My daughter is just over one year old and this week has started sleeping upwards of 8 hour stretches overnight. It’s great. She’s growing up and has taught herself to sleep long – that and she’s walking so she’s probably knackering herself out. She also eats more, so isn’t waking hungry.
I was recently at a birthday meal and was asked how she sleeps. I was also asked what time she wakes in the morning.
When I stated that she’d woken at around 10.30am that morning, there were audible gasps!
Yes, 10.30am. My daughter sleeps from around 10-11pm until around 10-11am. Sometimes she doesn’t go to sleep until around midnight. It just depends. I don’t force anything. She’s naturally in this routine. I love it. I get a lie in – my natural sleep is usually somewhere from midnight to 1am until around 9am. With our daughter still waking once per night for a long feed (usually at around 8am), this means I’m getting my full 8 hours.
We’ve tried putting her down earlier. We’ve tried moving her bedtime gradually. We’ve tried getting her up early. It just causes stress, crying and completely unnecessary drama. Even on days where we have to get up early, she just naps earlier/later or longer and adjusts her nap time so she ends up staying up late again anyway.
Am I the only one who doesn’t follow a strict routine and doesn’t put my daughter to bed at 7pm?
My partner and I have long debated whether this is “right”… whether we should keep trying.
We get told things like, “you need time together alone in the evenings” or “you’ll struggle when she goes to nursery”.
Our plan isn’t to put her into nursery until she’s 3 years old, so that’s 2 years a way… not really that worried right now.
Why does this work for us? Well, my partner works 6am until 2pm every day. I work from home (running this blog and my other online business). We don’t have a 9-5 routine. Why should we have the same routine for our daughter as everyone else? Why is it a problem that she doesn’t go to sleep until later than other babies?
It means we can have evenings at my mum and dads or sisters house without having to rush back for her bedtime. We aren’t house bound after a certain time each day – we can pop to Tescos in the evening (and get our pick of the parent and child bays!).
The judgement we get for this is rare I’ll admit. I think people just find it odd – and probably think it’s a silly way to do things.
But for us this is just yet more of this whole obsession with babies sleep. Why are we so obsessed with making babies sleep at certain times and forcing them to sleep when they can’t/don’t want to?!
I don’t know about you but I prefer my life with at little stress as possible and trying to force our daughter to sleep when it’s too early, or wake up her early so she’s grouchy all day just doesn’t work and causes far more stress than it’s worth.