Waking Up Too Early
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Waking Up Too Early
My 5-month-old sleeps from 7:30 pm to 4:30 am without waking up.
About half the time I am able to coax him back to sleep at 4:30, and then
he sleeps only another hour before he is VERY awake (alert, smiling,
the whole bit). Half the time when he awakens at 4:30 he does not go
back to sleep and is grouchy. I've tried putting him to bed later but it is
REALLY hard to keep him awake past 7:30. Any suggestions? Or has
anyone else had this issue? Did it go away after a certain age? I'm
having a hard time being rested when I can't sleep past 4:30 on most
Re: the 5 month old waking at 4:30 am.
Many books will say to put your baby to bed EARLIER, not later,
to get her to sleep later. This has been effective for me with
both babies I've had. I try to expect them to sleep 12-13 hour
nights. At 5 months, my first baby's bedtime was 6:30 pm and he
slept till 7:30 am. My current 4 month old's bedtime is 6:00 pm
and he goes till 6:30 am. I'm sure all babies are different, but
the advice to try an earlier bedtime for early waking problems is
a good one.
early to bed, later to rise
Our 9 month old used to sleep soundly from 7:30 pm to 6:00am
(when we get up for work). Over the past month, he's been waking
up around 4:00am, sometimes crying for a bit and then going back
to sleep and other times crying for a long time until we go to
him. He's always crabby if he gets up too early but we don't
know how to get him to go back to sleep on his own. We've tried
leaving him to cry, giving him a pacifyer, soothing him, and all
combinations. We'd love for him to get his full night of sleep -
Time to retrain your child or your child will retrain you. He
will go back to sleep. It may take a week, but he will figure it
out. Make sure you're the parent and ignore your child or he will
be up earlier and earlier playing you.
Crying It Out - Baby Waking Up Too Early
Please, those that have used this method, respond only. I
understand that this is not for everyone, but it is the method
that works best for our baby and family.
So now for my problem. Our daughter is 9 months old. She has
always been decent about going down at night. But aside from
this, she always resists sleeping. We have successfully used
the crying it out method for establishing a regular time for
going to bed and nap times. We have just recently been
starting to let her cry it out during her night time wake ups
which has been going well. However, she is now waking up an
hour earlier. We're not crazy about this for our own reasons,
but most importantly, she seems like she is still could use a
little more sleep. The times she has slept just an hour longer
has made a remarkable difference. These times have been on her
own, though. But, of couse, once she's up from so many hours
of sleep, it's much harder to get her down even if she needs
it. My question is if you have had a similar problem, did you
let your child cry it out when he/she awoke for the morning?
Was this effective? If not, what did you do that was effective
in getting your child to not be so tired?
Our son went through a period of wanting to get up earlier too.
We treated it as any other waking up in the middle of the night (Get up,
let him know we're still there, make sure he's not poopy or in pain,
make him stay in bed, repeat every 10 minutes until he goes back to
sleep). We decided that he had to stay in bed until 5 am. What was
annoying was when he woke up at 4:30 because we were worried that he'd
get confused (aha! if I cry for 30 minutes instead of 5 minutes they'll
get me up) So we set a loud alarm clock for 5am. Eventually he
associated the alarm with wake up time and would just babble to himself
until the alarm went off. I don't remember it taking too long for him to
just start sleeping a bit longer. Now at 2 he's a fantastic sleeper.
Try moving your baby's bedtime 1/2 hour earlier! Crazy but it works.
SLEEP BEGETS SLEEP! At 9 months baby is very active and may be missing
naps here and there and is starting to become overtired because we keep
the same bedtime. Give this four or five days to take effect. More night
sleep will help.
Do you have Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth? Great
sleep book. Also you may want to visit www.familysleep.com for more info
on age appropriate naps and bedtimes.
So baby seems fine, right? Still sleeping about the same amount at
night? But becoming overtired is a cummulative process and occurrs over
several days or a week or more of an occassional missed nap and the same
bedtime as usual. When a nap is missed here and there but we keep the
same bedtime, then baby starts to produce more cortisol which can cause
baby to fight sleep and not stay asleep as well.
The best remedy for nightwakings or earlier than normal wakeups around 9
a. Put baby to bed 1/2 hour earlier for a few nights, even one hour
earlier if you can.
b. Try not to go in for a visit. Give baby some time to return to sleep.
They are crying because they are mad that they woke up and want to go
back to sleep. Not because they are hungry.
Babies don't need to eat at night after 9 months.
c. Keep the same nap schedule and try to leave baby in the nap for one
hour, even if baby plays or fusses. When the night sleep gets longer and
better, the naps will return to normal provided you try to be consistent
about the times you are putting baby down for a nap.
d. On ANY day when your baby doesn't get his/her usual naps, try to get
baby in bed earlier that night to make up for the loss in sleep.
We also sleep trained our daughter and she is a wonderful sleeper (she
is 2.5 now). My first thought in your situation is--is she hungry? I
remember that when my daughter woke up early, I would nurse her and she
would go back to sleep for another hour or so. If she didn't, then I'd
let her stay up for a little while (less than an hour), and put her back
down (of course my sleep was ruined at that point, but the period of
early wakings didn't last long). I didn't worry about what this would
do to her morning nap--naps just shifted a little bit on those days. If
neither of these suggestions is helpful, then you can always try letting
her cry. If after several days it's not working, then, again, she may
just need to be fed.
It's not clear from your message whether she is crying UPON waking, or
crying after she has been awake, but left alone, for a while... if it is
the latter, then perhaps you can find a toy that will attach to the crib
rails that she can play with upon waking, to entertain her for a
while... Best wishes.
Just a thought, but I've read where experts say that if they wake up too
early you should try putting them down earlier. It kind of defies logic
but it's worked for me Jill
Since you didn't give us a time reference, it's a bit tricky to give the
best advice. What is too early to you might not be too early for your
baby. For example, if you are putting your baby down at 7pm for the
night, it would not be unusual for your baby to be up at 5am. Many
babies sleep 10-12 hrs straight.
Perhaps your baby is on the 10 hr end? If this is the case, crying it
out won't help.
Check w/ your pediatrician too. I remember that w/ my son he went
through periods of early waking because he was hungry, probably due to a
I really like the book ''Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child'' by Marc
Weissbluth. Just read his sleep research section at the beginning. He
outlines what babies need sleep-wise and what is considered normal sleep
patterns for each developmental stage.
Good for you for helping your baby get into a good sleep routine!
Mom of two
Our son goes thru phases of this too. Can be any number of things,
thirst, hunger, teething, diaper, etc. I am still nursing, so it's
usually hunger/thirst/diaper change combo.
We've found at this point when he wakes it's pretty much impossible to
get him to go back down, even if he seems sleepy (usually naps earlier
then). Sometimes we're lucky enough that he just palys for a while, but
usually he's crying. When we've tried to wait it out the cries get more
and more frantic (= a longer calm down period) the longer we wait to go
get him. And then he's really up for the day, and cranky ALL day. So
what we do is usually bring him into the bed where he nurses and both
hubby and I can snooze more. He likes the mommy and daddy cuddle time,
and goes back to his normal sleep pattern within a couple of days. When
he's tried to throw a coup and shift it even earlier, I nurse him in his
room and then try to get him back in his crib, which is not always
successful, but he gets that waking earlier doesn't get him anywhere and
quickly reverts. Good luck!
sleeping till 7
Hello! We are CIO parents, and had a similar problem--early waking. When
you read all the books (and I think I've read them all) they all say
this is the hardest problem to fix. Here are a couple of thoughts (and I
think I've tried all of these): 1) what's different about the one-hour
early waking compared to the middle of the night? In other words--is it
reasonable to treat them similarly 2) You might try putting babe to bed
earlier 3) Set a time for wake up. Make a deal with yourself that baby
won't get out of the crib until time X. Then slowly creep that time
back: X + 15 minutes.
then X + 30 minutes, etc. My son would always wake up at a particular
time: 5:30 AM--no matter what, it seemed. So, I would not go in
immediately--I'd make him wait until 5:45. What ended up happening, is
that he grew very accustomed to hanging out in his crib until mom came
and got him. So, now (at 2y3m), he will get up anywhere from 5:45 to
6:15, but I don't go get him until 6:30 or 6:45 depending.
He doesn't cry, he'll chat with himself or his toys sometimes, which is
often hilarious. And, usually at 6:30 on the dot, he'll say, Mama, it's
time to wake up!
My baby has been waking up earlier recently too. Do you think it could
be because the days are getting lighter earlier? Daylight savings
begins April 2, perhaps that will solve the problem!
another sleepy mama
I don't have any advice, but you do have my sympathy... my 9 month old
daughter has been waking up between 4:45 and 6am (for the day, and
nothing can get her back to sleep), but usually at about 5am, for as
long as I can remember, and I can't figure out how to get her to sleep
longer. It doesn't seem to matter when she goes to sleep (although it
is currently around 5:45pm but has been as late as 10pm) or how much she
is awake during the night. We already use a noise machine and black-out
6am is fine but any earlier is painful for us! Hopefully someone else
will be able to help us.
Our ten month old son Myles, after two months of sleepless nights, has
consistently been sleeping for ten hours at night. The problem is
that he goes to sleep at 7:30 and wakes up between 5 and 5:40 a.m.
I nurse him and he stil doesn't go back to sleep. We have been on
the schedule of nursing around this time since I returned to work
in January. He used to go back to sleep until a few weeks ago. I
also doubt that he is getting much from nursing, as I have very
little milk, although he does nurse for a long time. (I am planning
on weaning him this weekend since this is the only feeding he has been
When Myles gets up, he is still exhauted! He rubs his eyes
constantly, and is very fussy and clingy. I try putting him back in
his crib, but he won't stand for it. A few hours after he gets up, he
usually takes a 2 - 2 1/2 hour nap, longer than he used to, wish proves
my belief that he is not getting enough sleep at night. His afternoon
naps are irregular, and when he does take one, it does not affect his
I would appreciate any suggestions about how to stretch his nightime
sleeping. I have tried putting him to sleep later in the evening,
but that doesn't work. I also would like to stay away from giving him
a bottle, as I would like him to learn to sleep longer on his own.
