At wits end-DD(5) been waking at 5am since she was 11/2. Now waking DS(2) as well.

(26 Posts)
Spiderwithoneeye Sun 19-Jan-14 06:20:19

That's it really. DD(5) has been an early riser since she turned a year and a half. Tried everything; gro-clock (she says she 'gets bored' waiting for her sun to come up, unplugs it, or fiddles with the buttons), bribery, reward charts, yelling and screaming, you name it. We all get up during the week at 6am for work, school, nursery, which is hard enough, but getting up at the weekends at 5, sometimes 4 o'clock is just a joke.

To cap it all, now there's DS(2) who would normally sleep until 6.30/7 if left, is now being woken by her morning antics- switching on lights, creaking floorboards, banging doors as she 'goes to the toilet'. Then you've got him screaming for his morning milk and/or the pair of them wrecking the house.

Goodness knows what the poor neighbours must think!

Have completely run out of strategies- why won't my damn children sleep? I LOVE my sleep- always have! Still bloody do! Does anyone have any ideas? Pleeease?!

gordonpym Sun 19-Jan-14 06:36:01

Does she still nap in the afternoon? At what time does she go to bed in the evening?
Could you add a long walk before dinner?

Spiderwithoneeye Sun 19-Jan-14 06:50:02

Thanks for the reply.

No, she no longer naps during the day and is always asleep by 7.30pm; thankfully she GOES to bed ok!

She has a busy school life with activities or after-school club until 5-5.30 most nights. On a weekend we are out at least once a day with the dog/ on scooters etc. we get plenty fresh air.

Boxofbugs Sun 19-Jan-14 06:54:34

Are you being really consistent with rewards/punishments for remaining silent until the gro clock says it is tonne to get up? We have had similar issues but my the age of four I made it very clear that it was unacceptable to wake others. I would try the following:

- put the gro clock on a high shelf out of reach but in view. Forbid her touching it.
- set the gro clock to a realistic time, she's never going to last 'til 7.30 but 6am would be an improvement
- put a small lamp by her bed with a pile of books. Tell her if she wakes before the clock she can read but must not get out of bed or make noise.
- buy her favourite cereal, each morning she gets it for obeying clock, she gets a dull cereal if she ignores the clock.
- everyday she obeys the clock she gets a point towards a prize of her choice. She needs 15 points to win it.
- be utterly, utterly consistent.

deemented Sun 19-Jan-14 06:59:48

I do feel your pain, but I can't help as I'm right there with my four. DS3 has always been a bad sleeper. He's just turned four now and is on melatonin but before that he'd only sleep between 11pm-2am. Now he goes from 8pm to about 4am. He then wakes everyone else up, despite my best efforts not to let him. And now the other three are so used to being up so early, their body clocks wake at that time anyway.

I'm on my own with them and don't mind admitting I am bloody knackered. Sleep depravation is a recognised form of torture, and everything is always so much worse when you're tired.

So, no advice... but you aren't on your own.

CoteDAzur Sun 19-Jan-14 07:04:05

My 4 year old goes to bed at 20:30. Maybe delay her bedtime?

gordonpym Sun 19-Jan-14 07:05:22

Can you try and stretch her bed time routine to 7.45 / 8 and see what happens? No TV/screen after 6? Chamomile?

If nothing works, ask her to play the silence queen. She will be the queen of the house for a couple of hours, allowed to watch tv but must not wake anybody, otherwise she will be taken for a forced walk in the rain/snow when it is still pitch dark outside.
She's five, she will get it. Soon or later.....

TravellingToad Sun 19-Jan-14 07:08:46

When she wakes up is she refreshed and ready to start the day? Ie is she getting enough sleep? Or is she always tired and cranky

If she IS getting enough sleep then thats obviously the hours she needs to get by on. You can either have a later bedtime or get up at 5am!

gordonpym Sun 19-Jan-14 07:16:17

What I was trying to say by telling you to drag her out of the house at 5am, is try to make it unpleasant for her to be up so early... hence a walk in the cold...

deemented Sun 19-Jan-14 07:18:27

Really gordonpym? Are you being entirely serious?

gordonpym Sun 19-Jan-14 07:28:03

Well, I guess not ! grin.

The OP has tried everything and the DD is 5 . Should be able to understand she has to be quiet in the morning. It may be worth a try... Even only to make just one step outside the door and tell her "next time you wake me or your brother up, we will go out".

I used to go out at dawn with DS2 to let DH and DS1 sleep. It wasn't a punishment, we quite enjoyed it actually. You see houses coming to live, movements behind curtains, sleepy dog walkers who nod, ...

Lifeisaboxofchocs Sun 19-Jan-14 09:10:39

gordon.. i think that sounds quite a good idea! After all we are not talking about about a baby here.

Spiderwithoneeye Sun 19-Jan-14 13:43:57

Some really good points, thanks.

We've put the clock up high but she'll pull the plug out at the wall. We have a chart but I suspect we need to be much more specific about what is needed to earn points. (Her clock is only set to 6am btw). Great idea about dragging her out at 5 but would probably take us until 6 to get out of the house with DS in tow!

