How Parents Tackle Bedtime Around the World


Bedtime is a nightly ritual for parents all over the world, but contrary to what many may think, the specifics of that ritual vary drastically from location to location and culture to culture. At 5 Little Monkeys, our mission is to help kids & families everywhere achieve a healthier, happier life by giving kids a custom-designed children's mattress that truly supports better sleep, but even more so, we want to be your comprehensive resource for all things related to healthy sleep. We believe there's much to be learned from looking to other cultures, so here's a look at how parents tackle bedtime all around the world.

Early Birds & Night Owls: When Do Children Go to Sleep?

As clinical psychologist Jodi Mindell found in a study of bedtimes around the globe, there's dramatic variance in the time that parents put their kids to bed from place to place. In an analysis of nearly 30,000 infants & toddlers, Mindell and her colleagues found that bedtimes varied from as early as 6:30 or 7 pm in the Netherlands to as late as 10:17 pm in Hong Kong.

How Parents Get Kids to Go to Sleep

In addition to timing, Mindell found that nightly bedtime routines also change based on location and culture. In the US and the UK, a nightly bath is a common part of the bedtime routine, with 60% and 81% of families incorporating it, respectively. But in India, only 13% of kids take a bath before bed, while only 6% of Indonesian children do. In some countries like Indonesia, 30% of families include prayers as part of their bedtime routine.

Who Sleeps Where?

Another factor that Mindell analyzed was how kids and babies shared their beds across the world, and with whom. In preindustrial societies, Mindell found that co-sleeping with babies & infants was the norm. But in more developed countries like the US, most parents opt against sharing a bed with infants, and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against it.

Improve Your Bedtime Routine with the 5 Little Monkeys Bed

While we always recommend following the advice of authorities and your pediatrician, the wide variance in bedtime routines around the world shows us that different things work for different kids – so don't be afraid to try incorporating some of these global approaches in your own bedtime routine. And if you're looking to help your child get better, healthier sleep, one of the best ways to do it is to get them a purpose-built children's mattress. We'd be happy to help with that: with our 100-night rest test, you can try the 5 Little Monkeys bed completely risk-free. Give your child the gift of better sleep and try our kids mattress today!