I have found that to change my child's sleep patterns requires a lot of
patience because it takes a while for him to adjust to the new hours. For
example, he used to go to bed at 7 pm and wake up between 5 and 6
am. This was tooo early. So I then changed his bedtime to 8:00. He still
woke up between 5 and 6 for about two weeks. After 2 weeks, his
sleeping increased and he started waking between 6 and 7 am. Yippee!.
I also found that the same adjustment period occurs when I shortened
his naptime - - it takes a couple weeks for him to adjust.
From what I understand, individual human bodies have different biorhythms.
This means that you wake up (generally) at the same time each morning no
matter what time you go to bed. Our 11-month-old goes to bed at night
between 6:30pm and 8:30pm and wakes up around 5am. I nurse him to sleep
every night and put him in his crib. When he wakes up in the morning I pick
him up from his crib and take him back to bed with us. Usually we get at
least another hour's sleep, plus some cuddle time. You might want to
consider that as an option. Good luck!
A couple of thoughts. 9 to 10 hours of solid sleep is pretty good for
a ten month old, so you're trying to stretch what is already a long
sleep. That is, he's likely to be easy to wake by 5 or 6 am.
That said, 5 to 5:40 am is around sunrise -- is his room sufficiently dark?
Ten to 10-1/2 hours straight sleeping sounds like a dream to me! Our
11-month old son usually sleeps eight hours straight (from about 11 pm
until 7am). He also takes a one to two hour nap approximately 3-1/2
hours after waking. Additionally, because we were worried he wasn't
getting enough overall sleep, many months ago we began putting him
down for an evening nap at about 8:00 pm, then waking him at
approximately 10:30 or 11:00 pm for a final meal, keeping voices and
lights low so he returns to bed groggy. In this way we have been
able to increase his total amount of sleep. I think some refer to this as
the "focal feeding" approach. This routine also gives us a chance to
have some couple time in the evenings. It may be that your son wakes
from hunger after 10 hours, or it could just be all the sleep he needs
at one time.
Our ten-month-old son goes down every night between 8 and 8:30 with
no trouble and sleeps through the night. It looks like we've got it
made, but he wakes up around 5:30 every morning. We would LOVE for him to
get up at 6 or 6:30. We started the Ferberizing that was so successful
in getting him to sleep through the night in the first place, but he screamed
so much, and so much more than the middle of the night awakenings of the past,
that we gave in and got him up. We figured a half an hour wasn't that big of
a deal. But then he started waking up earlier and earlier until it was 4:30,
which, as you know, will very soon be 3:30.
We went through this twice- trying to Ferberize, giving in, and being
awakened by insistent yelling earlier and earlier. We decided we
better stick to our guns and keep him in his crib until 6 every morning (we
have an alarm clock that plays a tape of Irish harp music, so he can clearly
hear when it's time to get up). When we go in periodically to "soothe"
him, as Ferber directs, it only pisses him off more. We have been doing this
religiously now for about 10 days and he is still yowling before the
sun comes up. We are desperate for a solution! It seems like it's either
listen to him scream for 15 to 30 minutes every morning or get up with him
earlier and earlier.
Has anyone out there encountered anything like this? Has anyone come
up with a solution? And how do you deal with the end of daylight savings
time, which I now see for the EVIL it is!!!
By the way, he takes a morning and an afternoon nap of about an hour
each, so he's only sleeping about 11-12 hours a day instead of the
"normal" 14 for this age.
If anyone out there can help us, WE WILL WORSHIP YOU LIKE A GOD.
Someone was asking (begging!) for help changing
their infant's bedtime schedule so that s/he would go to bed later and (even
more importantly) sleep later in the morning, particularly with the
impending time change. I was having the same problem so I watched carefully
for suggestions but don't recall seeing any. My baby seemed dead set on
going to bed at 8 p.m. and waking anywhere between 5 and 6:30. Keeping him
up past 8:01 p.m. seemed impossible. Well, I've finally switched him to a 9
p.m. "down" time and he has actually stayed asleep until almost 7 most
mornings, even once until 7:30 (of course that morning I had to get up
early). The solution may seem obvious but it wasn't to me so maybe this
will be a revelation to others too. ** Don't focus on changing his evening
bedtime at first - instead start with making the morning nap an hour later
than normal.** Keeping the baby awake in the a.m. is easier to do bcs the
baby is more happier in the morning anyway and more amenable to different
activities - at least mine is. Then make the afternoon nap an hour later
and the later bedtime will follow. It was fairly painless and quite
effective. Good luck.
My $.02 is that your son seems to be learning to fuss more, not less, so
a change in program sounds definitely in order. Most of the parents I
know get an extra hour or so of morning rest by bringing the child into the
bed with them when s/he wakes up at 5 a.m. or whenever. Typically, the baby
eats, and snuggles, and maybe even drowses for another hour or so before
it's really time to get up. Snuggling has worked for all getting plenty
of sleep in our family, but we do a total family bed, which doesn't sound
like your bag....
Here's another idea I've heard about, that might work for you: a less
"harsh" way [than Ferber] to get a baby to sleep longer at night is
scheduled wakings. Spend a week writing down (not trying to remember but
actually writing down each time) when your baby wakes and why. Then the
following week, especially if there is consistency, set an alarm for
five minutes before each one. Then each night move it back (up?) a minute or
two until baby is sleeping longer and longer between wakings.
Good luck. Let me know if I become a "god."
We read the two extremes: Ferber and Sears. What really helped for us
was Jodi Mindell's book: Sleeping Through the Night : How Infants, Toddlers,
and Their Parents Can Get a Good Night's Sleep
I found the book practiced a kindler, gentler Ferber. In your case the
book recommends that should you Ferber your son when he goes to sleep,
when your son wakes up in the middle of the night, DO WHATEVER IT TAKES
GET HIM BACK TO SLEEP. In our case that might be milk, holding our girl,
whatever, but in our case that wasn't Ferbering her again.
The premise behind this is that the initial Ferber is enough and will
teach enough skills that eventually they will enable the child to put himself
back to sleep in the middle of the night.
This is what has happened with our daughter who was sleep trained at
around 19 months and now sleeps through the night from 8:30 to about 7:30 on
almost every night.
You might consider that sleeping from 8 to 5:30 (and even 4:30) is a
very long time and my understanding from the Sears books is that most MDs
would not consider 8-9 hours of sleep on his own to represent a sleep problem.
Though it's of little consolation, I fear the 5:30 wakings because they
get later and later and run into when we have to get up, whereas 3:30
wakings get us all back to sleep.
Maybe you should try putting your baby to bed a little later. I know
that it is recommended that the baby sleep 14 hours a day at that age, but ours
never did. At 10 months she was still taking 2 naps a day, but she
stayed up until 9:30 or 10:00 and slept until probably 6:30 or 7:00. Its seems
like she got about 12 hours of sleep a day, and did just fine.
It sounds like our situation, although we've fared a bit better. Our son
slept through the night at 3 months, all the way until we took him on a
week's trip and got him used to being soothed with every waking. Two months
later, at 11 months, we did the method of not going in at all when he woke.
It only took about 3 nights until he slept through. He'd go down at 8 and
sleep until 7. Then it changed to 6:30. Then 6. Now it's around 5:30. But
frankly, we are so happy not to get up constantly through the night that
we're accepting it. We are putting him to bed a little later and will do so
- up to an hour later to see if in a couple of weeks it keeps him asleep
longer. It's our understanding that it takes at least 2 weeks to move a
baby's sleep time. From the first time we got him to sleep through the
night, I noticed he'd get up earlier each day until he reached some sort of
equilibrium and went back to 8PM - 7AM. Maybe it has to do with the simple
change from waking up all the time. I know that waking up several times at
night is not good sleep, and perhaps this is all the sleep they need (getting
up at 5:30 after going to bed at 8). Several moms in my moms' group have
kids the same ages who get up earlier - so babys do vary. I'd suggest
putting him down gradually later and see if he'll sleep later. But it will
likely take time to adjust. Wish I had a magic answer for you - and for us!
13-month-old waking at 4 and 5 am
I stopped night nursing at 13 months and the first couple of weeks went
very well. But, after two weeks, my son began waking at 4 and 5 am
ready to get up and start the day. He is not yet walking and is doing
some teething, so I want to be compassionate and availabe to my little
guy,but this new sleep deprived state has my husband & I back at the
We just set up a portable crib in his new room (we've been doing family
bed but are ready to move on) and hope to graduate him to his own bed.
I'm sad to lose the family bed, but I've just about hit the wall by starting
my day at 4:00. Any similar experiences out there?
This sounds familiar! We stopped family bedding full-time when my daughter
was about a year (she's now 18 months) and she now shares a room with her
older brother. She wakes up anywhere from 4am to 6am and when she does I
usually bring her back to bed until her brother wakes up. We're still
nursing, so I doze while she nurses. She's used to this routine and doesn't
affect her sleeping through (most of) the night in her crib.If you use
bottles, you can doze with your son while he drinks milk, or water, or
whatever. I really cherish this morning time with her. Hope this suggestion
Sounds like you have already go a lot of changes going on--no more night
nursing, no more family bed. It could be that your son is responding to all
the changes. But just to let you know, my son went through a similar thing
between about 14-16 months. By the end of it, I felt like I was going
insane from sleep deprivation! My husband and I finally read the Ferber
book and tried some of his suggestions. Yes, Ferber is the one you hear so
much about. Oh, that awful word, ''Ferberize''! But to be honest, in
reading his book--and not just listening to playground anecdotes--I found he
had a lot of good information about sleep and developing good sleep habits.
