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Baby going to bed late

  1. #9
    barbwong_130 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Hong Kong

    I have found no research to back up this theory so it is just mine (it could be wrong) but I think that weather plays a part in affecting the culture of sleep.

    The easiest thing to do with babies when you don’t know what to do is put them to sleep (the same goes for adults too). So in the north of the Northern Hemisphere where the winter nights are long and cold everyone goes to bed early. I have English friends who tell me that as children they had to go to bed early in the winter when it was dark but were allow to stay up much later in the summer when it was still light outside.

    In the tropics in the middle of the day when it is too hot to go out everyone has a nap. This practice is also very popular in the Mediterranean. And as a consequence the babies and children go to bed much later because they have slept two to three hours in the afternoon. The full-day local kindergartens (for children aged 3 to 6 years old) in Hong Kong also have a practice of asking the children to sleep from about 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.

    The other huge factor when talking about culture is the colonial past of many countries – and how much the rulers’ culture was taken on board by the locals. And the fact that American culture is taking over the world though the media. To the extent that anthropologists’ research is getting biased because they fail to take into account their own cultural bias.

  2. #10
    kayla is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2004

    hi Michelle,
    i just wanted to jump in and say that my baby is also 4 months old and generally goes to bed just before midnight and wakes up at 8 for his morning feed then falls right back to sleep until 2pm. his afternoon schedule varies slightly with no fixed napping times.
    last week, when our a/c in the living room was being repaired, the whole family retired to bed early at 10pm and the baby slept until 5am for his early feed which we definitely attributed to the earlier sleep schedule.
    we found that he remained a contented baby regardless of when he went to bed, so i think you don't hv much to worry about unless your baby is cranky and seems tired even after 12-13 hours of sleep. but it sounds to me that he's doing just fine! i plan to let my baby dictate his own patterns unless they're totally out of whack and seems to cause him harm (so far, no evidence of anything of the sort).

    good luck!

  3. #11
    Graham's Avatar
    Graham is offline Registered User
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    May 2004
    Tai Po

    We usually put our baby son who is nearly 3 months old to bed at about 10pm, sometimes a little later, sometimes a little earlier, depending on how sleepy he is after his bath and night feed.

    We're a mixed couple, I'm British, my wife is HK Chinese. To be honest, we've never even thought about putting him to bed earlier.

    I vaguely recall from my own childhood in UK many years ago going to bed at 7 or 8pm, but if we put our baby to bed that early, I'd never get to see him during week days!

    I really don't think it matters too much when you put your baby to bed as long as he gets enough sleep each 24 hour period.


  4. #12
    Geo is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Hong Kong

    Well, I have heard many mums around me put their babies to bed before 9pm and they wake up like 7 am. And the whole family adjusts to this schedule. Even when they bring the baby out, they need to rush back to fit this schedule. and when dad has to work late, they dont get to see their waking baby. and I have heard about some of their baby running away or ignoring their dad.

    For me, I live with parents in law and the whole family talk/ watch TV till 12am. And the baby has this schedule since birth. He sleeps when we sleep and wakes up like 11 am.

    For me, this schedule works fine for the baby and adults. Baby gets to see his Dad and he always run to him when Dad is back. Baby boy is now 14 mth old. He still has his long hours sleep at night and naps 2 times a day.

    For Adults, our night schedule are not shorten and we can bring him out for normal functions and be back late, wash him and sleep him.

    I like this schedule cos it is a normal timing and like part of our life.

    This is just some of my sharing. I know there are parents out there who dont agree to sleeping the baby late. But as long as baby is getting the right amount of sleep, is happy/ healthy and alert, I am fine with it.

    So happy deciding your schedule.

  5. #13
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    Sep 2004
    Sai Kung

    that's fine, until the baby has to start going to school, which in HK starts at a ridiculously early age!

    i used to teach a little girl whose mother complained that she couldn't wake the 2.5 year old in time for the lessons that started at 10;15am.

    i asked her what timethe girl went to sleep at night..."oh, between 12 and 2am!!!!"

    i'm sorry, but this is UNHEALTHY for the poor child.
    maybe you're family need to admit that there is a child in the house now and adjust their life to that fact.

    i'm canadian and hubby is chinese. normally, my son sleeps between 7 and 8 pm at night. he wakes around 6am. if hubby has to work late once in a while, so be it. if it is a regular thing, then maybe he needs to find a more "family friendly" employer.

