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Thread: Toddler waking early, and I mean early

  1. #1

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    Default Toddler waking early, and I mean early

    My darling daughter has just come out of her 18month sleep regression, she is starting to sleep through the night (finally) but for the past 3ish weeks, she has been waking up between 4-4.30 and is up for the day.

    I bring her into bed with me and breastfeed her, rarely she will fall back asleep, but mostly she feeds on and off for about half an hour, then is full of beans and wanting to go into the loungeroom to start the day.

    Needless to say I am a zombie, Dh is away in Asia for work, for another 2or 3weeks and I really don't have any other help, so it is a verrrrry long day.



    She goes to sleep at 8, gets 8/8.5 hrs overnight and naps for about 2hrs during the day. She won't go to bed earlier and is happy on a total of 10 hrs a day ( of course everyone else I know has kids that sleep 7-7 then a 3 hr nap )

    I know daylight savings is starting soon so psychologically I will cope better getting up at 5 instead of 4 but then she will be going to sleep at 9!!! I get NO time to myself!

    Anyway, I wanted opinions on whether you think I should shorten her day nap to 1.5 hrs and see if I can get a longer night sleep? Or would you just leave it? I do love my 2 hr break and I feel mean waking her up if she needs it but seriously, I used to complain about 5.30, that sounds like a dream to me now.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Toddler waking early, and I mean early

    8 or 8.5 hours is pretty short for a toddler night sleep. Perhaps try waking her after 1.5 during the day or even 1 hour and see if it makes a difference. I wouldn't be coping well with those early mornings, poor you!

  3. #3

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    Default Re: Toddler waking early, and I mean early

    I have had terrible sleepers, and my youngest ds used to wake at 4/4.30 am. It's horrible. Those early mornings were soul destroying! No matter if I went to bed early, I would still feel dreadful waking at 4 am.

    Honestly, I have no real advice. I tried everything. Really I did, breast feeding back to sleep (which like you, raaarely worked). Refusing to get up until a more appropriate time (usually just ended in tears from one or both of us, as well as waking everyone else in the house), shorter/no day sleeps (ended up with one grumpy little monkey), going to bed later (just meant less time for myself in the evenings), spraying the room/pillow with lavender and other essential oils to induce sleep/relaxation.... I have tried it all.

    The ONLY thing that worked was putting him to bed earlier, so at least he got more sleep. I changed it slowly- 5-10 mins every 3-4 or so days, until he was going to bed at between 6.30- 7pm. Even once day light savings started, I insisted on bed time then. And I made sure I was in bed by absolutely no later than 10 pm, which was pretty unnatural for me, being a night owl. I was religious with his bed time routine and time he went to bed.

    Now he's 3 1/2 and still wakes early, at about 5.30 am, but that is do-able. *Some* people are up and going to work then, right??? But all of my children are early birds and they are never up any later than 6.30 am anyway. No matter what. The other night they went to bed at 10.30 pm. 3 hours later than their usual bed time. They were all still awake at 6 am. They just all had a nap that day (thank goodness!).

    Could there be something irritating/waking her in some way? Her tummy/diet, an allergy, her clothes, hot/cold in bed, noises outside like neighbors going to work.....

    I know it's tough and it totally sucks, but she might just be an early riser. I would be trying to get her to have more sleep though. I think 10 hours a day is not really enough for such a littlie (though trust me, I know it's not so simple as just insisting they sleep more!).

  4. #4

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    Default Re: Toddler waking early, and I mean early

    From 18 months we used a sleep clock ( globetrotter brand), couldn't get up until sheepy woke up at 7, it took some time but did work (still does at 5.5). I also used rescue remedy night and magnesium spray at times before bed, maybe try one of those light up pillows, she can press it, might get her to go back yo sleep

  5. #5

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    Default Re: Toddler waking early, and I mean early

    It's tough.
    Do whatever works best for you.
    I personally would leave my kids when they had a day sleep. Especially seeing as it's only 2 hours - it's not like it's 4 or anything. That 2 hours is probably helping you to have a bit of a physical and mental rest - to make it through the day.
    Depending on what time she has her nap you could try to move bedtime earlier just so that she is overall getting more sleep. You might be able to slowly bring the nap forward and slowly bring bedtime forward.

    My eldest was an early waker - 6.5 years old now and still is. He knows he can't get out of bed until 6 am though. That might sound arbitrary to some, but it keeps me sane when I am parenting alone ( which is fairly common). Like the other poster said, it rarely matters what time my eldest goes to bed - he still wakes at the same time. So at least if he goes earlier, he gets enough sleep.

    The infuriating thing is, you'll try to tweak things a bit then there will be something new happening and it'll all change!

  6. #6

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    Default Re: Toddler waking early, and I mean early

    At the risk of hijacking another one of your sleep posts... ds is doing the exact same thing atm. He's sleeping through but waking at 4-4.30am, with past 3 nights waking at 3.30am. He is awake for around 1.5-2 hours. Then eventually goes to sleep for 40 mins, then he's up for the day. Dh keeps saying that it will be ok bc of daylight saving soon, but that's no comfort at 4am.

    I don't really have any suggestions, but probably be inclined to leave the day nap too. I'm always a bit wary of tinkering with things though, in case it ends up worse! I feel your pain, I miss my 5-5.30am 'sleep ins' too... :-/

  7. #7

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    Default Re: Toddler waking early, and I mean early

    Haha that's fine Andie, at least we are in the same boat!