The book is worth reading; ''Solve Your Child's Sleep Problem.'' We didn't
follow every suggestion, but we did follow a few. Within a week, our son
was sleeping through the night again, and until 6:30 in the morning. Still
earlier than I'd like, but late enough that I feel sane again. Good luck
and sweet dreams.
Yes, we experienced the same thing with our daughter when she was young.
We tried everything, including 5HTP and Melatonin. At this point, I'd
recommend against using the melatonin on a regular basis, because of the
''rebound''--it eventually stopped working, and then we were worse off than
before. But I wanted to let you know that, yes, this happens, and yes, they
will grow out of it--eventually. Have you tried putting your child down to
sleep much later in the evening, or shortening the naps the day before? I
found if she got a nap of any length after about 5pm (like, 1/2 in the car
on the way home from daycare/work in the evening--almost impossible to
avoid!!) she wouldn't want to sleep at a ''normal'' time of the evening. So
we would TRY to keep her awake after about 5pm, and put her down to bed at
about 10pm, which resulted (most of the time) in her sleeping till about 7
to 8am (although she'd usually wake in the early morning to nurse--but we'd
go back to sleep from that--usually). But I vividly remember a period where
one or the other of us would be up with her at 5am every morning,
semi-conscious on the couch while she watched tapes of Teletubbies till it
came out our ears! I took to taping channel 9 every day and saving it for
the next early morning stint. Sometimes she'd go back to sleep, and
sometimes she wouldn't. During this period I was fortunate to work at a
place on campus that had a ''nap room'' in one of the bathrooms--naps were
the only thing that saved my sanity. On weekends my husband and I would
''tag team''--one would be up with her in the early morning, and then in a
few hours they'd go back to bed while the other one got up. It's probably
also worth noting that the late night/early morning nursing was the LAST
one we had, even after we weren't doing ANY other nursing, and we didn't
stop until she was almost 3. Eventually I got this to be the ''waking up in
the morning'' nursing, which was much more tolerable. And even later this
metamorphosed to the ''morning snuggle'', which we often still do (she's 5).
If you're sad that you're stopping the FB, and the waking started after you
stopped the FB, I'm wondering why you're not bringing that child to bed with
you? It seems to me that the answer is simple - continue nursing your baby
and bring him to bed. Am I missing something?
We have a very happy 15 month year old that does not like to
sleep. He gets up almost everyday between 4:30-5:00am. Needless
to say this is very wearing on us. His nightly routine is the
following, dinner at 6pm, bath by 7pm, play and then some books
with a last cup of milk around 8pm. He usually (9 out of 10) goes
to bed without any complaint, but he is awake and ready to go by
4:30am. He is not cranky during the day, and takes a nice 2-2.5
hour nap around noon. Is he getting enough sleep? Should we put
him to bed earlier/later? Help, we need some sleep!
Now with the time change I may be in your shoes! Our child is a
pre dawn riser. Someone recently reminded me about the
Weissbluth book and the advice there about putting kids to bed
earlier (NOT LATER) to achieve later sleep in the morning. I'm
going to take advantage of the early darkness and try and move
everything back 15 minutes each night to see if a 6-ish bed
time gets us a bit more sleep. Dinner's won't be very elaborate
or family, that's for sure.
I guess I don't have a specific technique to share but maybe
trying to put your child to bed later would be helpful. Our 19
month old son goes to bed any time between 8pm-10pm (on
occasion 11pm, especially if we have company!) he wakes up
between 7:30-9am. This has been his ''routine'' since he was
about 10 months old. However my husband and I are night owls so
this pattern does not bother us. I guess this would not work if
you yourself go to bed early. I was a night owl as a child. My
mother was very strict about my bedtime, but I have memories of
lying in bed for hours before falling asleep. I guess it makes
sense that a child and even baby will be tired at different
times on different days depending on how busy their day was.
our 15 month old wakes at exactly the same time each morning,
5am. this is regardless of his bedtime, as we have tried
putting him down later (seems obvious) and earlier (less so,
but the Healthy Sleep Habits book suggests that). the digest
has some postings in response to a similar question, but i
wonder if anyone out there has any suggestions other than
putting him to bed later.
he used to nurse and go back to sleep at 5am, then as we weaned
he started having a bottle and going back to sleep. now at 5
he's wide awake, not hungry, and ready to play. i don't give
him a bottle but rather, do a short version of our nighttime
routine (say night-night to the animals, sing softly to the CD
we always hear, rock in the rocking chair if he's squirming out
of my arms). he gets quiet but not sleepy - when i sneak a
peek at him his eyes are wide open! and when i move him to bed
for the snuggle that used to be a prelude to sleep he will hang
out with me for well over an hour, awake and alert (but not too
active). it is maddening and exhausting for me, and i know
that he's not getting enough sleep either. any ideas?
We had exactly the same problem with our son. Unfortunately for
us, we tried everything over the course of a year or more--
things we had read in books, advice we had been given-- NOTHING
worked. As he got older, the problem disappeared on its own,
and, once he hit about three, he started waking up later and
later until he hit 6:30-7AM (and holding at four years old). We
eventually became resigned to the fact that he was just an
ultra-early riser. My father is the same way, so I conveniently
blamed the problem on him and his genes!! Once he got to be
about 2.5, occasionally he could be persuaded to watch a video or
otherwise occupy himself while we slept. This bought us about a
half-hour. We were lucky in that he's not the kind of kid who
gets into stuff-- we never had to worry that we'd wake up to find
him drinking Drano or whatnot.
Good luck, and remember- this too shall pass. But it sucks while
Your situation sounds like ours from this past summer. Our son
(now 18 mos) was waking up typically around 5:30 am. Like you,
we tried putting him to bed later (made no difference, just made
him tired and cranky) and settled for putting him down earlier
(between 5:30 and 6 pm) just so we could maximize his nighttime
sleep. It was tortuous for us but we managed to make the best of
it -- my husband watched live coverage of the Tour de France
every morning at 6 am and I started jogging. We also tried to be
diligent about getting to bed early.
Our son did eventually start waking up later (changes in 10- or
15-min increments) and so we moved his bedtime accordingly (as a
general rule, we put him to bed 12 hours after waking up). Up
until a few weeks ago, he was waking up regularly around 7 am,
of course, until we changed our clocks for Daylight Savings. Now
we are revisiting the 6 am wake-up calls and hoping to push his
waking/sleeping hours back once again.
Our 18 month-old has started getting up at 5:30 a.m. He goes to
bed at 7:30 and sleeps well. He naps 1-2 hours/day in daycare.
He gets up at 5:30 regardless of whether we put him to bed
earlier or later than his usual bedtime, and regardless of
whether he's had a long or short nap. We're OK with Ferber-like
approaches ('learn to go back to sleep by himself even if it
means some crying') but we're uncomfortable doing that in the
morning because he doesn't go back to sleep. He just cries and
cries. He's up for the day. If we take him into our bed, he
wants to play. He asks for milk -- and we're worried that if we
always give him milk at 5:30 a.m., his body clock will wake him
up because it's 'time to eat'. We don't know how many hours of
sleep he really needs. Has anyone had similar experiences? Any
advice you have would be greatly appreciated!
Regarding your 18 mo early riser - we had the same issue with
our now 18 mo and it was really hard on us. So we gave him a CD
alarm clock and put his favorite music in it. Then started out
by setting it for 6 a.m.. We told him over and over again
before bed at night that we would see him in the morning when
his clock played music. At first he cried at his usual time
(5ish)and we would go in and hug him and tell him it wasn't
time to get up yet and he had to wait until the music came on.
After a few days of that we stopped going in at all and he
cried a bit but not much. After a few days of letting him ''cry
it out'' he was sleeping through until the clock went off and we
have now inched our way to 6:30. Now he loves the clock and
wants to kiss it goodnight. I think he is reassured by the
routine of it all and the fact that he knows mama and daddy
will be in when the clock plays music and he will get up and
have his milk. The only downfall to the solution is there is
not room for him to ''sleep in'' as a few times he has been dead
asleep when the clock went on and would have slept longer. We
are still fine tuning that problem. If your clock or CD player
had a remote maybe you could turn it on at whatever time you
chose to from outside of the room. Anyway, it has worked for us
and now we can depend on him sleeping until 6:30 instead of 5 -
yeh! Good luck.
My little one sometimes does this, at 5 1/2 months, and I've read
some advice that seemed excellent and best-suited to an older
baby such as yours. Set a pouch/pocket at the side of the crib,
and after the baby goes to sleep (or very early in the morning)
leave a bottle with milk/juice and a toy or two. Leave the baby
to figure out how to be entertained. You could start by
not-responding for a shortish time and work up to longer. This
strategy involves using ''props'' but really I think if it works,
then it works. The only problem would be if the baby got to the
bottle at night, since drinking milk/juice while falling asleep
is bad for their teeth.
The version of this I employ with my young baby is to offer only
one breast, then put him back down with his mobile on, a toy, and
his lights (I have a string of twinkly white Christmas lights
draped on his window). I don't get him ''up'' until about 7, but I
sometimes resettle him.
Can you provide some activities that he can entertain himself
with for a while? If he has a small snack and drink of water
waiting on a ''bedside table'' (small shelf) that he can reach from
his crib (if he's in one), along with some books and quiet toys,
maybe he can entertain himself for a while before waking you.
Wherever he is sleeping, be sure the space is safe for him to be
in unsupervised. I've read that some families set up an ''alarm''
like a light or music on a timer as a signal to the child that it
is an o.k. time to call for parents.
Also - have you tried room darkening shades? He may be waking
with the light.
