Why I REFUSE to Get Up at the Crack Of Dawn With My Kid (and why you should too)


Chic Traveling Mama's bedtime routine

I’m passionate about sleep, I ain’t gonna lie. Have been since I was a kid. Whenever I used to have friends stay the night, I would wake up to them already being dressed and hanging out with my sister waiting for me to get out of bed. As a teenager, my Dad would come in my room and rip the covers off around noon because apparently that was his cut-off point. I would get accused of “sleeping the day away.”

Of course, I got used to getting up early later on in life. Eventually, responsibilities beckoned and for some reason 8am classes were the only ones I could schedule in college (much to my dismay).

My career taught me an even bigger lesson in getting up early and sometimes staying awake all night.
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I believe that we all have internal clocks and you’re either a morning or a night person. And I’m a night person. I feel much more productive at night and sometimes I want to stay awake all night if I’m on a writing kick. It’s when my creative juices flow.

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But it was my daughter who taught me the biggest lesson of all about sleep- shocker, right? Well, let’s just say that now that she’s five, she knows the rules in this house. And she has a clock in her room to prove it.

See, I’m a BIG advocate on sleep training. From an early age she knew that sleeping was non-negotiable. Not in a tyrant sort of way, in a reasonable, I’m-not-waking-up-at-5am-to-feed-you-when-you-just-ate-at-4am sort of way. And Mama’s, if you’re in those beginning stages, I’d lay the rules down immediately if I were you.

But now that we’re passed that stage (and I’m not filming right now) she can get out of bed when she wants. So I’ve had to lay a new set of rules down. They go like this:

1. See the clock in your room? Until it says 8:00, don’t come a knockin’ This is a time that works great for us because she doesn’t really get up before 7:45 so we’re not making her sit around for a couple of hours or anything. Set a time that works best for your kids, if they rise at 6:30, tell them 7. If your kid is a super early riser like some of my nephews, you can set their clock a little fast (if you know what I mean!). There’s also clocks they make especially for this like this one here.

2. If she comes in before the specified time because she’s bored, she goes right back in her room (after we know she’s not in need of something important). I do this because not only do we appreciate the sleep and/or the time we need to write etc, but this presents boundaries. And she has to understand that we have them, and she has them too.

3. We have our girl set up to be perfectly fine in the confinements of her own room. She has all the toys she could ever need, but also knows she is NOT allowed downstairs or wondering about when we’re not awake. If your child will have a problem with this, offer them an incentive for staying put. You can do it!

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I feel like this all boils down to how we put our kids to bed. If you have a nice routine at night, it’ll be easier to navigate the morning. Our night-time routine never changes. It goes like this:

1. Bath

2. A short TV show of her choice (if she didn’t get it taken away during the day for poor choices)

3. Potty/Brushing Teeth

4. We read three books to her on her bed

5. Prayer

6. Kisses and Hugs

Her bedroom has a soft night-light and a music box that plays classical music. We’ve been doing this same routine since she was a baby (putting her to sleep awake) and it’s worked well.

Is bedtime an area of problem for you?? I want to hear about it in the comments below! I know it can be a tough area to navigate let’s chat about it.

As always, tag me in your Instagram posts of whatever works for you at night time: @chictravelingmama


About Rana Mancini Cavanaugh

Rana is a Chic Mama dedicated to helping other Mama's live a fuller, happier, healthier life through this blog. She is proud to announce she just finished an eBook on how to travel with kids and is finishing up her first novel. She is a happy wife to her sweetheart since the fourth grade and Mama to a lovely little girl. Happy Travels! xo

2 comments on “Why I REFUSE to Get Up at the Crack Of Dawn With My Kid (and why you should too)

  1. I agree with most of what you are suggesting. My only suggestion is not to suggest taking away reading time as a consequence. From a teachers point of view when students see reading as a reward and punishment it becomes less enjoyable. Then reading becomes a struggle. I’m sure your kiddo climbs on your lap to read a favorite book whenever like mine, but many families might not have such high interests in reading and those bed time stories might be the only time the child and parent read together.

    • Joan,
      I agree with you! Sometimes we look at it as her stalling tactic because she doesn’t really listen anymore and instead plays around but that’s OK, she values the time we all take together probably more than anything. I’m going to re-evaluate though, you’re right, I shouldn’t use the books as a tool. Thanks for commenting :)

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