Advice on our routine to see if we are causing early wake ups

(22 Posts)
mermaid101 Tue 02-Jun-15 09:29:24

My DS is 10 months old. He has not been, so far, a particularly good sleeper. He has always been quite an early riser. However, as he is nearly a year, I was hoping this might have changed as he got older.

We have another older child, and both work so are finding the early starts difficult.

He usually wakes any time betwern 4.30am and 5am. He can stay in his room, chatting and grumbling for about twenty mins/half an hour from when he wakes up.

Our routine is roughly this:

Get up 5-5.30am
9 oz milk

Breakfast (cereal or toast or banana)

Nap ( about 9.30/10am) we are trying to phase this out.

Lunch between 11.30-12.00

Nap 12.30 (usually between 45mins to an hour)

3pm 9oz bottle

Dinner between 5-5.30

Bed between 6.30 pm and 7pm

He has small snacks throughout the day. We have tried black out blinds, earlier and later bed times. He usually wakes up through the night at about midnight but goes back to sleep with a quick shush/ pat.

How does this look? Any obvious mistakes? We are open to any suggestions as to how to get him to sleep a bit longer.

mermaid101 Tue 02-Jun-15 09:38:30

Sorry, also 9 oz bottle before bed.

He doesn't usually finish any of his bottles any more. He usually manages about three quarters of them.

ThinkIveBeenHacked Tue 02-Jun-15 09:40:08

Have you tried jumping up as soon as he stirs at 5 and feeding in the dark, shhpatting back to sleep after it? Treat it as a night feed?

bobajob Tue 02-Jun-15 09:40:35

If he's in bed at 6.30 then a 5am wake up seems reasonable. Why not shift everything by an hour just as you would when the clocks change?

QuiteLikely5 Tue 02-Jun-15 09:52:53

What can work is disturbing their sleep pattern or waking them during a deep sleep phase.

Could you find it in yourself to wake him at 4.45 feed him 5oz of warm milk?

I suspect though that he isn't really hungry but just into habit rather than anything

mermaid101 Tue 02-Jun-15 09:52:57

We've tried bed times both earlier and later. It doesn't seem to make any difference. By 7pm, he's beside himself with tiredness.

Doing a "night feed" at 5am might be a plan. My only concern with that would be that it might be difficult to stop, but to be honest, if he went back to sleep after it would make life so much easier!

bobajob Tue 02-Jun-15 09:56:14

Not all children sleep 12 hours. If you have one that sleeps 10 hours then you might just have to accept it. One of mine slept 9pm-7am, one slept 6.30pm-7am.

mermaid101 Tue 02-Jun-15 10:06:08

I think you're right quite likely. It does seem to be more of a habit than anything else. He doesn't seem particularly hungry when he wakes. He takes some of his bottle quite happily, but he's just as happy playing for a bit.

I would give him some milk at that time though, as you suggest. Even if it would keep him settled till 6am that would be great.

lisaloulou84 Tue 02-Jun-15 10:06:36

This is very similar to my DS at around this age. It was suggested to me that if he sleeps too long in the morning nap he'll be more likely to wake early the following morning. I started waking him after an hour max in the mornings and then he'd sleep for an hr and a half in the afternoon and go to bed between 7 and half past. I think 10 months is too young to go down to one nap, my DS has only dropped the morning one in the last 6 weeks or so and is almost 16 months. 10 months was also around the time he started dropping the afternoon bottle, so maybe try that and he'll finish his bedtime milk? My DS until very recently woke at about 5 had a bottle and then dozed in bed with us for another hour and a half which made a massive difference to us sleep wise. It's only been temporary and since he dropped his morning nap he now wakes around 6.30.

QuiteLikely5 Tue 02-Jun-15 10:10:46

I had a similar problem but I could never get up before she woke. I convinced myself every single time that that would be the day she slept through! smile

The heating doesn't come on at that time does it? Sometimes you can hear the water in the radiator??

Buglife Tue 02-Jun-15 10:42:11

I'm having this now with 9 month DS. He wakes at midnight-1am and am just managing to get him down without a feed so hope tht goes soon, but he wakes at 5am and although I feed him milk then and hold him until he sleeps if I can get him back down it's only until 6.30 or so. He has two layers of black out and no heating kicking in etc at the moment, so it's not an external reason. He already goes to bed at 8 most nights, has a morning nap 9-10 for 90 mins or so and an afternoon nap around 2pm. Meal and milk times very like yours. I have been advised its a phase. sad

Buglife Tue 02-Jun-15 10:43:25

I wouldn't mind the 6.30 but it takes about 30-40 mins to get him back sleep after 5am so it seems pointless as I don't sleep much after!

girliefriend Tue 02-Jun-15 10:48:39

I always treated any wake up before 7am as a night wake up iyswim.