This may sound counter-intuitive, but try making your child's
bedtime earlier. I followed Weissbluth's Healthy Sleep Habits,
Happy Child. When my daughter was 18 mos old, we were putting
her down at 6:30 pm and she'd wake up around 6 am. Good luck!
I wish I had an answer for you, but I just had to write to say
that we are having the exact same problem -- 17 month old with
1-2 hour nap goes to bed between 7 and 7:30, and gets up
between 5 and 6 -- usually closer to 5 than 6. For a while we
didn't take him out of his room till 6, but after two weeks or
so we decided that wasn't really helping and was making him
start the day cranky.
We are still kind of transitioning from 2 to 1 naps and I think
that may be part of the problem -- he's just gotten out of
whack. I have heard the suggestion that early waking comes
from overtiredness, and if you put them to bed super-early
(like 5 or 6), that can help. That may be hard if your son
(like ours) is in daycare till 5 or later, but that's what I'm
going to try next. (Right now he's getting over an ear
infection and has been waking at night too, so we are really
out of whack this week.) At worst, this would mean an extra
hour of time for you (and sleep for him) in the evening!
I do think they usually need more sleep at this age than 10
hrs. at night/1-2 hrs. in the day -- the Ferber book says the
average for 18 mos. is 13 1/2 hours, and our kid certainly
seems tired/cranky on his current schedule.
Tired again mama
I feel for you! I have an early riser too, and I'm sorry to say
that I don't think there's much to do about it. Our son is 3.5
and started waking up by 5:30 at around age 2. For a long time
it really bothered me. We got into a routine of snuggling in bed
for a while in the morning, which helped me but still didn't let
me go back to sleep. Finally, in the last 6 months, our son is
old enough to get out of bed by himself and play with toys or
look at books until I tell him it's time to get ready for the
day. We also still do some snuggle time every morning, which has
turned into a really special time for me and we both miss it if
it doesn't happen.
Anyway - hang in there, it does get better. After a little
longer your son may be old enough to recognize a signal (set a
timer on a little night light to come on at a decent hour, or set
an alarm clock or something).
I would definitely not give milk that early - your instinct on
that is right on. Just say over and over that it's not time for
milk yet, and he'll eventually get it.
I'm responding partly to the original post, and partly to the
parent who responded that they had trained their 18 month old
to not get up until their alarm clock plays music -- but that
this has the problem that the child never sleeps in, because
the audible alarm wakes them up.
The solution to this is to use a visual cue rather than an
audible one. For example, you can use an alarm clock like the
one shown here: http://www.bunnyclock.com/ which features a
bunny rabbit whose eyes open at the time set by the parent.
Obviously, if your child is still sleeping, they won't notice
that bunny has his eyes open.
I also have an early riser (5 to 5:30am), and used a visual cue
to train my son to stay in bed later. In his case, I didn't do
this until he was 2.5 years old (I would have tried it sooner,
but didn't know how). I got him a digital clock, covered the
last two digits, and taught him to recognize a 6, and that he
couldn't get out of bed till the first digit was a 6. Once he
got that (it took a week or two of me gently but firmly putting
him back to bed if he got up early), I adjusted his clock to be
15 minutes slow, so he doesn't get up till 6:15. Every once in
a while he sleeps in -- this morning he didn't get up till 7am,
which is pretty late for him.
Anyway, if you're going to train your early riser to stay in
bed until they get a cue, I recommend choosing a visual cue,
not an audible one.
Does anyone have any suggestions regarding a 17 month old who
now wakes up around 5:15am (with the new time change)? He first
wakes up around 4:30 and I give him a bottle of milk, then he
sleeps for another 45-60 minutes and then wakes up
crying/yelling for me to get him out of his crib (and I usually
nurse him at this point in hopes that he may fall back asleep).
Please help- I need some sleep!!
My 15 month old was doing this too for the past few weeks, and many friends with
kids this age reported same. With the time change my baby was waking up at 4:30
and that was just too much. I started making sure he got to sleep by 7:30 at night
and the next morning when he woke up at 4:30 I put him in his crib, went to the
other room, put a pillow over my head and let him cry himself back to sleep--which
he did within 20 minutes (I checked him once). Then he slept till almost 7 am. Woo-
hoo! Ever since then he's been waking up no earlier than 6. It's wonderful. For us
this coincided with transitioning from two to one naps a day, and it seemed to help
to make sure he really only got one good nap (so no napping before noon). I hope
something works for you.
Our 17 month old twins have always been early risers, but it is
getting ridiculous! They now awake between 4.15 - 5 am each
day (the girl sleeps through, and the boy is recently waking
again twice per night). They are crabby and won't go back to
sleep (even with nursing, although I have stopped doing that in
the last week). Sometimes, we have let them cry for over 20
minutes. Occasionally this has worked, but they then only
sleep for 20-30 more minutes. We try to keep them up until 9 -
9.30 and they then take a 3 hr nap (boy) and 1 1/2 hour nap
(girl). I try to avoid an afternoon nap, but the girl might
sleep in the car for 20 minutes. They go to sleep between 7 -
7.30 pm. We have tried putting them to bed later (for around a
week) and this made no difference.
What are we doing wrong??? I feel like they are SOO tired in
the morning, all they want to do is watch TV (and I'm afraid we
let them as we are so tired ourselves!). HELP!
I have been there myself! My boys are just about to turn two and we
have had a lot of problems with them waking early. I remember a time
not too long ago when they would wake at the same time that your twins
are. We tried all of the same things that you wrote and it seemed like
it just worked itself out. They just started waking later and later each
day. They now wake at 6 am (still early, but manageable), and it seems
like they wake then whether they fall asleep at 8 or 9:30. Just try and
get through it (we also used TV so that we could doze) and know that it
will probably change later on.
i've read in many books, and found from experience with our 18 month
old, that the better a child naps, the better they sleep at night and
vice versa. so, not allowing your children their afternoon nap may
actually not be helping. also, they may be at an age where they are
ready for just one nap a day (or is that what they already do?).
either way, make sure they nap, because that will affect how they sleep
at night and how long they sleep. what i've found with our daughter is
that putting her to bed too late actually doesn't help her sleep later
into the morning - sometimes it actually makes her wake up earlier! the
key is to get them to bed before they are overtired, after a good
routine like dinner, bath, quiet time/books, bed. it's unfortunately not
rocket science, though, so you never can know something will work or
work forever. i think around 18 months is a period where they go through
huge changes, including in sleep - lately our daughter has even started
to occasionally wake up before 6, which is hard on all of us because
she's also cranky when she does (and so am i!). i explain to her that
there is no getting up before 6, and no watching elmo until at least
6:30! my pediatrician says they dream a lot at this age, and that wakes
them up without their knowing why. hopefully they'll move through it -
but whatever you do, make sure they nap regularly - routine seems to
really help. good luck!
I don't have twins, but I have a 2-year-old daughter that only recently
(about 20 months?) began to sleep later than 5:30 a.m.
Once in a blue moon she will sleep until 6:30 a.m. Once she even slept
until 7 a.m.! For most of her life, she has gotten up between 4 and 5
a.m., no matter what we have done.
(Fortunately, I have always been an early riser, but 4 a.m. is pushing
it even for me.) We did sleep training at 9 months. At that point, she
was getting up every 1-3 hours at night. After sleep training, the
night time waking pretty much ended, but nothing -- I mean nothing! --
we did helped the early morning waking. I truly believe she is just an
early riser. Here's what we tried: (1) Later bedtime (9 p.m. -10
p.m.). This made things worse. She got up the same time or earlier,
and was even more tired. (2) Earlier bedtime. Better, but still not
great. (3) Letting her cry until 5 a.m. For weeks, I tried not going
into her room, no matter what, until 5 a.m. This often meant she would
cry for 45 minutes to an hour. Didn't work. (4) Nursing her and
putting her back down. Occasionally worked, but mostly not. Not only
would she wake up at these ungodly hours, but she would nurse briefly
then be ready and raring to PLAY NOW! By the time she was a year old,
she had given up her morning nap and only took an afternoon nap, which
was excruciating because she had such a hard time staying up until
lunch. All I can say is that now things are better. She hasn't gotten
up before 5 a.m. in months and usually sleeps until abuot 5:47. Believe
me, those 47 minutes have changed my life. About TV: I found that with
her, TV-watching bred more TV-watching, grumpiness and restlessness.
Things got better when I started strictly limiting TV. So, to sum it
all up, I think she's just an early riser. Also, I am still nursing, so
when I consulted Meg Zweiback, she thought that her early rising was
related to her knowing that the boob was waiting for her.
Who knows? Things are gradually getting better. Good luck!
Our 2 year old, who sleeps in her own room and is still in a
crib, has been waking very early for the past month, crying, and
then wanting to come into our bed to sleep for the rest of the
morning until her ''normal'' waking time. Our pattern has always
been to bring her into our bed when she wakes for family
snuggles and her cup of milk (no sleeping), but she is now
waking 2 hours earlier than usual and she wants to sleep with
us. We have chosen not to co-sleep and I prefer not to start
now. I know life and developmental changes can affect sleep, but
am not familiar with what a typical 2 year sleep pattern should
be. The only big change in her life (and it is a big one) was
her move to a new daycare/preschool, however this happened 2
weeks AFTER her waking pattern changed. Does anyone have
suggestions on how to handle this? I have read about setting up
an alarm clock and could try that, but I am concerned about how
to handle her crying and calling for us in the meantime
(assuming the alarm clock eventually works). Thanks so much
tired mamma (aren't we all?)
Our daughter experienced a change in her sleeping pattern
around 2 also. We took it as a sign that she needed to move to
big-girl bed. We felt it was her way of saying, I'm done with
the crib. So we bought her a twin-bed, complete with new
bedding and comforter, and she transitioned to it that night.
