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23 months ds....poor napper and early waker.

(16 Posts)
Twosugarsplease Sun 17-Jul-11 08:09:37

can anyone advise me.... Got my ds into a good routine eventually at 12 months with help from baby whisperer book and others. My dh and I stood together worked as a team and taught our poor little baby how to sleep without the need to be rocked, cuddled or sang to. He was laid down awake after a nice relaxed wind down bath then in his own little cosy room he would have his bottle. This routine remains the same almost exactly one year on. Only difference is....instead of him waking between 6.15 and 6.45 it's now 4.50 bang on, every morning ! A lie in is 5.10. I have read it is habitual waking...and advise is to set my alarm hour before he wakes and semi rouse him...I just can't take the risk of him waking at 3.50 ! He has a nap around 11or 12....wakes after not even an hour most days, I start to bath him around half 6 as it's such a long day and I'm ready for a break from him. Does my routine sound ok ? I know I need to drop the bottle too...so any tips on that would be appreciated, I know there are plenty mums who would trade places and I maybe should think myself lucky. but surley something can be done.

noblegiraffe Sun 17-Jul-11 09:36:58

How dark is his room? He could be waking earlier because it's light?

On the other hand, if he's not napping for long, he might be waking up that early because he's had enough sleep and is ready to get up. In which case you might need to push his bedtime back.

My DS is also 23 months, he also has an hour or so nap around 11 or 12 and wakes up around 6 or 6:30. However, he doesn't fall asleep in the evening until about 8:10. If he is incredibly tired and ends up falling asleep earlier, then he wakes up early too. He just doesn't seem to need any more sleep.

SharkSkinThing Sun 17-Jul-11 11:45:04

Hi Twosugars

Firstly, I feel your pain and tiredness, we have this issue with our almost 12 month old DS - it's better, but we are not out of the woods yet. So I truly understand how distressing and knackering this is.

He woke at 4/4.30am for almost a month, sometimes would go back to sleep after an hour - often not. We were beginning to go a bit mental, thinking that it was just 'him' and that he didn't need as much sleep (as he was going through from 7pm) and so by that time was 'done'. We tried pretty much everything - taping the blinds shut, playing around with the type of food he had for tea, changing his daytime naps etc etc

Basically, after speaking to my HV, it's a habit he had formed, and we just needed to jig his clock around a bit. She gave me this advice, and it worked (more or less, he very rarely sleeps past 5.30am, but at least this is manageable and gives us a sense of control!).

I knew he wasn't hungry, and I didn't want to do the wake to sleep thing either for fear of his staying awake!

1. Treat this early waking as if it is 3am (or a night waking if you know what I mean!).

2. Decide what time as a family you want to start the day. We felt 6am was reasonable.

3. When your DS wakes, leave him if he's just babbling or whatever, but if you need to go and check/change a nappy, then do so. In fact, feel free to go in as many times as you want to check all is ok (if crying etc, or having to lie him back down) BUT DO NOT GET HIM UP - TREAT IT LIKE IT'S NIGHT TIME STILL!!

4. Do this until either (a) he falls sleep again or (b) your chosen get up time has arrived.In which case, curtains open, a loud and cheery 'morning!' (even if you feel like death), and on with your day.

5. Repeat the next morning.

The first morning my son just stayed awake until 6am. The second he stayed awake until 5.30am and then fell asleep for half an hour. The third he slept until 5am, I think, and then I just carried on with the 'it's still night time' approach.

I was prepared to do this for a week, but he seemed to sort it in a few days. Don't get me wrong - he never, ever sleeps until 6am (5.30am if we are lucky), but I've accepted that (sob), and he seems to be ok if left.

Of course, with all success comes a regress, and he has woken at 4.30am for three days now. Yesterday he went back to sleep at 5.30 until 6.30, but he didn't today! But at least I know what to do to to hopefully re-set his clock again!!

HTH - feel free to PM if you have any q's!! xx

Twosugarsplease Sun 17-Jul-11 12:31:54

Hi....thanks for your message,really appreciated. I will brave it tonight and keep him up till 8 pm....! Yeah his room has blackout blind up but sun still peeps through,I will try a later bedtime for a few nights see how we get on. Thanks again. X

Twosugarsplease Sun 17-Jul-11 12:53:26

Hi sharkskinthing....thanks for that,some great advice there. Your right to say treat like a night wake. To me 4.50 is through the night. I have been going in when I hear him before he cries loud enough to wake up more, I then pu/pd. Is 23 mth too old for that though. I suppose not is it ? So when I walk out he smuggles up for 10 mins maybe 15 yippee ! Then I'm up again. I give him an hour... max, of me going in every 3-5 mins. If he won't settle by then we get up...he gets the praise and claps for the previous 10 mins he just had and we go downstairs. Do you think I should carry on the pu/ pd for more than an hour...until he has a longer sleep, as I feel I'm not really teaching him anything...I'm guessing he goes to sleep in-between me going in, he could just be lying awake wondering why he has to wait bless him. What do you think ? X

SharkSkinThing Sun 17-Jul-11 16:32:58

Hi Two - keeping my DS up later never worked for us, but he's a year younger than your DS, so maybe some more experienced mums can offer advice on this?

