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Is this a harsh thing to do with a toddler? Did I do the wrong thing?

(65 Posts)
dottytablecloth Tue 13-Jan-15 13:42:51

Can't work out if this will be good in the long run or if I might cause my ds unnecessary distress.

I have an almost 2 year old and an almost 5 week old. Baby is obviously up through the night for feeding and is very unsettled from around 7 each night so come the morning, I'm tired!

Toddler wakes very early between 5.00 and 6.30; if it's 6.30 I really feel like I've had a lie in.

Anyway the 5.00am starts are tough when I've been up several times with the baby and to be honest I don't enjoy the days with my toddler as I'm totally exhausted.

This morning he woke at 5.00 and I was just too tired to get up. Normally we get up and have a bottle and play etc. I just couldn't face it this morning. We've tried bringing him into our bed but he hates this.

I decided I was going to let him cry for a little while this morning, just needed another 15/20 mins before I could face getting up. I heard him crying in the background but I must've fallen into a deep sleep and I didn't waken until 8.15!

I went straight over to ds room, he was sitting up, looked a little tearful but not awful. I explained (not that he has a clue what I meant) that he woke up too early and it's time to get up now not earlier.

We normally get up as soon as we hear him so he will definitely wonder what's going on.

Is it a bit harsh to think I might let him cry for a while in the morning until it's a reasonable time to get up? He's not a tiny baby now, so he should possibly be learning to stay in bed for a while in the morning?

Am I being hard hearted?

If I do this I will set for alarm for 6.45 and then get up rather than make him wait so long as he did today.

TarkaTheOtter Tue 13-Jan-15 13:46:03

It's not that big a deal but I wouldn't do it with a new baby in the house. He has no idea what the time is at 2. I'd at least go in and say "it's nighttime, go back to sleep."
Have you tried a glo clock? We've had one for a while and dd jut started "getting" it at 2.5.

MissPenelopeLumawoo2 Tue 13-Jan-15 13:46:36

Give yourself a break, you are tired. I don't think he will be scarred for life.

plantsitter Tue 13-Jan-15 13:48:42

Does he have toys/books in there? I think if he had worked himself into a frenzy you would've heard it. I wouldn't make a habit of leaving him for so long, but a little while with something to distract him surely wouldn't hurt.

catkind Tue 13-Jan-15 13:51:31

I would find that a bit harsh. He's old enough to understand new rules if you explain them, but I don't think he'd necessarily remember what's going on in the morning even if you explained at bedtime. I think you need to go in and explain in the morning when he does wake up for a while until he understands the new rules. (Do you have a DP who could do it? with a tiny baby you need your sleep.)

What I would do for a few days (or as long as it takes) is when he wakes up early, go into his room, explain it's not time to get up yet, and resettle him. Or leave a night light on and some toys he can play with until it's getting up time. And maybe get a gro clock or something so he has a visual to see that it isn't time to get up yet? Or just tell him it's not time to get up until it's light outside?

hodgepodgepanda Tue 13-Jan-15 13:52:06

He can't have been too upset as surely you would have heard him ?
Maybe he nodded back off for a bit as well

I wouldn't feel too bad about it at all as he was safe in his cot not running round like a wild animal getting up to mischief smile

CallMeExhausted Tue 13-Jan-15 13:52:17

It was unintentional, don't beat yourself up about it.

If you can leave him with a toy or book in his bed, and get him a Gro Clock it might help him understand that there is a good time to play quietly, and a good time to be up for the day.

BubbleGirl01 Tue 13-Jan-15 13:53:24

Don't you have a DP who could get up with him and give him breakfast?

To be left crying/upset/hungry/in a soiled nappy for 3 hours is not on IMO and not something I would let happen personally.

Can you go to bed at the same time as the toddler so even though you are disturbed by the baby, you would still in bed for a reasonable period with the chance of sleep?

His sleeping pattern will probably change as he gets older but for now you may need to work around him until he/you are able to change his sleep patterns.

Marcipex Tue 13-Jan-15 13:56:07

No he isn't scarred for life.
I'm sure he went back to sleep himself and hopefully you feel a bit better too.

I never had a glo clock but I've heard they work for lots of people.
Some little books and a drink handy might help him settle himself another day.

loudarts Tue 13-Jan-15 13:56:20

I agree with a pp who suggested putting a few toys in his bed, my dd is the same age and most days will sit in bed and play with her toys until I get her up

ElsaShmelsa Tue 13-Jan-15 13:59:53

We used a glo clock from that age with dd and it really worked for her, more so than it does now, but then she will be 6 in june so tends to push the boundaries a little more now than when she was 2 wink.

Marcipex Tue 13-Jan-15 14:00:41

Who said he was crying/upset/hungry in a soiled happy for three hours?

I bet he dozed off again. He was snuggled in his own nice bed until breakfast time. What's so wrong with that?

Jengnr Tue 13-Jan-15 14:02:07

We had the opposite problem with our two year old recently. He would NOT go to bed then slept in. I need him to be up by 5.30-6 on some days and he just wasn't getting enough sleep. (Prior to this phase he was a 7-5 sleeper).