We had no further issues. That's not to say that she never
wakes up and calls for us, because she does, but once we check
on her/give her what she's requesting (usually water) she's
back to bed until her normal time, 7:45-ish
When I was pregnant with our second child, my older son started
coming back into our bed at around 4 or 5 am and sleeping with
us until my husband got up at 6. When I got too big for this, I
decided I didn't want him coming in anymore. So the next time
he came in, I brought him back to his bed and stayed in his
room, singing and rubbing his back until he fell back to sleep.
The second night, I brought him back and he fell asleep
quickly. The third night, when he came in, I told him to go
back to bed or to play in his room (it was about 5:30am), and
he did. After that, he stopped coming in until after he heard
my husband running the shower.Mostly, he stays in his bed now
(6 months later). If he starts coming in again, we'll do it
again. Consistently preventing him from sleeping with us
eventually deters him, although he tests it occasionally
I am desperately seeking new advice on the whole early riser
thing. My now 2yo is still waking up between 5 and 5:45 on most
days. He has never slept beyond 7 in his life and rarely has he
slept past 6. We have tried everything. Put him to bed earlier,
which seems to be the better than putting him to bed later
which always ends up in a 5 am wake-up call, but even if we
achieve some success for a short period of time he always seems
to resort back to 5ish in the end. We usually put him to bed
around 7 or 7:30 He naps well (like 2-3 hours) during the day
and we are starting to think that may be the culprit at this
point but he is so tired that by 9a.m if I drive anywhere more
than 10 min away he falls asleep in the car. I always try to
avoid that and have him sleep at a more ''normal'' nap time 12:30
or 1 because it typically ends up in a fifteen minute car nap
and a battle for the ''real'' nap later. Maybe I need to not
worry so mauch about the ''real'' nap anymore - I just don't
know. I do notice that when he has been really active during
the day or has a shorter nap he tends to sleep more soundly and
sometimes a bit later (maybe until 5:50 or 6:10). My husband
and I are not early risers - we have tried going to bed earlier
but I work late several nights a week and am not even home
until 9:30 or 10 so by the time we wind down it is 11 before we
are asleep and getting up at 5 is just not enough sleep. If it
were every other day maybe but it is constant and has been
going on for a year now since daylight savings last year. We
are fearful for the time change this year and am wondering if
we can fix this before his 5 a.m. call becomes 4 a.m.!! It is
especially painful when we have the lights on in our house and
are looking out at neighbors with kids and their houses are
pitch dark because their kids sleep until 8 or even 9! Any
suggestions anyone has besides the norm - put him to bed later
or earlier would be greatly appreciated.
Still Sleepless in Oakland
To Sleepless in Oakland, It sounds to me like you might need to put your
son to bed a bit later. The neighbors you mention whose lights are off
until 8 or 9 am because their kids are still sleeping, may very well put
their kids to bed at 8 or 9 pm or even later! Seriously, I know very few
two year olds who go to bed at 7 or 7:30!
Also, childrens' napping needs do change. My very active daughter
abruptly gave up her nap at 3 years old, after taking 2 hour naps each
day. You've been one very lucky mama to have a son who naps for 2 to
3 hours a day -- and sleeps for 12 hours a night. As your son gets older,
he'll need to sleep less during the day. It is just what happens. No need
I could have written your message a year ago (I think I might have actually) - My
now almost 3 yr old spent from age 1-2 waking up between 4 and 5:30 am every
day. Absolutely hell. Same nap thing - hard to keep him up past 9. We usually
settled on a 10 or 11am nap. Then 2 hrs. Bed at 7pm every night. Didn't work to
put him down later. We finally let him cry - (we did the cry at night sleep training
thing to get him to sleep all night the first time - at age 14 mo). So he woke at 4:
30, we left him to cry until 6. After two nights I think he stayed asleap until 6 or
later. When he was about 2 and 3 months we figured out that putting his favorite
music on an alarm clock CD - set for 6am worked well. If he woke up earlier, we'd
shout (for the first couple of times) ''Wait for hello!'' - the song on the CD -
eventually we inched the time closer to 6:30. Now he still wakes up early but reads
in his bed - still in a crib, has a light he can switch on by himself - until the music
comes on. He's a light sleeper, maybe naturally an early riser, and yes, it's definitely
the hardest part of motherhood - but at least now we can communicate a little
better and most of the time he sleeps until 6:30 which now feels wonderfully late.
have been sleepless in Oakland too
Been there, done that. 4:30am wake up calls are the worst! I can relate to your
frusteration. After much trial and error, we have foudn the solution. Hopefully it will
help you. So, my daughter loves stickers. I went out and bought her a bunch of
stickers like Elmo, Big Bird, Dora, Mickey Mouse, etc. Each night when I put her to
bed, I tell her that she needs to be patient in the morning and play in her crib
quietly (she has a few small books and her Sesame Street stuffed animals in her crib
with her) until mommy comes in ''when it is sunny out''. During our bedtime routine
, I literally repeat myself probably 3-4 times saying ''You need to be patient and wait
for it to be sunny out and then momy will come in and give you a special sticker''.
So, she waits. At 6:00am on the dot, I burst into her room, excited and cheering for
her that she was patient and waiting for me to come it. I give her a sticker and she
sticks it in the side of her crib. She has TONS of stickers all over her crib, but it has
really worked for us. To be fair to her, I won't keep her waiting past 6am, especially
on days when she wakes at 5am and has played quietly in her crib for an hour. I also
put her to bed early. She is in her crib asleep by 6pm each night. So, if you try this
tactic, be patient. It might not work right away, but keep trying. Good luck!
Hi, I have a 27-month old who wakes up waaaaay too early.
I'm talkin' 4:30-5am every morning! it's a rare luxurious treat
to sleep in until 5:45-6am. Seriously, I mean that. I've tried
putting him to bed early, I've tried putting him to bed late.
I've tried letting him stay in his crib, but we have a teeny
house and he makes noise and calls out so we don't actually end
up getting any more sleep. We've tried bringing him into bed
with us. That doesn't work either. he lays there for about 10
minutes and then starts in with ''light on, read book, play
mama...'' you get the idea. It's so bad that we often look
forward to his getting a cold - then we can give him benedryl
to help him sleep. I'm only half kidding, which means I'm half
serious and seriously in need of some serious sleep.
So, does this sound like your child? if so, is this a phase? Do
you have a tip for me? I'm really into fixing this, so any help
This sounds just like my kid! Except that now mine is 3. It took a while for us to figure out how to deal with it. After a few months of us saying ''Too early!!!'' he figured out how to play in his room by himself with his trains or legos, or to ''read'' a few books before coming to get in bed. If he came in too early, we would say so and he would go back and play.
Lately we took a trip back east, and then he got on East coast time and it got much worse. He would be done with playing by himself by about 4:30 or 5:00 and then would just want to have me wake up. I think we're back to the normal schedule now, but for a while I was doing research about how to fix the situation. I think we're going to get a little nightlight on a timer, and set the timer for 6:00, when it's okay for him to come wake us up.
Then it will just be a matter of teaching him about the light.
I have a 30 month old that has been waking up between 4:30- 6:00am since he was about 23 months old. I tried everything you mentioned (later bed time, earlier bed time, waking him up after 2 hour nap) but nothing worked.
My Mom mentioned that maybe he is at a point where he has finally adjusted to the sleep that he actually needs/wants and that he is one of those people who don't require that much night sleep. He goes down at 8pm (falls asleep fairly quickly) and wakes up at 6am. That is 10 hours. He takes a 3 hour nap every afternoon (eagerly).
Once I realized that this was true, I was suddenly alright with the whole thing. I try to go to bed earlier than before and I sleep in one morning of the weekend. It seems to have worked mentally for me. Not saying that I like it, I'm a 10 hour girl myself!!
Not much advise, just sympathy for someone who is in your shoes.
Jen, I empathize with your situation. Our 19 month year old wakes up between 4:30-5. And we, like you, have tried nearly everything. To make matters worse, he shares a room with his sister (age 5) and often wakes her. I guess the one piece of advice I have is to be consistent. With my son, I've been going in when he wakes up, giving him a small bottle of milk, and telling him it is too early to wake up. He cries and complains and says he wants to ''get out'' of his crib, etc., but we've been ignoring his wishes. Each day, I try to leave him in bed a little longer, hoping he'll finally ''get it.'' Today, I kept him in his crib until 5:45. He tends to be quiet for a few minutes and then start calling my husband or me. On a rare morning, he'll actually fall asleep again until 6. He's not a great sleeper, and never has been. He's been down to one nap a day for well over a year. And, honestly, between my daughter and my son, my husband and I have not slept past 6 for!
over 5 years. I guess some kids
I understand your frustration. My daughter, who is now 6, awoke anytime between 4:30 - 5:30 am from age 18 mos through age 3 or so. I thought I would never survive. We tried everything, but basically finally just resigned ourselves and took turns getting up with her so the other one of us could sleep a little later. We'd read and play quietly until a more humane hour. She now sleeps until 7:30 every morning, but it happened over time -- for a long time we were thrilled when she slept until 6 a.m. This is very common -- we have lots of friends whose kids did the same thing. One friend's daughter still wakes at 5:30 am every morning and she's 7! I'd just try to survive it the best you can -- go to sleep earlier yourself, take turns with your spouse, etc. It won't last forever.
usually kids that wake that early have been doing it for a long time. has he always woken up early? try keeping him up later to say 10:00 pm. he should sleep longer. adventually. you'll need patience to re-train him. a couple months really. and you'll have no time to your self while your doing it. which really sucks. my girl is 27 months as well and we let her stay up pretty late on the weekends so we'll sleep in. it's nice. we get up at 9:00 am! she is happy and refreshed too. good luck.
