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What time to bring baby to bed in Japan 2016/10/13 16:50
Hello,

My daughter is now 3 months old and I always read one the internet, bed time should be planned from already 7pm. However reading this, this seems to be more the European or American approach, which seems to be hard to realize in Japan. Compared to Europa or the USA, working times are usually later and commuting times are also longer. I finish normally work here between 6 and 6:30 pm, but will arrive at home not before 7:15.
Although my wife is still at home (until April), I try to help with the bath in the evening, since it is hard alone and somehow and I also want to spend at least some time with my daughter under the week instead of just being there for here on the weekends.

Do any parents here have any experiences and let me know how you managed this by yourself? Is it okay to just put here in Japan later to bed and let her wake up earlier or is it still better to let the baby sleep earlier.
by City Hunter (guest)  

Re: What time to bring baby to bed in Japan 2016/10/13 19:47
Your baby doesn't care what country she's in. Just put her to bed when it suits your family schedule and her sleep needs. Nobody will care if she's awake after 7pm.
by Mother (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: What time to bring baby to bed in Japan 2016/10/13 20:18
In Japan, it is considered important that the baby goes to bed early enough after sunset. It helps the baby grow properly, in physical means and mental.

Typically in Japan, babies and young children don't wait for their parent(s) who come home after bed time. If there is one parent or any other adult to tuck them in bed, that is enough.

If a father always comes home after bed time, he can try to communicate with the child(ren) in the morning or on weekends. There are many things a father can do that a mother cannot. That's how it was with me as well as my child, and we never had a problem.

I do admit that there are many Japanese children in Japan who stay up late, but a lot of people disapprove of that way of life and I am one of them.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: What time to bring baby to bed in Japan 2016/10/13 20:36
I don't understand that you can control 3-month baby's sleep.
by ken (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: What time to bring baby to bed in Japan 2016/10/13 21:44
You don't control it. You encourage it. And I think the OP didn't have a problem until now, because at 2 months you don't even encourage it.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: What time to bring baby to bed in Japan 2016/10/13 22:08
@Uco: It's not like they're out and about with her every night past sunset. It's just that a non-Japanese father is wanting to do what non-Japanese fathers often do: spend time with their children and help raise them. I don't think it's up to anyone else except the parents to dictate when it is bedtime. So what if strangers like you disapprove? These people are at home, spending quality time together with their child. It is not irresponsible to put your baby to bed at 8pm or so if it benefits them and the family. Why should a father be forced to miss out on daily contact with his baby when he wants to be involved? Isn't his self-worth valued? Not everyone has to follow the "women raise the children and men earn the money" gender roles that are so ridiculously prevalent in modern Japan.
by Mother (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: What time to bring baby to bed in Japan 2016/10/13 22:56
At three months, the baby probably still isn't sleeping through the night anyway, right? So one option if you wanted to keep with/encourage an earlier sleep schedule but still have a chance to spend time with the baby, is to be there during the times she wakes up to do whatever you guys do to get her to sleep again. Of course if mom is breastfeeding you can't do that, but you could just be there helping out and spending time with her, or rocking/walking her after she's eaten to get her back to sleep.

http://www.babycenter.com/0_baby-sleep-basics-3-to-6-months_7656.bc

I don't think 8PM is too late, and I think you should do what is best for your family! I'm currently 8 mos pregnant and thinking through these kinds of questions as well. Unfortunately, my husband usually gets home from work around 10PM, and that's way too late to consider! Luckily, he has time in the mornings instead.

Anyway, as stated before, it doesn't matter the "usual" or "typical" approach; do what is best for your family, and what you feel is good, and don't worry about random people on the internet! There is no "right way" as each baby and each family is different!
by scarreddragon rate this post as useful

Re: What time to bring baby to bed in Japan 2016/10/13 23:09
To Mother or to anyone else,

I'm sorry if I offended anyone, because that was not my intention at all. I was just trying to answer the original question, and I thought it was asking for experiences as a parent in Japan who have dealt with a parent coming home late. I didn't realize that the OP was only asking for non-Japanese fathers' experiences. It may sound silly now, but I was actually trying to make the OP feel better, because I'm sure it would feel terrible to not being able to do what one thinks is right for his child.