Anyway we left him to cry one night. He went to sleep eventually and seems to have reset himself. Goes to bed nicely at 7.30 and sleeps until 5-6 again.

dustarr73 Tue 13-Jan-15 14:02:13

No its not harsh,i dont think its a bad thing that they learn you cant always go to them straight away.
He probably fell back asleep aswell.

attheendoftheday Tue 13-Jan-15 14:03:42

I think you need to either bring him into your room with some toys, or change nappy and give breakfast then doze on the sofa while he plays. I think he's too little to leave for so long.

notagainffffffffs Tue 13-Jan-15 14:03:56

I wouldn't do it everyday. Im assuming his last meal is 12 hours earlier so hes naturally going to be hungry/thirsty. Could you pop a playpen in living room and give him bottle/toast in that while you doze on the sofa?

dietcokeandwine Tue 13-Jan-15 14:08:06

OP I can't imagine for one minute that he was crying in a frenzied manner for three hours and you slept through it.

Far more likely that he had a bit of a cry and whinge for maybe 20 minutes and then dropped back off to sleep. Which will probably have done him (and you) the world of good.

I would do as you suggest in future if I were you. But then again I've never ever ever got up with mine at 5am when they went through phases of doing so...always went in, quick cuddle, resettled them, told them it's still night time, go back to sleep etc etc. I would never leave them screaming so sometimes it would take a good few returns to their room to resettle and reassure them but equally I'd never just get them up at 5. They generally ended up going back to sleep within 20/30 minutes or so.

Remember we all come into that 'light sleep' around 5/5:30 am, may not be aware of it but we do, and then settle back to sleep (unless prevented by DC of course!). If you can help him learn to resettle himself back for more sleep at that time you will be helping him immensely - you'll all be that bit more rested and ready to enjoy the day.

MrsTawdry Tue 13-Jan-15 14:11:58

I did this a lot OP...not on purpose but because I just slept through the crying! I used to actually set two alarms to wake up so DD wasn't on her own....I used to be up at 7 but DH would hear her yelling at 6...if he was home...he worked away...but I'd just sleep though it.

I think it's self protection actually. He's not a newborn...he's 2...he can manage and have a little sleep at 5.00am because that's too early to be up!

You're lucky the baby slept through too!

dottytablecloth Tue 13-Jan-15 14:16:02

He does have a gro clock but haven't used it yet as we thought he was too small.

I really don't think he was crying for 3 hours, hope not.

I'll try the books, toys in his cot.

I'll go over in the morning and try to resettle him, maybe bring up milk.

I cannot function any longer on 5.00am starts.

Dh leaves for work at 4am.

yellowsnownoteatwillyou Tue 13-Jan-15 14:22:12

He would have probably gone back to sleep, that's far too early to be getting up. Hope fully he's re set himself and gets up at a reasonable time.
Presumably he goes to bed about 7/8?
He would not be starving and his nappy would survive
My ds is 17months and sometimes sleeps for 13 hrs at night, and he survives being in a nappy that long, I need to change him as soon as he gets up, but what should I do wake him up?
He's in a bed with his door open so it's his choice when he gets up.
When you give him a bottle do you have to feed him it or just hand it to him?

Jengnr Tue 13-Jan-15 14:27:13

Could your husband put a bottle in his cot at 4 when he gets up? If he wakes and has that he might just drink it and go back off again.

Kittymum03 Tue 13-Jan-15 14:28:25

Don't worry,Dotty,he will be fine smile mine wakes at 5 when dad goes to the gym,I do his nappy,give him a milk,put his music on then tell him it's too early,and lay him back down.i set the alarm at 8 (as once I slept until 8.30 and felt awful,but like yours he was fine,sitting there chatting to himself) but he's usually up at 7-7.30.(on no gym days he wakes 6.30-7) at worst he will have a good whinge but then sure yours wasn't crying all that time,make a bit of a routine of it and he will soon get the hang of it (hopefully) and try the gro clock.good luck smile

paperlace Tue 13-Jan-15 14:30:14

Feel for you - it's awful isn't it?!

But no I wouldn't do this - as a one off, yes, no need to feel guilty.

But not fair to leave him possibly crying for an extended period of time - think of it from his point of view. His whole life someone comes in when he wakes up, suddenly no one comes. Could be scary. That's why people do controlled crying, not cry it out crying.

Bring him into bed and shove telly on quietly? Not ideal but who cares once or twice a week!

minibmw2010 Tue 13-Jan-15 14:32:03

He won't have been crying for 3 hours, you'd have seen it in his face if nothing else. He may have been a little confused but he'll get over it. It's no harm for him to realise 5am is too early. If I was you I'd get a small bottle of milk ready (if he has morning milk, I know not all 2 year olds do) and pop it in his cot with him and let him drink it and set himself back to sleep. Don't do it for him, don't get him out of bed or even talk to much to him, he'll figure it out.

GlitzAndGigglesx Tue 13-Jan-15 14:34:02

He might've nodded back off himself. I agree with others you weren't harsh. 5am is way too early and I imagine he gets grouchy later in the day? I certainly do when I'm on an early!

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