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What time does your 2 year olds wake? (trials of the gro clock..)

(19 Posts)
polar515 Wed 23-Jan-13 14:22:24

Until 1 month or so ago DC has slept through from 6 months from 7pm until 6.30/6.45. He has now started waking at 5/5.30. We've had a couple of 6.15's mixed in.

We have bought a gro clock and a week and half in there is not really any change. DC seems to understand concept and says 'wait til sun comes up' then 'shout mummy and daddy' when we talk about it but then in morning proceeds to come in to our room, turning light on / asking for mummy / daddy/ etc etc.

We take him straight back to his room and put him on his bed and say wait til sun etc, he is crying/upset and quickly follows us back out and into our room. The process repeats itself until the sun actually comes up, when he then calms down and says 'sun come up' 'shout mummy and daddy' (so far we've also tried watching the sum come up together, reading book that comes with it before bed, not talking to him when put him back to bed).

I'm sure we might need to give it more time? However, just wondering, what time does your 2 year old wake up and what time do you feel is too early / acceptable to not try and change?!! Also, experiences of gro clocks please? Can't find anyone saying on internet that they haven't worked.

omama Wed 23-Jan-13 14:58:52

Does your ds still nap? If so, what time & how long for? Just want to check so we can rule out routine as the cause for him continuing to wake early.

polar515 Wed 23-Jan-13 17:13:07

He stopped having a formal nap about 3 months ago. He suddenly went from having 1.5 - 2 hours to refusing to sleep unless in car/or left to cry for a bit then gets so exhausted falls asleep behind door which i Don t line doing. Since he s been waking early i sometimes have to just let him cry to sleep for nap in house as he is obviously so tired he has stopped functioning. Not as routine as id like though (like it used to be without fail).

13lucky Thu 24-Jan-13 20:59:05

You're not by any chance potty training? This is when my dd started waking very early as she was dry until 5 / 5.30ish and was then waking because she needed the toilet...just a thought.

fififrog Thu 24-Jan-13 21:26:40

Well for us early mornings have existed to varying degrees since day 1. DD is 22 months. Currently her favourite time to wake up is 5.40, this is a bit earlier than her current average of about 6.00. If we're really lucky we get 6.20 but it's rare. She goes to bed about 7.30

We are using a gro clock right now to try to get her to shut bloody well up until 6am, which is our designated unpleasant but acceptable hour.

BR44 Fri 25-Jan-13 10:58:41

My DS is 2.4 and it was 4.45 this morning. He is now fast asleep in the pushchair after a trip to Tesco and I am propped up at my kitchen table with MN and cheesecake, slightly despairing of the fact that it's not even 11 am yet!

Until about a fortnight ago his normal wake up time was 6-ish, which I think is fairly normal and acceptable and I can deal with it. Quite often he'd go until 6.30/6.45. I am hoping it's the cold weather that's doing it and nothing more permanent, so tonight we're going to put an extra radiator in his room, timed to come on around 4-ish. Fingers crossed. Is his room chilly by any chance?

piggybank Fri 25-Jan-13 11:51:12

Sorry in advance for typos - using my phone!

Sorry you're having this problem. we had 8 months of very early starts from 18mo. When our ds was old enough we got gro clock. It has helped but he was also waking up to see mummy so to break that part if cycle my Dh did all wakings for several weeks so hestopped expecting to see mummy...

What time are you setting the sun rise for? Sounds like you're being a bit ambitious with the wake up time.

Suggest you start with just earliest wake up time so your child can build confidence in the clock. For us this was 0430. My thinking was that if we returned him to bed crying over and over saying "wait for sun" that he would resist/resent the clock.

After several days of immediate gratification (sun already up when he openned his eyes/him shouting happily for us to wake up/sun's up), we started to move the sun rise later and later. We moved it by a couple of minutes every couple of days - it didn't actually take that long to get into sensible wake up territory.

We then started to hear him rustling around/sometimes giving a little shout out before realising sun wasn't up. Then he would wait for it patiently (because he had faith in it) and sometimes even fall back asleep. Some times he would wake up, see the sun and actually ignore it and go back to sleep!!!

I hope this helps. It's not perfect, nothing ever is, but it did help us and we did it at ds's pace without tears.

After 6months of good sleep we had a looong stretch of illness which has left us with another stretch of early rising. So I am starting again at the beginning by setting the thing bastardly early so to break his habit of expecting a mummy cuddle in the morning before the sun comes.

Fingers crossed it works again! I am heavily pregnant and shattered!!

Good luck. Apology for how long this is but I didn't want to leave anything out that might help you.

