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3 1/2 year old wakes up at 5.30am EVERY DAY. Any tips?

(18 Posts)
choucroutegarnie Thu 17-Jul-08 22:56:51

Our 3 1/2 year old son has always been an early riser, but for the last three months he's been stuck on 5.30am. It's driving us slowly nuts with exhaustion.

We've tried everything: blackout blinds, putting him to bed later (he goes to bed at 7.30pm and goes off within minutes), delaying his dinner, telling him off and putting him back to bed - the lot. He just jumps out of bed at dawn, jumps on our bed and wants to play.

Needless to say he's exhausted during the day. But the times we've given him a nap are even worse because he wakes up even earlier the following day!

What's intriguing is that the only time we've gone away without him, his granny just put him back to bed and told him to go back to sleep, which worked for 2 mornings in a row. Does not work with us.

Any ideas? [no emoticon for huge yawn]

May2December Thu 17-Jul-08 23:02:59

Treat it like he is waking in the middle of the night say 'It's not morning yet' put him back to bed and leave, may take a few (loads) of times a bit (loads) of crying but perseverance in this will pay off. I'm no expert (should have done this with ds but has paid off with dd)

choucroutegarnie Thu 17-Jul-08 23:07:20

Thanks for that. It worked with us back when DS was much younger. I guess I needed reminding that the same trick would work at this age.

I'll report back on the experiment - starting tomorrow at 5.30am... Good night

bosch Thu 17-Jul-08 23:08:42

Maybe just calming putting him back in bed (possibly repeatedly) is the trick? I often thought with ds1 that he figured he'd either get food, telly or play if he got up early so it was win win.

If your ds only gets rebuffed (if you have the energy to put him back in bed repeatedly for however long it is until you reckon is a reasonable getting up time), maybe he will respond as he does to granny.

And I think it has to be the rule that he goes back to sleep rather than have books/toys.

I hate myself for saying this, but sometimes things 'don't work with children' because they know that you don't really mean it and will give in. Granny has never given him the impression that she will let him get up so he doesn't try it on???

(ds3, 18mths, is currently getting up between 5.30 and 6.20 - I know what I should do (say night night and leave him to go back to sleep) but at that time of the morning, I take the line of least resistance and let him into bed with us so I can get another 15 mins sleep...)

Desiderata Thu 17-Jul-08 23:10:29

It's a short phase.

He will start to rise at about 6.30 very soonish.

And you shouldn't be giving a 3.6 yo a nap in the day. They don't need it at that age.

SummatAnNowt Fri 18-Jul-08 00:01:31

to save our own sanity dh and I take turns getting up with ds and the one that gets up has him play on the computer or watch something on it while trying to nap on the sofa.

We've tried all sorts but nothing ever lasts... just lulls us into a false sense of security before reverting!

rony Fri 18-Jul-08 13:28:06

We had the same problem with dd 2.8, we bought her the Kidsleep bunny clock ,it's brilliant! She still wakes at 5:30, but plays quietly in her room until 6, then she knows she can come into us (dh has to be up for work then anyway so 6 is fine with us)

she made a fuss the first morning we used it but from then on she loved it. Totally recommend it.

MuffinMclay Fri 18-Jul-08 13:32:33

Stairgate across the door to stop him coming out?

Ds1 wakes at 5.30/6 but is ignored until 6.30/7. <house of cruel parenting>

elmoandella Fri 18-Jul-08 13:37:03

stair gate is a must and you lert them play.

for a while my ds1 was getting up coz he had to go poo. if we made him do a poo before bed he usually slept longerin the morning.

he's 5.30am if he needs a poo. 7 am if he doesn't

jazzandh Fri 18-Jul-08 14:23:19

Bunny alarm clock worked for us too - occasionally DS (3.5) "wakes rabbit up" though!

Also found that when he's overtired he wakes earlier.....

Shoegazer Fri 18-Jul-08 15:59:37

My DD 2.1 also wakes consistently early between 4.30-5.30, if its a phase its the longest phase ever! Does anyone think that a kidsleep clock would be worth a try or is she too young? Sorry to hijack thread just curious!

bigspender30 Fri 18-Jul-08 16:10:29

Am having the same problem with my ds at the moment ( aged 2). I have reverted to controlled crying as he is still in a cot and I have reduced the daytime nap to 1 hour. I ignored him yesterday for 15 mins and he fell back to sleep til 7.30! So maybe an attention thing?

rony Fri 18-Jul-08 17:42:33

shoegazer I think your dd might be too young for the Kidsleep clock, I waited till my dd was a bit older as I didn't really think she'd grasp the concept until at least 2.5.

Choucroute I do think that at 3 1/2 your ds is old enough to understand that it is not OK to go into your room at 5:30. I would just take him back to his room and calmly explain that he has to wait until you say it's OK to come in, that he can play with his toys or whatever, and to keep on taking him back in as many times as it takes. And be consistent!

Shoegazer Fri 18-Jul-08 19:21:23

Thanks Rony, will keep on at the coffee until then!

mashedbanana Fri 18-Jul-08 21:38:06

my dd who's 3.5 also wakes at 5.30.we put her back to bed where she'll stay till about 6 then she'll play in her room until about 6.30.last weekend my mum stayed over as we went to a wedding and when we came home the next day my mum said dd didn't wake until staying at mil's tomorrow night so it'll be interesting to see what time she wakes.

choucroutegarnie Fri 18-Jul-08 22:20:14

Only one night/morning since my initial post and the score is: he rose at 6am and played in his room till 6.30am (at my firm request). Progress?

The stair gate is back up and we've had a long chat about staying in bed until mum and dad allow. We'll see!

Whoever said that he knows we are a soft touch is absolutely right... We are quite firm on all things but sleep deprivation drives us to distraction so DS knows that we are at our weakest at dawn.

Thanks for all the tips and encouragement. I'll persevere (and go to bed earlier in anticipation).

hub2dee Fri 18-Jul-08 22:30:28

<wonders if suggesting a TV in his room on DVD repeats would get mum more sleep>

elmoandella Sat 19-Jul-08 09:25:03

we sometimes let ds watch tv in our bed in the morning while we doze off. we wedge him between us though so if he moves to get up he wakes us

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