The Ups and Downs of Raising a Night Owl

My child doesn’t go to sleep early. Ever. It’s not possible. And, when I say “early,” I’m not talking about 7:30. I’m not even talking 8:30 early. My son doesn’t even THINK of sleep until at least 9pm. True story.

I’m Raising a Night Owl

We’ve tried sleep training, changing the routine, cry it out. Aside from straight-up locking him in his room, we have tried it all. We started the bed time routine earlier, and it just means we spend more time fighting him getting to sleep. After a while, I gave up. You’ve just got to cut your losses. I’m finally embracing the fact that we’ve got a night owl on our hands. I guess it was bound to happen since I myself am a night owl.

The Ups

I get a little more time to spend with my son. I’m a working mom, which means when I leave in the morning he is still asleep. The first time I actually see him, awake, isn’t until I pick him up in the afternoon. So, the fact that he stays up later means I feel a little less guilty for not seeing him most of the day.

On the opposite end, he is NOT a morning person. While most parents complain of their kids waking up at 6am on a Saturday, mine is still snoozing straight past 8. It. Is. Glorious. I can sleep in if  I want. Read a book. Bring a few episodes of garbage TV. Enjoy hot coffee. Ok, I’ll stop bragging now.

We aren’t confined to a bed time, usually. For example – my sister’s wedding is coming up, and guess what I don’t have to worry about? Leaving early to get my son to bed. Chances are, he’s going to have just as much fun as the rest of us dancing (most of) the night away. Of course he gets cranky in the evening when he’s tired (what kid doesn’t?), but it’s not until a bit later than most.

The Downs

Mom guilt. I know he really should be getting too bed early, and I can’t help but feel like a failure on that end. Do I keep persisting that he goes to sleep earlier? Do I push both of us to our wits’ end over an hour or two of sleep? Is he getting enough sleep? Even though I’ve counted the hours, and it seems to be yes, I still feel like I’m doing something wrong.

Less one-on-one time with my spouse. We both work, so with the exception of weekends, we are both neck deep in our morning routines during the week. Pretty much, when our son goes to bed, we’re going to bed, too. Sometimes our conversation is interrupted by “Mom! Mom! Mom!” or “Dad! Dad! Dad!” a few dozen times, but we seem to be managing.

On the opposite end, he is NOT a morning person. Great for the weekends, not so great for the weekdays. To say he’s difficult to get out of bed is an understatement. It takes quite a bit of coaxing to get him to wake up and get going in the morning (again, he’s got my genes to thank for this).

All Around

We are doing the best we can. His sleeping habits haven’t affected his performance at school, and he is overall in good health. I am just accepting the fact that my little night owl is coming from the same tree as his momma night owl, and that’s okay with me.

Jaime Mackey
Originally from Florida, Jaime has lived in Southern Louisiana for most of her life (so, that makes her a local, right?). She currently resides on the Northshore with her husband and son and teaches high school English. An enneagram 5, you'll most likely find her doing hot yoga solo, on her phone researching a random topic or sitting in the comfort of her home with coffee and a book within an arm's reach.


  1. Yesss to all of this! My 1.5-year-old is a night owl, but so is the rest of our family. If we were to put her asleep at 7:00pm, she would be missing out on quality family time when her grandparents, great-aunts, and great-uncles are all around to play with her. She’s always gotten the recommended amount of sleep between sleeping in a little later and long afternoon naps and she’s thriving, so it’s never something I felt like I needed to pressure myself with… there are too many other things we moms already have to worry about 🙂


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