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Krias Shema before Nightfall for a Child

Is it permissable for a 6 year old boy to say the bracha of hamapil and krias shema al hamita before shkiah. I do not know if it would make a difference, but in this case the mother works more than full time (the husband learns and does not participate in the childcare), and she needs to work night hours. However, since the husband told the 6 year old that he would be saying a bracha levatalah, he refuses to go to sleep before nightfall, and it keeps up all her little kids, and it is making an extremely difficult situation for her.

Thank you very much.


According to some authorities, one should say birkas hamapil even for daytime sleep (see Betzel Hachochmah 4:165). The majority of poskim do not rule this way, however, for somebody who is going to sleep for the night, but retires to sleep before nightfall, many write that there is a possibility of reciting hamapil when going to sleep (see Birur Halachah 239; Yisrael Vehazemanim 16; the doubt is based on the Biur Halachah who writes a safek concerning somebody who goes to sleep after dawn).

For a six year old (which is officially before the age of chinuch for berachos), this is certainly more than enough to rely on, and he should say hamapil before going to sleep, whenever that may be.

Perhaps the mother can explain to her husband how hard this is for her, and that there is really no halachic problem for a six year old to make hamapil early.

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