Bedtime resistance

The New York Longitudinal Study, which lasted from 1956 to 1988, found that 26 percent of 2-year-olds exhibited bedtime resistance behaviors, and that figure rose to 50 percent by the time kids were 5. But kids whose behavior was documented in similar longitudinal research in Switzerland weren’t as rebellious. A 2005 study using that data found that, for them, bedtime resistance peaked between 2 and 4 years old, at around 18 percent. And rates of youthful rebellion changed as parental behavior changed. The 2005 study also found that bedtime resistance had been decreasing over time. The peak for kids born in 1974-78 was about 30 percent prevalence at age 5. Meanwhile, resistance among kids born in 1986-93 peaked at age 3, closer to 10 percent. Over that time period, the authors wrote, Swiss parents had shifted toward later and later bedtimes. In Switzerland, at least, putting kids to bed later meant less frustration for everyone.

Koerth, Maggie. “Don’t Tell The Kids, But Bedtime Is A Social Construct”
Photo by Georgia Maciel on

Putting Fleur to bed later might also help with her 4 am waking. Of course, that takes away our adult winding down time to go to sleep ourselves. On the other hand, if we didn’t have to spend an hour getting her to sleep, then we could spend that winding down. (I wake up around 6:30 on my own with a good night’s sleep and have my best quality sleep shortly after falling asleep. My wife gets hers later, so these 4 am wakings are more disruptive to her than me.)

The next paragraph goes on to talk about the sleep need may vary by child and within themselves. For instance, Fleur sometimes sleeps more and sometimes less. We suspect the periods where she eats and sleeps more might be growth spurts.

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