Its more tricky in the summer though with the lighter mornings!

I would give milk, minimal interaction, change nappy if saturated and then encourage him to go back to sleep.

Your day time routine sounds fine to me.

Artandco Tue 02-Jun-15 10:49:05

I would move the day by an hour from lunch.
So midday nap 1.30pm instead of 12.30, if he's napping 10-10.45am he's not going to be that tired at 12.30 hence shorter nap. Keep morning nap a while longer ( mine needed until 18 ish months). At 1.30pm hopefully he will have a longer lunchtime nap 11/2 -2 hours.
Then you can love bedtime and dinner all back and hour as he work later from nap so will be able to cope. Dinner 6pm, bed between 7.30-8pm. Then you have more realistic aim of him sleeping 11hrs hours overnight until at least 6.30-7am, maybe 12 hrs.
6.30pm bed means even if he sleeps 12 hrs that's always 6.30am wake up.
8pm be means 12 hrs could be 8am! Bad night of 10 hrs is still 6am so later than now. Usually you will get something in between

mermaid101 Tue 02-Jun-15 12:37:59

Quite likely, I think we must have the same thought process! I always have that ridiculously optimistic hope that each morning will be The One, where he drops back off!
I would, however, get up and feed him if it would give us even am extra 45mins/an hour in bed in the morning.

Bug, when people have suggested that this is a phase, do they say how long it might last?

I think we have sort of been hoping this is the case, but he's approaching a year now, and it doesn't seem to be changing so we thought we might be able to try tweaking some things.

Buglife Tue 02-Jun-15 12:48:05

Mermaid no not really, just that most parents I speak to seem to have some stories of 5am wakes to tell me and that they have been through it at some point. Some went through it toddler/preschool stage so things like Groclocks would potentially work, most often I get the blackout blind advice but we have one. I do treat it like a night feed but he just seems to know it's not and goes down with great difficulty and after so long it seems pointless. I often leave him happy with his light show mobile thing on but sometimes he won't let me leave his room. I am going to try feed and change of nappy although I worry the change just wakes him more!

Midorichan Tue 02-Jun-15 13:09:20

My DS was exactly the same at that age! He'd wake for the day from 4.30/5.30am, would only have maybe an hour nap at lunch then bed for 7. We tried everything (blackout blinds, trying to knacker him out, later/earlier bedtimes) to no effect. In the end I ended up buying him a toddler clock (the Gro one), because I figured out he was stirring at that time but couldn't go back to sleep as he would come fully awake wondering where the heck was everyone. I introduced the clock and explained that when the sun came on that was when we would come in to get him, but not before. I set the sun for 5.30am the first couple of days then gradually set it later and later, within 2 weeks he was sleeping in until 6.30 ish but most importantly he was able to play happily in his cot on his own whereas before he wake up shouting for us. I feaking LOVE that toddler clock. He was obviously too young to understand the concept of time of a clock but could easily understand the sun concept. Totally life saver.

laura0007 Tue 02-Jun-15 14:44:51

we had the same problem. My DS is now 16 months and he now fairly reliably sleeps until 6-6.15. I just cut his morning nap down to 45 mins. It seemed to work, not sure if it was the nap or just coincidence! He still has 45 mins in the morning 1-2 hours in the afternoon and goes to bed about 7.30

squizita Tue 02-Jun-15 19:07:44

I put my 8 month old dd down at 7pm and when she wakes, as PP mention I treat it as a night feed (feed when she wakes, in the dark, shh rock to sleep). She often sleeps lightly/fitfully 5.30-6.30 ... but she sleeps!

waterrat Wed 03-Jun-15 20:52:45

Honestly it is because he is asleep by 630/7....sleeping till 5 is a very long sleep from then ! Just change the time as if you were in a a new time zone and shift everything forward

He needs to sleep later in the afternoon ...why are you keen to drop morning nap? Wouldn't it be better to keep it then push his afternoon nap later and bedtime later ? As he gets used to it and a bit older he can then drop the morning nap in a few months

The problem is if you drop the morning nap he will be tired even earlier at lunchtime

waterrat Wed 03-Jun-15 20:55:11

I had the same problem with my first child so have been making sure that with the second wr push bedtime nearer to half 7 8 o clock...it will take time to adjust but essentially you are getting a 10 hour night which is not unusual

Mrscog Thu 04-Jun-15 20:22:00

I actually think the problem could be overtiredness. At 10 months his window of wakefulness is only about 3 hours, so his morning nap is an hour too late and both naps are quite short for his age. With my son at that age the worse his daytime sleep, the shorter he slept at night. If he's up at 5am, try moving his morning nap to 8.30am. When I followed the advice on this page (mainly the timings on the table) my difficult 8 mo sleeper started doing 7pm-7am pretty consistently until about 2.5 years old when we hit a new rough patch. link

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