I know the common school of thought is that it's better to in fact put them to bed earlier, so that they don't go down over-tired, but as I said, later didn't work for us.

My HV said that PU/PD was too old for my DS at 10.5 months, hence why she suggested the going in and just re-affirming that it's a night-time waking (so no eye contact and all that). Like you, though, I can't leave him to cry too long, but that's why this way is ok, you are still going in, you're just not getting him up.

How long you do it for (an hour...two...) is entirely up to you and what time you are happy to get up! I guess if it was 2am you'd do it until morning, if you had to. I think the key is to keep your presence as boring as possible (no offense!), but how tough you are depends again on you (plus your DS is older than mine, I guess it may change??)

I know lots of people use those clocks which have the moon/sun on, and they teach their child that they can only get up when the sun has come up! Think they work from about 18 months (so on our Christmas list!!), but I have no direct experience of these (yet).

My DS has a habit of doing a big poo half an hour after he wakes up, which is a bloody nightmare, as the nappy change wakes him up!

I do think it's a case of just breaking the habit...but like all things it's a tough one to deal with when you're so tired and just want them to sleep until 6am! BTW, your routine sounds very much like ours.

What time is he going to bed? xx

SharkSkinThing Sun 17-Jul-11 16:35:17

Just to add, I spoke to a sleep specialist about all of this as well, and she said that always put them to bed earlier, even by half an hour may make a bed difference as they go down rested.

Not always possible, though - I'd like DS in bed at 6.30, but it's nearer 7 otherwise DP wouldn't see him.

Twosugarsplease Sun 17-Jul-11 20:54:48

Hello...thanks so much for your help, (big sigh ) feels good having someone else to relate to. I put my ds down a little later, after a walk to the shop with his dad I bathed him and gave his bottle,so asleep at 19.40. I am hoping for a 6-6.30 wake...fingers crossed, I am prepared for an earlier one though and have gone through your advice and will be putting that into practice in the morning....will keep you updated. Thanks again,hope your night/morning goes well,speak soon xx

noblegiraffe Sun 17-Jul-11 21:09:50

Good luck! Re: getting rid of the bottle, I bf, but to get rid of his bedtime feed I slowly shifted it back and out of his routine. It used to be the last thing before sleep, then he had it and then we read a book then sleep, then it was before his bath and then finally it went completely. This might be easier than just taking it away completely one night.

Twosugarsplease Mon 18-Jul-11 08:24:14

Hi ng...that sounds like a good plan,thanks for that,I was thinking I could start giving his milk in his cup downstairs before his bath,as I tried that after his bath in his room,but was having none of it. A later bedtime really helped last night with a bit of perseverence this morning.....wait for it....6.45 !!!!!!! There is a god ! X

SharkSkinThing Mon 18-Jul-11 13:42:49

That's brilliant news!!! Well done! We also had a better wake-up (5.40am) this morning. Fingers crossed our DC's have turned a corner. Until the next issue!

Twosugarsplease Mon 18-Jul-11 18:04:51

Yes....I saw light at the end of the tunnel with a mixture of all your advice together,thanks girls x x. Well here goes tonight...I feel more confidant now though. As for the bottle we are going to in some way (haven't decided yet) make his bottle look less attractive by putting sticky jam on or maybe even damaging it to show him we should put it in the bin. Will enjoy my hopefully longer sleep tonight first though I think, then start my next mission. X

SharkSkinThing Tue 19-Jul-11 08:32:09

We had another 4.30am start! Joy...but delighted it's working for you! xx

Twosugarsplease Wed 20-Jul-11 07:12:26

Hi sst...sorry to hear you have your earlier mornings back too. All I can suggest is to take your own advice, it worked for me ! And much appreciated. Ds is still waking around 5 ish, so I will go in lay him down , I might have to go in again like this morning, but like yesterday too it's between 6.20 and 6.45 we get up, he Just needs to drop that 5 ish wake up, then happy days !!!!

SharkSkinThing Thu 21-Jul-11 20:09:29

Thanks - he's just cut his top two teeth, so I think it's related to that...I feel for him but I'm on my knees!! How are you getting on?

Twosugarsplease Sat 23-Jul-11 10:26:25

Hi sst...a little scared to brag iykwim, but wow ! Can't believe the turn around. He has nearly 2 hr naps too ! Yesterday morning my 2 teenage dc's were shocked I wasn't downstairs making packed lunches at 7am....because I was still in bed as ds woke at 7.15 ! This morning was dh's turn ( my lie in on a Saturday) and he got up with ds at 6.30. Fair enough I thought, but now ds being a monkey, and ready for a nap already, so now I know now that he is settled into his new routine 6.30 is too early for him, so will lay him down in the morning if he wakes that time again. I'm more than happy to get up at that time but it's obvious to me this morning he is still tired. How did your morning go ? X

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