    I would love her to go to bed earlier, but she still feeds to sleep and it doesn't matter when we start the routine, she will just take longer to go to sleep, and end up asleep at 8 ( actually she falls asleep most nights at 8.04 on the dot, it's ridiculous). I end up in her room for over an hour which makes me crazy.

    The only time she had gone to sleep earlier is when she went through a week of not napping, so she was asleep by 7 or 7.30, but still got up earlyish -more like 5.30. She just doesn't need a lot of sleep, mum says I was exactly the same.

    I do go to bed early esp now DH is away, I make sure I'm in bed by 9at the latest, so I can get 6-7 hrs sleep, and the fact I am not getting up to feed her in the middle of the night more than compensates for the early risings at the moment.

    That's for all your advice, I am torn over disrupting her naps. I think I will leave it and I have a feeling she might drop her nap soon anyway, she has been on 1nap since 10months, hopefully that will shake things up a bit.

    I will also look into starting to introduce a clock thing, she won't care about it now, but it might be good to start getting her used to it.

  8. #8

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    Default Re: Toddler waking early, and I mean early

    hanging in there, saffy?

  9. #9

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    Default Re: Toddler waking early, and I mean early

    Well I don't want to jinx anything but she has been waking at 5.30 for the last 4 days.

    She has started waking once overnight again, but i can get her back to sleep and back in bed within 30mins. I do want to night wean her off this but I am sick at the moment so every minute of sleep is a bonus! Once I am better I will give it a try and hope the 4oclock issues don't come back, how good is 5.30, feels like the biggest sleep in ever.

    DH has to stay in Asia for work for another 2 weeks, so I can get stuck into weaning this feed before he gets back.

    How about you?

  10. #10

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    Default Re: Toddler waking early, and I mean early

    5.30am is great, hopefully your dd sticks to it for you. at least till dh gets back. : )

    we are ok, last night 3am. but same as you, I just fed him (he's night weaned already, but...) & then he slept till 6.30am. he was pretty tired though, he refused his arvo nap yesterday so went to bed at 6pm last night.

  11. #11

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    Default Re: Toddler waking early, and I mean early

    Back to 4am with a wake overnight too wahhhhhh!!

    She skipped her nap the other day, went to bed early, then woke at 4 and it's been up the creek since.

    Oh well it's officially 5am I suppose. Definately going to wean the night feed.

  12. #12

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    Default Re: Toddler waking early, and I mean early

    Nooo! Come back 5.30am sleep in. ; )

    Im going to stop the 3-4am feed now too, his cold is getting better, teething a bit still but not too bad. Up & down like a yoyo last night & wouldn't even settle in my bed. Tilted his cot a bit bc he sounded snuffly & he finally went to sleep around 2am. Woke at 6.30am. Sounds ok, but only 4 hrs overnight is not enough. :-/

  13. #13

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    Default Re: Toddler waking early, and I mean early

    Oh I really feel for you guys! Broken sleep and early mornings are the worst I'm sorry I have no advice as I chose to self settle, but I really hope they start to sleep a bit more for you.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Toddler waking early, and I mean early

    My now 7yo did this as a toddler. It was only for 2-3 months at a time.

    I taught him how to turn on the tv and left a favourite dvd in the machine in the end. Not ideal, but if I only had a couple of hours' sleep we had a tv day, so it worked out best in the long run.

    You all have my sympathy and rest in the knowledge he was up at 6.45 this morning so lie ins can happen! DH plans revenge in our son's teenage years.

  15. #15

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    Default Re: Toddler waking early, and I mean early

    Lol we're also plotting revenge.

    Hi. I'd like to join this fine club. Haha! the last few weeks, DS2 is up at 4am wanting a boob. 30mins later I sneak back to bed. DS1 is passed out on the mattress I put beside me to keep him from hogging my bed every night. Until my head hits the pillow. And 30mins of shuffling and wiggling ensues. I get up at 5. Attempt to nap on the couch until DS2 is up. Head hits pillow.... bam. DS2 is up. Excellent.

    It's like groundhog day. My sleep isn't even terribly broken but I'm a zombie anyway. 4am is just vile. VILE!

    My advice includes wine sometimes. Lol.

  16. #16

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    Default Re: Toddler waking early, and I mean early

    Well I have discovered the culprit is the nap, a few weeks ago she dropped her nap again and was sleeping 7.30-6.30- with a couple of wake ups of course but I was actually getting a total of 8 HOURS sleep, that has not happened since she was born.
    Some days (about 50% of the time) she had a small nap in the car or something but only 45mins or so, and it didn't stuff up the night.

    Naturally because I actually felt like a human being for the first time in ages, it has all gone pear shaped the last few nights, but I have worked out that I can't let her nap more than 1.5 hrs, and she has to be awake by 4 at the latest or else it's impossible to get her to sleep at a reasonable time.

    My time as a single mother is over tomorrow, DH home after 31days away- hooray!!

    Forshelby- don't worry I am onto it! ( the wine )

  17. #17

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    Default Re: Toddler waking early, and I mean early

    Great news.... the wine, the sleep, DH returning. Yay!

    Me, it happened again this morning. So I splurged on a very large, very strong, very overpriced coffee. Then threw hashbrowns in the general direction of the kids. Lol

  18. #18

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    Default Re: Toddler waking early, and I mean early

    oh, wow. 31 days is a loooong time, really glad for you that he's back. xx

    and yay for more sleep, that sounds amazing. 8hrs... I feel rested just thinking about it... ;-)

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