I have often referred to myself as the Sleep Nazi. It's an endearing term, much like calling someone a shoe whore. I have explained my children's sleep patterns 100s of times to people since they were babies. Trust me. Of this I know.
I am used to the questions and the criticism. I am correct though, and I thought I'd let you all know that. I am rarely giving out advice on the blog, unless it's about Magic Pants or lip gloss, however...
Got this comment on this morning's post:
To bed at 6:40? I just couldn't do that to my kids. What time do they get up?...4am?? I would just feel like I haven't seen them all day and then I'm shipping them off to bed. Where's the quality time? The teachers spend more time with your kids per day than you do. Not picking on you, just wondering. Maria in SC
Children the minis' ages are supposed to get 10-12 hours of sleep each day. Mine get up at 6:30am to leave for school at 7:00am. They shower and have a yummy breakfast before my husband drives them to school.
I pick my children up from school at 2pm, so I'm all set on the quality time. Keeping them up past 7 would be irresponsible on my part. My children are tired. Thus, that bedtime for our family.
My children don't melt down from being overtired and they don't struggle through the school day because they didn't get a good night's sleep. We don't make exceptions on weekends or special occasions. (Except that one time at the Magic Kingdom with Coach...and that ended very badly! ha ha ha) They don't "stay up late" as a reward. Ever.
If they are in school from 7-2, that's 7 hours at school. If I was trying to "be with them more than their teachers" then I would have to keep them awake until past 9pm. That's ridiculous for 5 and 7 year olds.
Sleep is a hugely important issue in my house. Children are better learners, can focus more and are able to better fight infection when they get proper amounts of sleep. I am certain that if you asked your Pediatrician, they would tell you that 10-12 hours for that age range is ideal.
Here's the reality. My children kick ass. They get up in the morning happy and rested and ready to take on a day at school. So it works for us to put them to bed around 7ish, or earlier if needed.
The American Academy of Pediatrics says that lack of sleep can contribute to anxiety and depression, night terrors, obesity, diabetes, and immune deficiencies. Clemsongirl says it makes my children crabby.
In either case? I am correct on this issue. Research, expert medical professionals, experience and common sense tells me so.
That's the beauty of parenthood. They are my damn children.