But I also see from the original question that the OP had already been "dictated" the time his child should go to bed, so I thought I should help analyse the reason of that dictation. In fact, re-reading the original question, I even get the impression that the OP's real hope is to get his baby in bed early.

And frankly, I don't understand why anyone would want to post a question on an internet forum if he doesn't want to read any opinions from "strangers". Like I wrote, some may think it's alright for children to stay up late (8pm is not late for me, by the way) and that's one opinion, but I have another, and I thought forums were supposed to share different opinions as information.

Also, I thought I made it clear that I was suggesting how a father can maintain "daily contact with his baby". I never "forced him to be missed out on it". It was on the contrary. I even stressed out that fathers can raise children in no way that "women" can. I also never mentioned that "men" are always the one who comes home late, because according to my experiences that's not true at all.

I don't know how my post got as misinterpreted as this. It's probably the way I worded it. Again, I apologize for my mis-wording.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: What time to bring baby to bed in Japan 2016/10/14 08:38
A baby of 3 months should have 16-18 hours sleep in a 24 hr period. The night sleep will probably be 8-9 hr and the remaining 8-9 hrs divided into day naps. How each family chooses to break these hours up are the individual family habits. At 4 months most babies are in a regular routine which is vital for a baby to develop and grow. A baby who doesn't get adequate regular sleep is irritated and grumpy. If your partner can balance the family routine that the baby is awake at 8 then that will work, but remember it is vital for the baby to be content. As a dad you can catch up in the weekend, and sooner rather than later, the waking hours of a wee one become longer and you will get quality time.
by LoveJapan (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: What time to bring baby to bed in Japan 2016/10/14 08:53
Hello,

Thank you to all for your answers. And I value different opinions very much.

I know that there is still the widespread believe in Japan, that the men should earn the money, while the women care for the baby. However, I feel that I have the same responsibilities for the child as my wife and therefore want to be there to support her as much as I can and also strengthen the bond with my daughter. Unfortunately, there is just not so much in the night I can do, since our daughter is breastfeeding in the night and during the process sleeping in again. On one side, I am happy that the is so easy to handle in the night and allow us to get enough sleep, on the other hand, that means less bonding time for me. For the moment I will continue to encourage her sleep around 8, which will give me at least some time with her before sleeping and ahve more time with her on the weekends. Additionally after bed time, I prepare a bento for my wife the next day, so she don't have to worry so much about cooking.
by City Hunter (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: What time to bring baby to bed in Japan 2016/10/14 08:59
I don't know how my post got as misinterpreted as this. It's probably the way I worded it. Again, I apologize for my mis-wording.

@Uco - do not worry. I don't know how someone could get so upset with what you posted either. You didn't suggest they were wrong or right. The attack on you was unwarranted.

---

As for the original question. Welcome to life. This stuff goes on all the time "ALL" over the world. Not just Japan. Every baby is different and every approach to parenting is different.

Do what works best for your household. There is no perfectly 100% correct right way.
by hakata14 rate this post as useful

Re: What time to bring baby to bed in Japan 2016/10/14 09:15
It's just that a non-Japanese father is wanting to do what non-Japanese fathers often do: spend time with their children and help raise them.

I think that it needs to be pointed out that to define this as a non-Japanese father issue is quite misleading. How to balance work life with family life is a pretty universal concern that all families in Japan struggle with. What it comes down to is finding a good balance within your own situation that works for your family.

OP, keep in mind at this point in a baby's development they have shorter sleep cycles and that sleeping through the night is not a given. Their sleep patters are also quite flexible and you could try adjusting her nap schedule to match stretches of her awake time to match your home time. Also keep in mind that you're baby's sleep patterns will continue to evolve as they get older. Just find what works for your family and don't worry about what other people think is an appropriate bedtime.
by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

Re: What time to bring baby to bed in Japan 2016/10/14 10:46
City Hunter, what does your wife think about your daughter's bedtime? You should discuss it together and come to a decision because parenting is best when both parents are on the same page. Also, as stressful as it can be to be new parents you mustn't get caught up in what you "should" be doing. You only need to focus on what works for you, your wife and your baby. You'll realise pretty quickly that babies haven't read the textbooks or parenting blogs, and they will do what they do when they do it. That includes sleep. So yeah, try to establish a routine that works for all of you but don't fret if it's not always running smoothly or as you think society thinks it should. Enjoy the time with your baby. You sound like a good dad.
by Sal1980 rate this post as useful

Re: What time to bring baby to bed in Japan 2016/10/14 17:36
Babies and young children need sleep.

