Stagger bedtimes?

  • With three kids under six years and a fourth coming soon, we have to really map out bedtime strategies if we don’t want to be putting kids to bed all night. My wife likes to read the three of them books all at once and send them off to bed, while I prefer to stagger their bedtimes so each child can get some individual time. Which do you think is best? -- Chris, Strongmoms Facilitator

  • Seeing as I only have one child I can only speak in theory... but I imagine if I had several children I would do a combined reading time. After which the children would be sent to bed where mom and dad would take turns visiting each child to say goodnight.

  • Having 3 chidren all of similar age, they go to bed at the same times. Granted,they are older now and the middle schooler has to get up an hour + earlier than the boys to get herself "ready" for the day so for good sleep they are all in bed by 8:30. However, when they were much younger, I would out the twins to bed about an hour before the toddler so I could spend a little time with her alone.

    If you are getting enough alone time as an individual or couple, then use whatever routine works best for you. I personally find it easier that they all go to bed at the same time so I can decompress from each day before I pas out for the night.  Just make sure that you guys are getting enough time..... as important as it is to spend time with the kids, its also important for you time!


  • I have 5 and put them all to bed at the same time. It just works best because otherwise the others get up and wonder why the other ones aren't in bed too..then you are putting kids to bed for 2 hours! Sometimes I let the older two stay up for 20 minutes longer to read..since they can read by themselves, but that is the only condition and a great way to encourage them to read more! Assembly line bedtime all the way!!!LOL!

  • I put my 1 year old to bed first because when bed time rolls around, he is a cranky mess and just wants to nurse and go to sleep. I rock him and put him down and then go read to my older son and snuggle a bit before bed. I guess you could say we do the staggered bedtime routine but mostly because my 1 year old could care less about books, etc! :-) 

  • Thanks for the advice all... we have settled into a routine where we put the baby down, then one of us reads to the two younger kids while one reads WITH the older one. I just wanted to be selfish and proud that my oldest is now reading! 

  • Anwserdad-sounds like you've got a great routine and congrats on your oldest child!


  • Thanks Jess... seems like yesterday she was a tiny little package in my arms and now she is reading so well... no doubt the cliches of how fast they grow up are true!