Yes, these were my kids. With my 1st child I learned that the ONLY way to stop this is to limit the nap. So, if your child ususally sleeps for 2 1/2 hours for a nap: limit it to 2 hours for several days in a row. You have to do this for a few days to see if it works. If after 3 days of a 2 hour nap he is still waking too early, limit the nap another 30 minutes, again for several days. I know it's a bummer to limit the break you get with the nap and it's a bummer to wake them but you NEED to sleep at night. I'm sure this will work. It has with both of my kids! Currently doing this with my 26 month old. If I let him go ove 2 hours, I suffer the following morning!
been there, done that
My 2.5 year old son is waking up earlier and earlier these days.
Sometimes as early as 4 am he'll get up, crawl into bed with me
(which is ok) and then lay there and sing, clap his hands, kick
his feet, etc. He just won't go back to sleep!! It's getting so
exhausting for both me and my husband, and our son is obviously
not rested enough either. I've tried asking him to wait until
the sun is in the sky, but that doesn't seem to work. And now
it's getting harder and harder to stay calm with him at that time
of day. Has anyone dealt with a similar issue? It's just too
ready for some sleep
Is he still napping? If so, you may want to try cutting back on
naptime to get longer sleep at night. I didn't have your
problem, but between 2 and 2.5, my daughter started having
trouble falling asleep at night if she took a nap (i.e., she was
up until 10 and 11). Naptime had to go.
My son is about the same age, and whenever he starts waking too
early in the morning we know we need to start putting him to
bed earlier. In the winter he generally goes down between 6:30
and 7pm and is up about 12 hrs. later. We've had great success
w/the earlier bedtimes. Also, make sure you're getting him down
early enough for his afternoon nap. That's about 12:30pm w/our
I could have written your post 2 weeks ago- I was in the same
exact position! We thought that maybe our son needed less
overall sleep than previously (which is common as they get
older), and so he was cutting off the time by waking up early.
What we decided to do was cut his nap short. He was previously
sleeping about 2.5 hours/day on most days. Now we wake him up
after 1.5 hours of sleep. I was reluctant to do this, because I
love those long naps! But I also love the early bedtime and the
later wake-up and I had to cut somewhere. Anyway, it seems to
be working thus far (knock on wood!). He went from waking up
between 5:15-5:45 to between 6:30-7:15. This may not apply to
you but give it a try if it does. Good luck.
Of course the little ones can't read a clock - how to indicate
when it's okay to wake us?
Each day our children (then 2+ and nearly 4 years) would come
in earlier to seek our morning company, and finally, at 4:30
AM, I picked up my pillow to retreat. But the thought of being
driven from my own bed motivated a pretty darned successful
(not air-tight, but reliable) solution.
This has worked very well for us, and then for my sister's
family for ~ 2 years:
We bought a cheap-ish plug-in timer switch from a hardware
store, and set an unbreakable light (Ikea) to go on outside our
room at an early, but marginally acceptable time. Children
can't read, but the light tells them that it's time for morning
We drew a picture of us and taped it to our door, child-height:
two panels, one of us sleeping by a darkened light, and one
with us joyfully smiling by a bright light. Then we explained
the plan, clearly, slowly, and made sure they understood as
well as they might.
When they'd come in before the light, we'd groan, and ask ''is
the light on?; is it important?; oh, honeys, we need sleep, but
will be so happy when you come in after the light...''
But when they come in cheering that ''the LIGHT is ONNNN!'', we
give them a big ''Yaaaay!'', no matter how tired we are, and then
we cuddle joyfully.
- Then we adjusted the timer toward a more decent time, little-
(Oh, and eventually the kids learned to tweak the timer, so we
encased it in clear, flexible plastic from some other product's
David and Karl
Try limiting naps. If he usually naps for 2 hours reduce it by
30 minutes (wake him after 90 minutes) for 3 or 4 days to see if
that helps. If not, reduce it to a one hour nap for 3 or 4 days
and hopefully that works. If not, you may have to stand him
taking no nap.
been there done that
Our 2 1/2 year old boy is an early riser. We have tried lots
of tactics to get him to sleep longer. I have seen on the
internet two special alarm clocks that have a picture of a
bunny who is sleeping, and when you set the alarm, the
bunny ''wakes up'' to tell the child its ok to get out of bed.
However, these seem to only be available in England and are
quite expensive. Does anyone have experience with these, know
a US retailer, or have other ideas for an inexpensive alarm
clock that would visually tell a child when its ok to get up?
I have looked at dawn-light simluator alarm clocks but these
are usually over $100. Would rather spend less for this
When our child was doing this, we bought a lamp for his room and put it
on a timer. You can get a timer at the hardware store (like Pastime) -
go for the digital timers because you will want the precision. We got
him a lamp from that store on Solano that sells all sorts of interesting
lamps - like animals, planes, trains, etc. - but any old light will do.
Our kid has just always been an early riser, so I don't know if he got
more sleep with this approach, but we tried to teach him that he
couldn't come in to mommy and daddy's room until the light came on.
Mom of early riser
I too had an early riser for a long time. He has just now started
sleeping until 7 on most days (he is 2 and a half)thank goodness because
those early morning wake-up calls are really awful, so I feel for you. I
have the bunny clock - my friend brought it back to me from Switzerland.
It is yours if you want it. I only have one complaint about it. It is
rather cheaply made for such an expensive clock and the silent setting
isn't so silent. When the ears pop up it is quite a loud sort of ''ka-
ching'' therefore only a few times did my son sleep past the time the
bunny ''woke up''. With that said it does work to teach them what time
is an O.K. time to get up - so my son would just play in his crib until
the bunny woke up. Feel free to contact me if you would like to have the
clock. We are moving out of the state in about a week and a half so
contact me as soon as possible. Good Luck.
We use a night light on a timer. We have the timer set to go off at 7:00
am. The kids know they are allowed to get up and come in our room when
the light goes off. It has worked well for us.
We've used a regular clock-radio for our kids for years. The radio is
set to a classical station, and at 7am the music comes on. They are not
to get out of bed until that music comes on.
It's worked generally well, and as they've gotten older the lighted
digital display was really easy for them to read even in a dark room.
We have a friend who just got a digital alarm clock with large numbers,
and taped a piece of construction paper with the number
7 over the minute side. Her daughter was supposed to wait until the hour
number matched the paper number to get up.
I totally sympathize with the early riser issue. I don't think either
of my children has ever in their lives slept past 7 am.
6 am is the norm.
For my older one, at 2.5, I put a post-it note next to a regular alarm
clock and blocked out the last 2 numbers on the clock. We told her if
the 1st number matched the post-it note, she could come get us. We used
6 am, but often ''adjusted'' her clock so that 6 came a bit later than
For the younger one, we got an alarm clock/CD player that you can set.
We set it for 6:30 am and told her that if the music was on, she could
come get us. If the music is not on, you need to stay in your bed.
Hope that helps!
We use a night light plugged in to an electric timer; if our son wakes
up before the light turns on, we tell him it is still nighttime. I got
the idea from an old BPN posting, and it has worked very well!
Saw the Light
You don't need a special clock. Just get a cheap digital clock at
Long's, and tell your son he can play in his bed until the first number
is a 6 (or a 7, whatever works for you). Then he
can get up. Works like a charm.
6 is the magic number
When my son was that age - also too young to tell time - I bought a
timer at Home Depot and attached it to a small bedside lamp in his room.
Essentially, the lamp plugged into the timer, which was plugged into the
wall. At the appropriate time (6:15am in our house), the light would go
on, telling my son that it was OK to get up. The light stayed on for an
hour, so there was a lengthy window of time; that way, I didn't get
midnight calls of ''did the light already go on? I think I missed it . .
The timer cost $10 or $15, as I recall, and worked beautifully.
There was no sound, and the light itself was comparatively small, so it
didn't wake anyone. It was just a signal that morning had officially
An inexpensive option that yields the same result is plugging a night
light into a light timer. Light timers ($10-$30) can be found at
hardware or lighting stores (get a digital one, the manual ones are hard
to set at small incriments). They are usually used for turning lights
on and off when you are on vacation so it looks like you are home, but
you can set them to turn the night light on at a specific time in the
morning for your kid. Our daughter knows that she can't come out of her
room until her light goes on (at 6:30 a.m. mind you, but believe me it's
an improvement!) It took a while to make this adjustment, we did it by
initially setting the light to go on 5-10 minutes after the time she was
normally waking up to get her used to waiting, then gradually moved it
later. Good luck!
just get a simple digital clock. cover up the minutes.
then choose a time to ''wake up,'' say 7.
then teach your child to recognize 7 and/or draw a 7 that looks like a
digital 7 on the paper covering the minutes.
Then teach your child that when the clock shows 7 it's ok to go out of
the room but until then, play quietly in the room.
Depending on your child you will probably also want to use a reinforcer
like a sticker for every day they follow the rule, 5 stickers gets a
Now my problem is waking my teens up in the morning!
Our 20 mo. old is also an early riser. We've used a night light with a
timer (any hardware store carries them), telling her that ''no light, no
get up,'' and it worked quite well. You do, however, need to paint the
bulb a dark color, so that it is not too bright in the room.
You can get these timers that you plug a regular lamp into and set what
time the lamp should come on. My Grandmother had one that she'd set when
she'd be out of the house over night so potential burglers would think
someone is home as the light would come on at night. Anyway, I have
friends who have used them in their kids rooms, telling them they can
get up when the light turns on by itself.
Search on Ebay. Type in: Bunny clock. They have a few of them on there
right now, but keep checking.
