, routines and schedules regarding sleep = kids STTN. If kids STTN, then parents STTN. And if parents STTN, we are better at being parents (both DH and I are cranky when we don't get sleep). Also, my pediatrician said that sleep habits develop early so even with my baby, I try to keep as much consistency as possible.

    I know it's different for every family, for every child, and that it's sort of related to your overall personality and style as a parent. But for us, making sleep a priority works. It means I have to give up certain social outlets but I'm willing to do that for sleep (and my own sanity). When people have occasionally balked at me for keeping to my schedule, I jokingly tell them that they are welcome to come stay at our house and be the one to get up with my child at night when they wake up. Otherwise, I'm keeping to my schedule.

    I agree with BH that one idea is to put the kids to bed and get a babysitter. We do that sometimes and it works really well because the babysitter doesn't even really have to do anything.

    ETA: DD still sleeps well in different places. She sleeps at daycare, at both grandparent's houses, and has not had any issues on vacations. As long as we stick with our routine, she pretty much does well anywhere.

     

    This is very similar to what we do for DD.  Very early on DH and I made DD's sleep a priority, so we try very hard to be home for naps and have never pushed her bedtime or tried to have her start the night's sleep elsewhere (and transfer back to crib once at home later).  Like BH said, a poor night will affect her bed time and quality of sleep for a night or two afterwards.  At this stage I'm more willing to push a nap time if needed, but I put my foot down when it comes to her bedtime.  Yes, it can make you feel a little sheltered, and many of our friends think we're crazy, but I figure it's only temporary.  I put a lot of importance on the quality and quantity of DD's sleep, ensuring she gets the sleep she needs is one of my top priorities.  The routine is key for her.  If we even happen to push her bedtime by 15 min, it can mean a terrible time for her to try to fall asleep because she gets overtired.  BUT, that being said, that's just what works for us.  Everyone's different, so make your decision based on what works for your LO and family.

  • I wish my DH was half as schedule oriented as your DH!

    We try to keep DS at his bedtime but it lacks a lot with my crazy work schedule and DH being the bedtime manager.  However, we will allow like one night a week to be an off night where bed time is later.  Like one evening, after work, we all met up at DH's grandmothers and DS got in bed like 45 minutes late.  No biggie.  We have gone to friend's houses but more when he was smaller and more adaptable.  When we went to NYC in May, we actually had DS way up past his bedtime (carried a sleeping baby in the didymos through NY till midnight....I think) and we all survived.  But what else were we to do in that situation?  

    It's good to have a schedule, but my philosophy is that it's never to early to start working on adaptability.  Just being prepared in those situations when it's usually bedtime is good, also.  Snacks, milk, lovie, book, paci.  It's my emergency kit. 

    eta: I went back and read some of the other responses and agree that organizing naps in the day around your plans that night is a huge help.  I did this last weekend enforcing a morning nap because we were going to a birthday party during afternoon nap...we had fun at the party because he had already had some sleep.  

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  • We haven't been going out past or near bedtime lately because as PPs said, he's just less portable and more cranky when he can't get to bed (which makes the gathering/time out less fun for me).  That said, I definitely would consider going to a friends house with the PnP and stuff and then leaving just before his dream feed around 10:30 or 11.  That way, if he woke up when we got home I could nurse him and he'd go right back to sleep. We haven't done it recently, but it did work when he was smaller.

    Our LO isn't really a reliable enough sleeper yet that I feel like we can get a sitter after bedtime and go out.  We don't have family nearby so I'm reliant on friends (most of which have kids of their own so babysitting at night is hard, or are single guys and so I feel like won't really know what to do if he wakes up). I'm not quite comfortable with leaving him with a stranger yet, so staying in more than going out is one of the trade-offs I'm willing to make for now.

    Could you stay over at the friend's house(s)?  That would make things WAY easier.  I know when I didn't have LO but friends had babies, I was always up for them staying over (that way I'd get to see them at least!), they'd usually just tip-toe out early in the morning when their LOs woke up. It worked out great for all of us.

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  • No, not really.  I mean, maybe we'll be out an extra 30 minutes, but we are the first to leave.  we're really the first ones with kids, too.

    Sprout doesn't sleep well outside his crib.  He doesn't even sleep well in his carseats on long rides! i've tried to have him nap at relative's houses and he just wants to explore whatever room i've put him in.  disaster.

     

     

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