The Results of the Early Riser Question

(More thoughts on the mom who won’t have a ladies’ weekend with her friends right below this post.)

This is in response to the original early riser post.

So, not surprisingly, it looks like how your kid sleeps and reacts to bedtimes and other sleeping conditions are a function of his or her personality.

Well, duh. I could have told myself that, I guess.

But it does look like there are two Best Practices that seem to work for a majority of kids:

1. Early bedtime. Kids do really each seem to have that sweet spot. For every one of wix’s nightowl kids, it seems there are a few of Bethany’s 6-pm-bedtime kids. It wouldn’t hurt anything to try jiggling your kid’s bedtime a little earlier to see what happens.

On a personal note, my younger one seems to have hit the 55-week developmental spurt (thank you Wonder Weeks) and slept for 11.5 hours straight last night. My older one went to bed 30 minutes earlier than usual last night and slept until 7. We’ll see what happens tonight.

2. Darken the windows. It seems like most people experienced some morning benefits of darkening the windows. But that doesn’t necessarily mean spending big bucks on blackout shades, because it turns out that you can use cardboard or plain old aluminum foil (which will also protect your children from alien invasion, natch), and HollyRhea reports that you can buy blackout shade fabric at the fabric store and cut it to fit your window. How ya like us now, overpriced blackout window shade makers?

On the other hand, there didn’t seem to be any real consensus on naps. Some people felt good naps helped their children’s nighttime sleep (the sleep-begets-sleep kids), while others observed that their kids slept better when they dropped the nap or took it earlier in the day (the go-til-you-drop kids). So it seems like trial and error is what we’re left with.

Any other insights? In some ways it makes me feel a little better to know that there isn’t some magic secret that I’ve just been unaware of this whole time.