Thursday, August 2, 2012

How Do You... Keep Kids Out Late?

How do you prepare to keep your kids out past their bedtime? 

We discovered early in our parenting journey that it was easiest to keep kids at home close to their bedtimes.  Having sleepy, cranky kids in the car or out at the store or even at the playground was more effort than it was worth.  However, sometimes it is necessary to be out past the time when our kids are usually in bed. 

There are a few things to I do to prepare.

1) I adjust naptime.  I let the little ones sleep a little later into the afternoon so that they are well rested and not ready to go to bed quite so early. 

2) When appropriate, I pack a snack to hand out during our evening outing.  Food gives them the extra fuel to keep going a little longer.  Plus it is a great distraction.  It also means that when we return home, little ones can go straight to bed.

3) I pack pajamas to be worn on the ride home.  Anytime I think we'll be out late, I slip pajamas into my purse or diaper bag.  If we're with friends or family, I change the kids before we leave.  On the Fourth of July, we were at a nearby town for a fireworks show.  It didn't end until ten o'clock so while we were waiting for the parking lot to clear enough for us to leave, I dressed the youngest kids for bed and buckled them into their car seats.  When we arrived home, Brian transferred sleeping bodies directly into bed.  

How do you prepare to be out late?  Let us know in the comments. 

Also, if you have a question for a future "How Do You...?" post, share that in the comments, too, or send me an e-mail! I'd love to hear from you. 


  1. We also let the kids nap longer and take PJs and toothbrushes if we're going to be out past bedtime. It's so much easier than trying to dress a half asleep, cranky child.

    But like you, we try to make our out late nights as few as possible, usually only when there are special events that have a later starting time or when family is visiting from out of town.

  2. I don't usually take pj's, but we make sure everyone goes potty or has a fresh diaper before we start home. Then they can go straight to bed (in their clothes). I do let them sleep later and sometimes for the older kids we have a stricter quiet time in which they can only lay on there bed or read books in their bed.


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