Our 3 year old kept coming in to ''snuggle'' in the morning, but it kept
getting earlier and earlier until we found him ready to start snuggling
at 2 am! We love to see him in the morning, but not the middle of the
night. To let him know when it was ok to come in our room, we bought a
small white vinyl globe face-type looking lamp night light from the
children's section of IKEA, and put it on a timer that I bought at
Target. I think the night light was $10, and the timer was $3. I like
the IKEA face light thing, as it glows a wonderful happy green when it
comes on at 6 am, and some mornings, he sleeps longer than this because
it has no noise to wake him. The lamps also come in different shapes and
colors, red and blue, too, but you could hook any type of night light or
lamp to the timer. Our son calls the green guy the ''snuggle man'' and
we all look forward to our reunion in the morning when the snuggle man
Wish all kid problems were this easy to solve
Does your son know a few numbers? MIne is a bit younger and only really
knows 1, 2, 3 and sometimes 4 which are not very helpful in getting up
at a reasonable hour.
But if yours knows 6 or 7 you could get a digital clock and cover up the
last two numbers and tell him to wait until it says 6 or 7. You could
also just set the alarm and tell him to wait for the beep, or even the
music if you got a clock radio.
Here's something I do to get myself up (I can sleep through ANY alarm
I use one of those little plug-in timers (made by Intermatic, the kind
you use to turn your lights on and off when you're away) on a big,
bright floor lamp in my room, and I set it to turn the lamp on 30
minutes before I need to get up.
In my case the effect is to wake me up enough to hear my alarm.
For your son, you could put a timer on a lamp in his room set to go on
when it's ok to get up.
My sister is in the process of developing a product very similar to the
one you are describing. Contact Diana at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yes -- simple, and cheap! We did this...
Get a nightlight (a special one if need be) and one of those plug-in
''timer'' deals that you use to turn lights on/off when you go on
vacation. Both can be purchased at Longs, Target, wherever you like...
Total of maybe $25.
Then, set the ''on'' part of the timer for when you want your child to
get up, and the ''off'' for sometime later in the morning (when
everyone's already awake). When the light is off, it's time for sleep.
When the light is on, your child can get up.
When I didn't want my daughter to nurse until a reasonable hour in the
morning (you know, say 5:30 am...), I put a timer on a lamp, and told
her that if she woke up and the light was on then she could nurse, but
if the light was out, she needed to wait. This was amazingly effective
(after all, it was the light telling her, not me). The timer cost less
We have an eraly riser too. It's maddening! Anyway, we decided to try a
clock too, but decided against an alarm clock, because he periodically
sleeps late and we didn't want him to wake up at 6am if he was intent on
Still, most mornings he's up by 5:30, more likely 5 or 5:15 and while he
knows he's supposed to stay in bed until we say it's okay to get up, we
have a small house and he just yells to us asking us what time it is
every 5 minutes or so, so we don't end up getting anymore sleep than if
we just got up.
So, I went to Target and got a small clock for $10.00 that had a large
button on top that lights up the face of the clock when you press it.
So, we taught him how to push the button and what 6:00 looked like on
the clock (he was about 3 when we started this), and that he couldn't
get out of bed until it say 6:00.
And that he didn't have to yell out asking us the time.
So, did it work? more or less, although now he tells us what the time
is. We're not necessarily getting more sleep. So now we've just started
to try the you can get up but you must play quietly in your room until
6:00. We'll see if it works. Good luck with your experiment.
I have the bunny clock you mentioned in your post. Yes, I spend about
$70 for it, with shipping, and I only found it online and in the UK.
It worked for a good amount of time--until our son started arguing that
the bunny was awake even though it wasn't (''Oh, it looked awake, Mom.
Sorry. Well, I'll get up now anyway!''). He also started climbing out of
bed and ''waking'' the bunny himself and then arguing that he hadn't
done that. Argh.
So, I'm not sure if I'd recommend the bunny clock.
I did put dark curtains in his room, and they helped.
Getting him to bed earlier and on a regular schedule seems to have had
the best results, but he still wakes too early, yawning. It is so
Here's a trick - worked great for us.
Put a light on an electrical timer - cheap timer from a hardware store -
somewhere between your child's door and yours.
Set the timer for the earliest you can stand, to start out, earlier than
you'd eventually like it to be - certainly not too long after your child
will naturally awaken, maybe even before.
This will allow the first mornings to demonstrate it works, not to
Now prepare your child: put a picture on the outside of your door,
child-height, drawn with parents sleeping next to the unlit light - and
a picture of parents awake, huge smiles, with the light lit brightly
(yellow crayon, highlighter). After bedtime, put some comforting toys
near the light.
Explain that when the light turns on, you'll be so very happy to see
your child, and that before the light goes on, you'll be too tired to be
cheerful, and will need to go right back to sleep.
When s/he wakes you up on the first morning, if the light is not on, you
should yawn, squint, and explain sluggishly that you're not ready yet
until the light is on, lead the child to toys, and stagger exaggeratedly
back to bed. Ask your child to be *sure* to let you know *as soon as the
light comes on*.
When the light does go on, and your child lets you know, act VERY
cheerful, and welcome your child into your bed to cuddle.
Give lots of congratulations.
Reinforce this daily. Even if you've been in bed, talking for an hour,
if the light isn't on, feign extreme sleepiness, and let your child know
you'll be very happy to see him/her when the light is on. And when it
does go on, you just be so very glad. And little by little, you move the
timer to a time that you can actually live with sustainably.
Sooner or later you'll have to figure out how to secure the timer so it
can't be altered by clever little fingers. And eventually, your child
will learn to tell time.
I will never forget the joy that greeted us with their happy call as
they came into the room: The LIIIGHT IS ON!!!!
We are struggling with sleep for our 2.5 year old son. He
currently goes to bed between 7:30 and 8pm, takes a 1-1.5 hour
nap during the day, and wakes up between 5 and 5:30am. My
husband used to cuddle with our son at that time until he woke
up around 6-6:30am. However our son began to wake earlier and
earlier in the night to sleep with Daddy, and began to wake up
later and later in the morning (thus affecting my husband's
ability to get up for work). We currently keep putting him
back in his bed until 6am (when his nightlight turns off), but
he cries and screams the whole time and once the light is off
he wants to cuddle with daddy and often falls back asleep
(sometimes until as late as 7:30). Obviously he needs the
sleep, otherwise he wouldn't fall back asleep with his dad.
There are a couple of things that complicate the situation and
make it different from past posts that I've read: Our son is
now potty trained, and hates peeing in a diaper at night. He
now wears cloth pullups and we take him potty before we go to
sleep. But, he wakes at 5-5:30 to use the potty (which is
fine) and then won't lay back in his bed. His crying and
screaming wakes up his younger sister (9 months) as they share
a room. We are feeling frustrated and exhausted. We really
do not want our son to wake up before 6am. We would like him
to get all his necessary sleep in his own bed as we are trying
to create an earlier morning routine for my husband so he can
come home earlier in the evening.
Any advice would be great!
My son was potty trained at night around 2 1/2. I've found
that if I sit him on the potty around 3 or 4 in the morning, he
will sleep longer because the he doesn't have to pee. He
sleeps through going potty, and I just tell him a couple of
times that he's on the potty and it's okay to go pee. Then he
will go. Maybe this will help? It means getting up for me,
but I don't mind it if I get a little more sleep in the morning!
I've got a 2-1/2 year old who is a very early riser. He wakes up anytime between
6:00-6:30 a.m. I have a newborn and when my toddler gets up, he often wakes the
baby. I was wondering if anyone knows of an alarm clock that lights up. I just want
to train him to stay in bed or play quietly in his room until the light comes on. I'd
like a clock where I can actually turn off the ringer. I would appreciate any
I have a wonderful lamp with a built in light alarm that gradually gets
brighter. It also has a selection of natural sounds (seashore, forest,
stream, etc.) that you can set to gradually get louder. You can use the
light, the sounds, both, or just the buzzer. I love this thing., and
have recommended it to many friends who have loved it. It is not cheap,
but great for people who have trouble waking up in winter. (though I
know that is not your need.) You can also use it in reverse at
bedtime: have the light and/or sounds fade over a half hour.
Your child might really like that. I bought it at Real Goods (you can
find them online.) anne
I just saw one of these in leaps and bounds catalog:
leapsandboundscatalog.com. Not sure whether you can turn off the
beeper. Best of luck meg
We use a timer (timex electronic I got at Target) with a night light
plugged into it and set it to go on at 7am when she can get out of bed.
It's worked wonders for us (and it was cheap!).
Our child (almost 2 1/2) is also an early riser. Although we have no
second baby to worry about, we have been trying to ''train'' him that
7:00 is an acceptable time to wake up. We have an alarm clock in his
room that plays CDs, and it is set for 7am. When he wakes, we'll tell
him that he can play quietly or look at books until the music starts.
He will do this
by himself for a little while, until he really wants to interact with
While my husband or I will still usually go in between 6:30 and 7:00,
this is a HUGE improvement over 5:45!!! We're getting there...
As for the light-up alarm clocks, I have seen them at Real Goods
(www.realgoods.com) in the past.
Wow, 6:00, you lucky dog! It's 5:30 or earlier for us. I know they
sell alarm clocks that just light up - try Brookstone or Sharper Image,
or some place like that. The light gently gets brighter and brighter -
it's supposed to ease you out of sleep.
We had a similar situation with teaching our child that he couldn't come
in to our bedroom before a certain time in the morning. What worked for
us was to use a night light on one of those timer plugs . The night
light was dim enough that it wouldn't wake him if he was still asleep,
and the timer plug made it come on for a short period of time in the
morning (rather than just come on and then go off again, or flash, or
make noise, or whatever...). He now loves his ''bear light.''
What you want is a dawn simulator. There are various brands out there,
and they can be easily found with a Google search.
