Early waking 3.5yr old...argh!

(7 Posts)
ladypop Thu 27-Jun-13 06:12:29

Our DS has generally slept well and we have never had any major issues. He goes down to sleep without too much fuss at night and is asleep on average by 7.15pm
However! For the past 6 months he has been getting up in the night, wondering in but simply asking for one of us to go back in with him and rub his back and/or getting up any time from 5.30am onwards.
To address this issue, we bought a Gro Clock a few months back and said if he stays in his room until it changes to yellow (from blue) then he could have a treat. It started off as a sweetie but is now a healthy fruit 'sweet'. This kind if works, in the sense he still wanders back and forth between rooms but does go back in when requested and reads books/entertains himself until it changes to yellow (6.30am)
Whilst for a while I thought that as long as he was being quiet in his room I didn't mind too much, but he is just too tired in the day to mean that it's ok to be awake and active at this time. He is often lolling around by 10am, whining, yawning and telling us he is tired!
His behaviour is always worse too (we are currently addressing issues of aggression towards other children and this is certainly not helping).
What to do?! We let him turn his lamp off at night but maybe we should remove the option in the night/morning so he can't turn it on and actually do anything in his room as it is too dark. He can freely wander between our rooms and I am reluctant to put a stair gate back up in his room as I know this will be met with tears - but maybe the 2 in combination would encourage him to see that he may as well just go back to bed as there aren't really any other options!
I am not sure putting him to bed any later will make much difference - on the odd occasions its a late night (8.30pm for example) he is still up at same time. I long for the day he stays sleep until 6.30+ ......maybe in 15yrs time when I can't drag him out of bed!?

ladypop Thu 27-Jun-13 06:39:05

I should add we have a 9wk old baby. I know this will make it harder for our son to stay in his own room as baby is in with us.....missing out on attention/fun etc etc but he was doing this long before baby arrived

piggybank Thu 27-Jun-13 23:06:36

I'll be watching replies with interest. We have the very same issue here in my house although my ds claims the new baby is waking him up and is suddenly afraid of the dark, which makes ne reluctant to take the light away.

So no advice, just sympathy!

Sprite21 Fri 28-Jun-13 14:10:24

I'm not sure this is the same issue as yours has been doing it for six months. But my DD (21mo) has been waking early for the past month or so and someone suggested that it was the morning light.
I hadn't thought of that as she already has black out blinds in her room but I added bin bags around the sides to completely block out the light and it worked!
She is now back to waking at 7:30 as usual and I am much relieved.
Might be worth a try?

Ellie8Mae Tue 02-Jul-13 06:42:56

Morning Everyone! Early riser in our house too. DS is 3.2. Usually up about 5am but up at 4.36am this morning and has been since about April when it was 6am. So will be trying fresh air right before bath and bed routine (saw that on another thread) and pinning down the sides tighter on the blackout blind. Thought I would re-try timer and night light too. He has a little clock with a sheep on it (asleep or awake) but novelty has worn off and he ignores it. Will keep watching this thread for other ideas too. It is blooming hard isn't it?

caramelgirl Tue 02-Jul-13 07:01:48

Exact same situation here: 11wo and 3y9m.
Have actually found that having night light on sort of cancels out the early sun sneaking past blackout blinds.
Also she will fall asleep despite herself if I compel her to stay in bed- usu with promise of a Daddy cuddle/story when he gets in/up. Am guessing developmentally they have learnt how to stay awake despite tiredness. I'd love half as much sleep as she has tho'!!
Good luck! Tired children no fun and I have two at the moment!

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 02-Jul-13 09:36:26

llady just wondering if you've read this on early waking? Also do you think he could just be hungry? My friends dd was like this, the HV advised her to give dd 6 small meals instead of 3 big ones and hey presto, she slept through smile. Takes a bit more planning but it can work like this:

7am blueberry pancakes and juice

10am small sandwich and a bit of fruit or raw veg on the side

1pm pasta/omelette/fish fingers anything with protein really

4pm leftovers

7pm oatibix with chopped banana

Know that's only 5 but might be worth a try smile

Does your DH do the early get up sone mornings? My dc1 has always got up at 6 (used to be 5). DH got up with him when dc2 arrived so that I could catch up on my sleep. Once dc2 started having breakfast he took them both downstairs and left me snoring.

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