Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Wake Up Times

Read parts one, two, and three!

Ok I'll admit it. This is the post in the series that I've been dreading writing the most. So let me be clear. This method works for me, but I don't think it's right for everyone. I know everyone has their own circumstances, and I would never dream of telling someone else how to do things. However, getting my children to have wake up times is one of the most helpful things I've learned to do since becoming a mom.

Basically a wake up time is what it sounds like. My kids(unless they are sick or they happen to be a nursing infant;) don't get out of bed until I come get them. This might sound overly strict, but teaching my children to stay in bed until a certain time(at our house it's between 7:30 and 8:00) enables me to have a quiet time and take a shower, and it prevents anyone from waking up too early. I also use this same principle for nap times. As a result, my kids almost always are able to get the rest they need, and it significantly cuts down on meltdowns.

Now I'm sure you have questions, like what do you do if they wake up before it's time and say they are hungry or need to go potty? When this happens, I let them go potty and give them a snack to take back to bed with them. If one of them tells me they aren't sleepy, and would like to stay up I give them their Bible and their "journal" and have them do their own quiet time in their bed. Since my kids do share a room the rule is they must stay in their beds and read and color quietly in order to be courteous to their sleeping sibling.

Implementing the wake up time has been tremendously helpful to me. And honestly I think it's been just as beneficial for my children because it provides them enough time to get the rest they need.

How about you? Do you give your kids a wake up time?

Linked to A Wise Woman Builds Her Home.



  1. Great tactic =) We use it too. I have two kids (3 1/2 and 1 1/2) and the rule for my firstborn was always to stay in bed until gotten. He did this PERFECTLY until we gave the privilege of getting out to use the bathroom. Now he abuses that privilege, but I still send him back to bed to read until the designated time (often adding time for each time he gets out of bed). I say "everyone has the right to sleep until 8am (or for 2 hrs at nap time) so we need to be quiet in our beds until then." It's teaching him to think of others as well as making sure he gets adequate rest time like you mentioned. Thanks for sharing what you do!

  2. I'm so doing this when our's get to that age. I think it's really important to have some morning quiet time. They make special clocks for children who are still too young to tell time for this purpose. Another blogger was talking about one that's a monkey and her kids can come out of their rooms when their monkey is awake (his eyes open).

  3. Question (and this may be super silly): Do your wake up times work the other way? It may be rare, but do you make sure your kids are up by a certain time if they are not already up? I could see where there may be circumstances where they stayed up late for some reason and then of course they may need extra sleep in the morning. But I wondered if it's important to get them up to keep them on the same schedule during the day too. Or maybe little ones never sleep in?

  4. Alex,
    I definitely let them sleep in!! For example, on Mondays we are always out late, so I just let them sleep in. I've found that by having a wake up time, my kids will sleep a full 12 hours no matter what time they go to bed. The only one I might keep close to the regular time is Max since my milk supply seems to decrease if I get him to off his schedule.

  5. I am trying out your method and so far its going ok but the kids are...uh...just a tad reluctant...seems they really liked getting out of bed and having playtime and breakfast at 6:30-7am everyday! ;D I have been letting them out to go potty (or change diaper) and giving them their morning milk and leaving them (with toys) in their rooms. This is giving me the time to get up at a reasonable time, get ready for the day (dressed, LOL), a devotion time, and fix breakfast. Thanks for sharing your method because even if it doesn't work for some, it seems to be helping me! :D

  6. Shari,
    I am so happy to hear that! Having a wake up time has been such a blessing to me as well!

  7. Wow. Sounds like I need to start this policy. My 3 year old always stayed in her room until 7:30 or 8 anyway, but sometime last fall, she has started getting up and coming to our bedroom sometime around 7 or even before. =/ No fun for this pregnant mama! I like the idea that they aren't allowed out of bed until we get them out.

  8. My kids used to adhere to something similar...although, I used to have to drag them out of bed! Oh, the good old days... ;)


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