OhMyNoReally Fri 25-Jan-13 12:00:56

We have a stair gate on ds bedroom but he shares with other ds. So when he wakes anywhere between 5:30 and 6:30 he stands and shouts for breakfast, however it stops him leaving his room. His early rising started at 2, he is now 2.6 yrs. I've just been patiently waiting for him to wake later, like the older 2 but I love the idea of a sunrise clock. I hope it works for you, but by 3 he should be sleeping longer. All the best.

piggybank Fri 25-Jan-13 12:02:22

By the way, I thought I should say that before this, my ds was NOT ever a good sleeper. He didn't sleep through the night until we got this cracked at age 2.4. He's 3 now.

polar515 Fri 25-Jan-13 13:26:49

Thanks for your replies. We're not potty training and I don't think his room is cold. Wouldn't the coldest time be earlier in the night anyway - say 3? hmm. piggybank, that's a really interesting approach with setting the sun time. Might consider doing that.
The one thing that is new for him is he's started going to nursery 1 day a week, which is taking some getting used to for him (bit of an understatement). Maybe this could be influencing his sleeping all week?

Mutley77 Sat 26-Jan-13 20:29:08

I think for my DS he wouldn't have really "got" the gro clock much before three. He was "horrendous" with early wakings - he never ever really slept much past five until he had his gro clock!

I see what you mean that your DS does understand the concept but tbh that is not going to necessarily mean much when he wakes up and the sun isn't there - their concept of time etc is not very clear at that age.

In answer to your other questions we never did anything much about DS's early wakings - I think it would have been too stressful and traumatic for me, DH and DD (3 years older) to be dealing with his crying etc had we tried any kind of CC (having a whole family of 4 awake from 5 every morning is not a pleasant experience). Plus he didn't actually seem to need that sleep (wasn't tired during day despite no naps even in the car from 18 months and never ever in my recollection settled back to sleep in the mornings). Therefore the path of least resistance was to bring him in to us, then at least we could doze while he roamed around and DD could stay asleep in her own room.

The gro clock did have a fabulous effect but I don't think he sleeps much longer - just knows not to come out of bedroom!

polar515 Sun 27-Jan-13 19:36:27

Maybe he doesn't understand then. I feel really bad now for trying to be firm with him about waiting for the sun like he was misbehaving!
This morning after several mornings of not conversing with him and just putting him straight back to bed (to wait for the sun) didn't work, I put his light on and shut him in and he played for a bit. Don't particularly think this is a good ongoing solution though. Plus last few nights he has been stalling bedtime too - asking for cuddle after cuddle (v sweet but mindful of starting precedents and that he totally knows what he's doing?). For first time tonight he would not rest and kept climbing out of bed when I was trying to leave room (but if a sneaked a look up from cuddle he was grinning, suggesting he was being a bit manipulative for attention?). Just ended up leaving him crying for a few minutes and now he is sleeping in bed. He's yet again had no nap today (despite 3 x in house (i.e. not car - when it's easy) attempts and him obviously being completely knackered). Hope it's not the start of things further to come. I'm sure all must be related?

SneezySnatcher Sun 27-Jan-13 19:54:20

I'd second what a PP said - set it for really early for about a week (sorry!) so that he gets the gratification of it already being on the sun when he wakes, then gradually moving it forwards a little every few days.

We did this with DD and she has gone from 5am wake-ups to 7am. She often sleeps past this, but the clock changes at 7.

Mutley77 Sun 27-Jan-13 19:58:45

I'd say starting nursery has possibly made him a bit insecure and he needs a bit more reassurance at bedtime. Just because they know what their doing IMO doesn't mean that it is not resulting from a deeper "need" for more attention at certain more unsettled periods.

The unsettledness has also possibly had an impact on his waking time (or ability to doze back to sleep if he does stir at 5 - quite possibly he has always woken at 5 but gone back to sleep so you've never known).

In the mornings if he goes back in his room and plays for a while, that sounds like a good solution and hopefully that will develop the habit of him waiting for the sun (esp if you try what someone else suggested and set the sun earlier to start with so he isn't having to wait very long for it).

Hope you are ok, I remember how awful the early morning waking is (although my mind has obviously blocked some of it out as I am now pg with number 3!)

Florin Sun 27-Jan-13 20:02:49

It is worth checking heating. Completely different age child but our 6 month old amazing sleeper who normally always sleep 6pm-7am and has done since he was 13 weeks started waking at 5:30 a couple of weeks ago we tried putting an extra blanket over his grobag etc but he just pulls it off. We set heating to come on earlier and he went straight back to sleeping to 7. Heating is expensive but sleep is worth it! Maybe worth trying.

polar515 Sun 27-Jan-13 20:04:21

Thanks for your replies. Having read my post back, I sound so heartless and stone cold about it all, but I would like to add at this point that we have a 9 mo DC too who has been teething, so it has been challenging times... will re-set the clock for earlier sun coming up tonight before we go to bed and see what happens.

BearsLikeMarmalade Sun 27-Jan-13 20:08:47

We started using a gro clock with DS when he was 2 and it did take a week or 2 for him to 'get' it, and for us to figure out the best time to set it for. I cursed it for the first week! I completely agree with other posters who suggest setting it earlier. I'd say do persist with it because once you find the right balance with the time its very useful, not just for signalling morning but also for signalling that its time to sleep.

BearsLikeMarmalade Sun 27-Jan-13 20:10:24

Took me too long to write that - good luck with setting it earlier. You don't sound heartless by the way!

piggybank Sun 10-Feb-13 10:03:58

How's it going Polar?

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