Hi sheep, i just wondered if you'd tried anything drastic like the 10pm bedtime yet and whether you'd had any success or whether you contacted Milpond?
I can completely relate to the exhaustion you are feeling - my 2 year old has woken consistently between 4:30 and 5:30 pretty much since birth (usually 5am). Like you we've tried most things with no success and its exhausting. He has now started to refuse a daytime nap so this is making the whole situation even more difficult. I would do anything for a 6am lie in!
Sorry i'm not able to give any advice but i just wanted to say you aren't alone.
Hi OP - have you read about "wake to sleep"? I have the same issue, although with a much younger child, but have been reading other threads here about it, with some people getting success with older children. Basically, the idea is that if your DC wakes at the same time every morning you gently rouse them an hour before that time, and that "resets" them, so they sleep longer. Unfortunately my DDs wake ups are too random right now for this to work, but some people really rave about it. It's a Baby Whisperer thing I think. Not a personal endorsement, but might be something to try before a sleep clinic? Of course, setting your alarm for 4am or whatever is a pretty bleak thought, but apparently it can work in 3 days (?)
Was going to suggest gro clock but I see you've tried it. Also our 3yo has just started to disregard hers after around 18m of success, and has started waking up at 5.30am again, so maybe it's not such a great suggestion!
Google Isis Parenting Solutions- it's an American company but has loads of online resources (eg 'webinar' videos on all sorts of sleep topics). If you are on twitter, one of their people, Nancy Holtzman (@NancyHoltzman, I think) also posts loads of great tweets re sleep and tends to reply if you tweet her a question.
Random suggestion I know- but she's helped me out before when I've tweeted and she talks a lot of sense.
Fififrog, thank you for posting up. I have read about the super late bedtime thing, but I just don't know how and if he will manage to stay awake until then (or me for that matter!) . Particularly since he dropped his daytime nap, he is falling asleep late afternoon and a real struggle to rouse him from his deep sleep. But it is definitely something to consider. I do sort of feel like a massive change might just make a difference.
I do feel like we need drastic to be honest. He is just in such a routine and habit of waking up so early.
We could go with the sleep clinic. DH is very keen to. I think I'll suggest the idea of the late bedtime with DH again and maybe used Millpond Clinic as a plan B if it doesn't work.
Hi sheep sorry you're still suffering with this nightmarish problem. In Weissbluth's book, which I have forgotten the title of as my tiny terror has made it to 6am for about 7 months now (!!!) there is one case study where they use a super-late bedtime for a week or so (like 10 or 11pm) to break the 4.30 then gradually bring bedtime back to something reasonable. Sounds very drastic, but when you've been dealing with something for so long maybe you need drastic.
If you can afford it, sleep clinic might not be a bad idea though - we used one once and I found it v helpful to give me the impetus to stick with the plan.
We are at the end of our tether and all exhausted. I know frequent night waking must be awful and much worse, but after nearly 3 years of 4.30am/5am starts, I am so tired.
DS2 is 3 next month. He falls asleep by 7pm at night, sleeps through but is then up for the day anytime from 4am onwards.
We've cut his nap, made sure he is physically exhausted, given him food for bed. In the morning, we've tried the gro-clock, tried ignoring, tried bribing, tried laying next to him, tried rewarding. Nothing seems to work.
Has anyone actually overcome early waking? If so, please share your secret, DC3 is due in August and the thought of having a newborn and a 5am start as well just exhausts me.
DH thinks we need to see if a clinic like the Millpond Clinic can help retrain DS2s body clock a bit.
He is so tired when he wakes - he rubs his eyes etc, but he just refuses to go back to sleep, he just shouts and screams.
He has also started falling asleep late afternoon (4.30/5pm) if we are in the car at that time, sometimes he just falls asleep on the settee and he is so hard to wake, it takes me 20 minutes to bring him around.
Apologies for self indulgent post, I just wondered if anyone had any experiences or thoughts. Thanks for reading.