Part of being a parent is to realise that the child's needs often come first.

If I'm due to get home after my daughter's normal bedtime, I don't consider that it's doing her a favour allowing/making her stay up until after I get home just so I can relieve my feelings of guilt.

I have to be creative in looking for other ways to be part of her life and to support whoever is taking care of her while I'm at work. And, where possible, I have to be assertive at work and get home earlier when it's possible.

YMMV.
by Winter Visitor rate this post as useful

Re: What time to bring baby to bed in Japan 2016/10/15 09:09
Thank you, Hakata14-san, for your comment to me. I also agree to most of the comments on this thread.

I only hope that this experience for the OP will inspire his creativity for the future, much more rather than it might for this week or the next. It's unfortunate that most new parents are also relatively new at the office, but I know a lot of Japanese workers (men and women, of course) who, by the time their child(ren) reach school-age achieves a status at the office, and leave their offices at 5 so that they can handle emergencies from home.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: What time to bring baby to bed in Japan 2016/10/24 09:40
Thanks again for all your answers.

I spoke to my boss and for the time being, I am allowed to leave at around 5:30, so I can help with the bath before 7 and then bring her to bed, so she can sleep around 7:30pm, my wife seems to also think this is the best approach at the moment.

To: Uco,

You mentioned that many people once they made a status, can leave earlier from work. But the status I have is exactly the problem I have, I am manager in my company and therefore am responsible for a team. My whole team starts later and leave later, due to the fact that we are doing a lot of communication with Germany and starting later is beneficial due to the time difference. The problem is that is not good that I always leave first, as I have to overlook this team. For the time being, I asked my team for their understanding at least until April, when my daughter hopefully can attend a nursery school (since my wife will also start working again), but just to let you know, that in my case my status is actually a disadvantage and I think for many high ranked workers in Japan, the problem is the same.
by City Hunter (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: What time to bring baby to bed in Japan 2016/10/24 09:42
Why not then work later with everyone else and do mornings with your bub?
by hakata14 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: What time to bring baby to bed in Japan 2016/10/24 09:48
My team starts 9:30am and leave around 7pm, so I need to leave the house 8am. So in the morning there is also nearly no time for spending time with her, because currently she sleeps mostly until 8am and needless to say that I cannot wake her up, since I think it is important that she sleeps so long and secondly, if I wake her up earlier, she would first want to drink some milk and my wife already does not get enough sleep, so of course I want to let her sleep as long as possible.
by City Hunter (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: What time to bring baby to bed in Japan 2016/10/24 23:22
City Hunter,

Thank you for your response and I sympathize to your situation with your status. But you exactly earned your leaving time through your status, I'm sure.

What I meant to say earlier was that when you're a newbie, it's more difficult to speak up, or even if you do they won't listen to you. But as you move up and gain trust or even power, it sometimes becomes easier to do what you want.

But I'm just curious. You never wrote about the possibility of having your child wake up earlier (which was what I insisted in my original post) as opposed to making her stay up later. The former is a totally healthy and much better option.

Of course, at 3 months it's difficult to adjust any kind of bed time, but waking her up earlier would be your goal for kindergarten/school age (school starts around 8, you know) . In the meantime, for example, my Japanese husband used to take more than an hour to come home in the evening and he would take the same time to go back to his office to continue working until later hours. And once our baby was older, I took days "off" while I left the baby to my husband. I even went for an overseas vacation while he took care of my then 3-yr-old, which was a great dad-and-kid experience for the two.

Anyway, I'm sure you can find many ways to get through. It's just that it's hard to do anything for both dad and mom when the baby is too young. It'll get better.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: What time to bring baby to bed in Japan 2016/10/25 05:56
I don't get it??? Am I missing something???

Keep baby awake one hour extra and work offset hours to your staff at your workplace.

-or-

Wake baby up one hour early and work same hours as your staff at your workplace.
by hakata14 rate this post as useful

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