  6. #14
    joannek is offline Registered User
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    May 2005
    Hong Kong

    well, i'm chinese, my husband is chinese & my 19 mth old sleeps between 7-8pm and wakes up at 7am. she normally sleeps for 11 hrs at night (wake up once for milk, then goes right back to sleep.) but she only naps for an hour a day. i've come a long way from her waking at night & sleeping during the day at 2 mths to setting this bedtime routine to sleep around sunset. I do read a lot about baby's sleep (all English books). But the main reason why I let my child sleep early is because I think it's good for her, and we get some relax quiet times at night when she's sleeping. We can go out for dinner & no need to worry that she's watching TV at home w/ the maid. Plus we can watch what WE WANT at night & not worry that she's watching it with us (you know, CSI:NY & Desperate Housewives, not exactly child friendly!!)

    Chinese medicine also believe that one should sleep before 10.30pm in order for the body to rejenerate before the chi works at the gall & liver at 11pm. Chinese medicine also believes that a young child should bath before sunset & sleeps at around sunset, and wake up around sunrise, because the body clock works synchronizing the sun.

    When we were in Vancouver in June, I had problem letting my child sleep at 7pm cos the sun only sets at 10pm. She was so puzzled when it looked like it was 5 pm & i was forcing her to sleep already. Finally I had to give in & let her sleep when the sun sets. That pushes her wake up time to 8am, then she'd nap for 2 hrs during the day, which still makes 12 hrs/day. her body worked this out on her own, I never wake her up, I let her wake up naturally (which is fine with me, but I noticed that although she's sleeping the same amt of hrs each day, she's obviously more tired in the mornings), and she doesn't sleep as well at night. So I figured maybe sleeping at 10pm everyday was not agreeing w/ her body resting.

    One more reason for early bedtime is of course, when she starts going to school, she'd have to wake up at 6.30am. I think it'd be easier to push her bedtime later, than to bring it earlier. So I'd figured if she has a good & early bedtime I don't have to struggle with her 2-5 years down the road.

    That said, a lot of my friends is AMAZED at how early I put my child to bed. Lucky for me, my husband gets off work early, so he gets to play with her an hour or so before she sleeps. yes, once in a while when he gets off work late & didn't play with her before she sleeps, But he makes an effort to get up earlier the next day to play w/ her to make up. I agree that w/ the majority of HK people working from 8am to 8pm, it's IMPOSSIBLE to have a child who sleeps early if you wanna see her/him often. This HK working hour is a very special case, not many cities in the world have working hrs like this so most books written about child sleep are aimed for regular work hours (i.e. maximum work hrs in the US & UK, what? like 6hrs/day? heh heh)

    well, as long as you're happy with your child's sleep habits, everyone is getting enough sleep, and having a healthy life style, you shouldn't kill yourself for letting your child sleep a little later than you would've wanted cos everyone wants to see her/him a little longer. But anything later than 11pm is a little too late.

  7. #15
    LLL_Sarah is offline Registered User
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    Feb 2003
    Hong Kong

    One of the things I love about living in Hong Kong is that it has opened my eyes to other cultures and I don’t just mean Chinese culture but lots of cultures because Hong Kong is a very international city.

    Clearly the time we put our babies to sleep is a cultural issue but the last poster brought up another issue I’ve discovered is cultural too. When do you take a bath?

    In England I was brought up to bath/shower in the morning. But when I went away to a conference with some Chinese friends they thought me very dirty for not bathing before sleeping. I was always told that washing would freshen and wake you up – so why would you do it before going to sleep. But my friends told me they felt too dirty to sleep without bathing in the evening.

    Now that I live in Hong Kong I understand where they are coming from and usually like to bath in the morning and again in the evening.

    Best wishes,

  8. #16
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    Sep 2004
    Sai Kung

    yep, my hubby says "can't sleep properly" without having a bath. he thinks that he's too "sticky" from all the sweating....i think i agree with him...

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