Our son has always been an early riser, but the 5 am wake up
calls are getting ridiculous. He's never seemed to need a lot of
sleep - less than the averages. He no longer naps though we have
''quiet time'' after lunch. He is in a twin bed. He gets up at 5 am
and comes to us in our bed; one of us escorts him back to his
bed, but we then hear him talking to his stuffed animals, getting
up to play, walking back to our room...eventually wanting to go
into the family room. We cannot lock him in his bed or room and
cannot force him to go back to sleep. With the days being longer,
it's harder to get him in bed early, but he's usually in bed
about 7:30 and asleep by 8. He's a highly sensitive and
perceptive child - not sure if he's going thru a transition or
experiencing some ''stress''. He used to wake up about 6 or 6:30,
which we can certainly handle.
at a loss
Well, you are not alone. I have two boys, five and 2.5, and
their sleep habits are night and day. Both are very sound
sleepers, thankfully, but the five year old just doesn't need as
much sleep, never has, whereas the younger one would snooze all
morning if his brother wasn't rustling around making noise.
Like your son, our five year old often gets up at 5am. Sometimes
6:00-6:30am, but that's on a good day. It drives me nuts, but
I've found there really isn't a lot that can be done.
My older son is also perceptive and sensitive, like yours, so
maybe they just need more time to absorb their day. As my son
recently said when I asked him why he needed to get up so early,
''I'm an early riser mom, and it gives me more time to play!'' Not
sure I can argue with that. And if we force him to stay in his
room, he'll just wake up his brother and it would be double
trouble. So we set up a routine with my son where he can get
himself some yogurt/milk, listen to a cd, read, color or do some
kind of activity right outside our bedroom door, but he needs to
be quiet and keep to himself until the alarm goes off. We have
him set up his am activity the night before, so he isn't
rummaging around asking for us to find things in the early
morning. By around the age of four (maybe even three?) they can
usually catch on to this. My guess is once they start school,
they'll need a bit more sleep. And keep on with the early
bedtime, we still aim for 7:30pm because we figure he needs the
sleep, and he's usually out within minutes. Good luck!
Mom to an Early Bird
My 9 month old and now my 3 year old are waking up at 5:30 a.m. and
we cannot get them back to sleep. Any ideas??? The 9 month old goes
to sleep at 7 and the older one by 8. THANKS!
Needing More Sleep
Our two-year-old recently started waking up earlier, so we made a
decision we've been fighting for a while: We decided to keep him
up later. It was becoming obvious to us that as he's gotten older
that he simply needs about an hour less sleep (articles at
babycenter.com corroborate this developmentally), especially
since he still takes a solid, two-hour nap each day. He's always
had a strict 8 p.m. bedtime, but lately, he's just been playing
in his crib till 9 anyway.
So, we reluctantly gave up that hour of adult evening time and
moved back bedtime. Guess what: it's working! Also, we were
surprised that we're really enjoying the extra evening time with
him. We both work, so it gives us more time to hang out/play/take
a walk before dinner, and allows us to always all sit down for
dinner together, rather than rushing early mac and cheese for
just our son.
Maybe something to consider for your older child...
Try putting to sleep at 8 or 8:30 and see if that works. Our
kid would wake up like that when we started the 7pm bedding. We
switched it to later and he usually wakes up between 6 and 7am.
I don't think every baby has to be in bed at 7pm. But, they say
they should have about 10 hours sleep each night. You also
might want to make sure you have room darkening shades on the
window. Some kids are like chickens and wake up with the first
sign of daylight.
Here's something I successfully did with my 3 year old son, who
was also waking up at 5:30am, or sometimes earlier. After
reading about other parents who tried this with kids the same
age (maybe in the BPN archives?), I got my son a digital clock,
and put a piece of tape over the last two digits, leaving only
the hour showing. I then taught him to recognize a ''6'', and
told him he was not allowed to get up before then. When he did
get up earlier, I would just firmly and gently put him back to
bed. If he didn't stay, I put him back again. Generally, once
I put him back once or twice, he would stay, though he didn't
usually fall back to sleep, and sometimes would cry and
complain. I decided that 6am had to be my ''line in the sand''
for the sake of my own rest and sanity. It didn't take long
for him to learn to recognize a 6 (it was a bit difficult
because on a digital clock a 5 and a 6 look very similar).
Now, he pretty much never gets out of bed before then, even
though he sometimes wakes before then. Instead, he comes
bounding into my room at 6:01am (tolerable to me -- though I
have thought about setting his clock a little slower every
day), happy that he knows he's ''allowed'' to be up. I've heard
of parents teaching their kids to wait till 7am, but that's so
far away from my son's natural waking up time (which has been
5:30am plus or minus half an hour since he was 3 months old)
that I figured getting him to wait till 6am was the best I
I'm afraid I don't have any advice on getting your 9 month old
to sleep later. After trying nearly everything I could think
of with my son at that age (putting him down earlier, putting
him down later, getting blackout curtains) I simply shifted my
own bedtime earlier and got up at 5:30am.
I have twin boys that are 4 years old. I switched rooms and put
them in big boy beds six months ago. Probably not a wise idea,
one of the boys does not sleep. He still wakes at 4AM ready for
the day. They go to sleep about 7:30PM (exhausted at this
point)...sleeping in for them is 5:45AM. I've tried putting
them to bed later, still up at 4:45AM. I've tried exhausting
them...out all the day at the park...still wake up early. I
really thought that the ''sleep'' thing would be over although
I've heard from many friends that their kids did not sleep until
they were around 7...is this true? What am I doing wrong? Too
much activity? Does this ever end??
My oldest is 2, so I'm utterly unqualified to answer your
question.... but I did want to mention there is a group called
Twins by the Bay, for parents of multiples. It has a listserv
for members, and might be a good place to post your question for
any twin-specific advice. Otherwise, how about teaching your
boys what 6:00am looks like on the clock, and telling them they
have to play in their own room until that time?
-mom of 3 under 3
I would try putting them to bed a lot earlier than 7:30. You
could read ''Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child'' by Marc Weissbluth
- it's a very helpful book for sleep problems.
I have 3 year old twins in beds, so I can relate to the sleep
issues you face. It's impossible/hard to force sleep on a kid -
but you can ask that they stay in their room until an
appropriate hour (of your choice). My kids know this sort of
time as ''quiet time.'' I do need to make sure that toys in their
room are of the quiet sort.
One friend suggested getting a digital clock and teaching them
to identify a specific time in the morning, say 6:30, when they
can come out of their room. If they wake up before then, they
can play quietly. Kids don't seem to get mad at a clock - it's
a neutral party.
I have a 7 year old son and a 2.5 year old daughter. Both are
very early risers, often waking as early as 5:30 on a regular
basis. Both kids are quite sensitive to all sorts of stimuli,
and very light sleepers. I thought my son would grow out of the
early wake-ups, but he hasn't very much. We've tried everything
over the years- earlier bedtime, later bedtime, more exercise,
black out curtains, noise machines, etc. The hard days are when
one or both kids are clearly too tired (as am I!)and needed to
sleep more, but couldn't. Also tough is missing lots of evening
events as a family, because both tire early, and wake earlier
when they stay up later for a one-time event. Soon we are
moving, and they will be sleeping in the same room, so I'm even
more anxious that one will wake the other. If you have any
experience with early risers, both how to get them to sleep
later if possible, or what to do with them in the early
morning, please share! Thanks! - Tired Mama!
I have one early waker (now 4) and one I am not sure about (1 yr
old). What we do is much of what you have tried - black out
shades with stips of cloth on the sides where light can get in,
white noise machine, reasonable bedtime -- not too early (as
that seems to make it worse) but definately not too late - we go
wtih 8pm which works pretty well. For our kids if we need to
stretch them to 8pm we read more stories (ie, we get them in the
bath early since meltdowns are less like post bath even when
super tired). I also don't go in before 6:00. I may get one of
those clocks for my older child but right now he has been asleep
most days until 6 or later.
Now, the two kids in one room is way, way hard. Doing it and yes
they do wake each other up. Unfortunately I think some kids are
better at room sharing than others (ie, they are kids that sleep
thru stuff). My oldest is doing way better than I ever thought
(likes having his sibling in the room) but some days they do
wake each other up. For us, 3 bedrooms is currently out of the
question....some day perhaps.
This too will pass. I had an early waker for years; then the
wake-up time got later and later; by 11 it would be 8:00 or 8:30
if it wasn't necessary to get up earlier for school.
Some children are just more sensitive to the sun than others --
mine had a very seasonal natural cycle.
Take advantage of the early mornings -- you can get into Betty's
without a line; the marina is beautiful early in the morning;
there is easy parking at museums and hiking trails. In the
evening, you have more of a chance to have an adult life than
someone with a child who keeps later hours.
If you want to change it, you might try having the children out
in bright sunlight in the late afternoon, to try to reset their
clocks (a trick for jetlag as well).
miss the early mornings
My kids share a room and have taken to getting up anywhere
between 5:30 and 6:15am every day. They know not to come into
our room but they are SO LOUD! They are usually happily playing
but in our small house all I hear are doors slamming, kids
jumping, talking very loud or screaming. Part of me thinks we
just have to deal and get up when they're up. On the other hand
I wonder why they can't learn a little respect and quiet down.
We've tried verbal reminders and consequences to no avail. What
do other people do when their kids get up so early?
I keep the tv always tuned to a channel they will watch and have
two cups of milk already poured waiting for them in the
refrigerator. They only can watch tv before I get out of bed.
When I get up the tv goes off. They are amazingly quiet. My kids
get up around 6:45. I get up on weekdays at 7 and on weekends I
sleep really late...okay, 8 or even 9 (maybe I am up and soaking
in the tub reading, but they don't need to know that) !!!!!
If your kids are not coming into your room, they are already
being respectful. They have no clue re: the noise.
We either wake up as early as the kids or we deal with the noise.
Be grateful they are not asking you to make them breakfast at
5:30am. I guess the respectful issue depends on how old your
kids are. If they are under 6, wow - just use earplugs and
sleep. We regularly have to get up by 6am to give one or both of
them a banana or something.
not a big issue
this page was last updated: Jun 27, 2009
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