Travellingtoad she's not tired at all and I have a similar problem to deemented in that I'm sure DS body clock is being skewed now to wake up early too. We've tried later bedtimes in the past without luck but might be worth another try now she's older.. We do like our evenings to ourselves though!

I appreciate things could be a lot worse, it's just the drip drip effect of relentless early mornings for the past 5 years are taking their toll- I feel twice my age!

Spiderwithoneeye Mon 20-Jan-14 18:45:54

Cotedazur, what do your DC do until 8.30pm? Ours would expect to watch kids tv til then or be entertained by us and I'm done being the entertainer by then!

CoteDAzur Mon 20-Jan-14 22:50:50

We eat together as a family at 18:30. Then kids have their bath, story, brush teeth etc. 20:30 arrives pretty quickly.

In your place, I would let her watch a bit of TV in the evening rather than get up at 5 AM every day, if that is the choice you are faced with.

Spiderwithoneeye Tue 21-Jan-14 06:07:40

Have just put in place a reward chart and purchased some Cocoa Pops to no avail! DS is now waking DD then neither will go back to sleep knowing the other is awake.

Will try shifting our evening timings later as you suggest; will give us more time to do homework and things I guess. Mine are always starving wen new get home and feel obliged to get tea on the table ASAP. But perhaps a snack...?

shelley72 Tue 21-Jan-14 06:19:36

I have one of these. We've also tried changing bed times but that makes no difference. I can see him getting more tired as the week goes on (and he struggles more to concentrate at school) but he just WON'T sleep longer, and can't lay quietly without waking all despite having books, toys, audio CD etc.
Marking place to see how you get on...

hazeyjane Tue 21-Jan-14 06:22:49

Again, not a lot of help as I haven't much advice about early risers,having tried everything with dd2 (6) and ds (3.6)

Dd2 stopped waking at 4.30/5 by about 4 and now sleeps until 6. Ds has woken between 4 and 5 since he was born, and like Deemented's ds is on melatonin to get to sleep at night.

I just try and keep him quiet until it is a decent time for everyone else to get up, so we snuggle under a blanket and watch a dvd, he will eat a sandwich, I drink a coffee (both made the night before).

Spiderwithoneeye Tue 21-Jan-14 18:27:32

Well the chart and breakfast had no effect whatsoever! DS woke DD at 430. I sent DD back to bed while I lay with him to see if I could get him back to sleep, but she kept on giving out loud sighs of boredom! Gave up after 20 minutes and I shoved them in bed with me so they could wriggle, giggle and kick me until 6 o'clock.

Then I got up and did a days work sad

gordonpym Wed 22-Jan-14 09:59:33

I really think that the only solution is to send them to bed later. How to occupy them in those extra hours:
- crafts (pearls for necklace, ...), coloring books, ....
- raid your local library for books, audio books, ...
- invite a friend and her children for tea and biscuits and send them away just before dinner

Can't remember really what my DC did when they were younger, but maybe you can start a new thread with the title "Desperately need activities ideas for 2 and 5y with minimal mum's involvement"

hazeyjane Wed 22-Jan-14 10:34:10

I think sometimes the later bedtime doesn't work though, and they are just early risers ( sorry op!)

We tried later bedtimes with dd2, and she would just be beside herself with tiredness, then still wake up at stupid o clock.

Ds used to be up until 12, and then wake at 3 or 4 in the morning - 5 am wake ups seem like a blessing after .3 years of that!

FuckyNell Wed 22-Jan-14 10:39:24

Excellent advice from box

stripes1 Wed 22-Jan-14 19:13:39

May sound odd but what happens if you try putting her to bed early? We suffer with DS who has never been a great sleeper but I found when I did later bedtimes he actually woke earlier. He is 4 and bedtime is now 6:30, sometimes earlier if nursery has tired him out. He wakes at about 6. Bed at 8 makes him wake at 4:30!
Feel your pain with the gro clock. He unplugs it the turns it on again making the sun cone up regardless of the time, and he would just climb up to do it if it was on a shelf!

Spiderwithoneeye Wed 22-Jan-14 19:27:00

Ooff...Hazeyjane.. How did you cope with that?!

Thanks for the replies folks, at least I'm not alone. Have googled and googled this now and just not found the right solution- roll on the teenage years I say! Tho am sure that will herald a whole new set of problems!

Will keep on experimenting with charts and bedtimes and if I find the magic formula you'll be the first to know!

CoteDAzur Thu 23-Jan-14 07:29:03

How about taking DS in with you for a couple of nights and ignoring DD for a bit when she wakes up? She can go to he toilet and pee quietly and return to her bed, nothing more.

Think of things to take away for every time she goes against this and wakes someone up - favourite toys, tv time, etc. 5 is old enough to understand what is expected and do it.

You can't go on living like this.

It's ok to show them you are upset and angry, you know. I'm not talking about screaming and hitting, obviously, but using The Voice and The Glare smile

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