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Early waking is killing me!!!

(57 Posts)
Harriet11 Fri 29-May-09 07:20:12


Has anyone got any advice on how to deal with a 10 month old who has been waking at 5.15am for the last 2 months?

Here's the situation:

He goes to bed 7-7.30pm every night after bath and milk (8oz)
I don't rock him to sleep
He has black out blinds in his room
He is at the top of the house so there's no noise that should wake him up at that time
He eats well in the day
When he wakes up at 5.30am he is really grumpy - he definately needs to go back to sleep.
Most mornings I can get him back to sleep (after about 45 mins), by which time my 2.5 year old is usually up (grrrr).
I have tried 'wake to sleep'for 5 nights running - all that happened is his waking got earlier!
I have tried baby whisperer 'pick-up put down' for a month and it doesn't seem to be making any difference.
I do not feed him at 5.30am because I don't think he needs it. If I manage to get him back to sleep, when he wakes again he is chirpy and seems happy to wait for his bottle at about 7am. I also don't want to send the message that it's OK to wake for milk at that time.

I am so BORED and tired of starting my day so early. I look after both my kids all day every day and the days seem VERY long at the moment.

It might not seem so bad to some, but I have to contend with waking toddlers/bad dreams/teething/illness in the night as well so my the time 5am comes round I am well and truly DEAD ON MY FEET.

Please tell me - are there any strategies that really work on early waking? I am prepared to try anything.



Boys2mam Fri 29-May-09 07:24:54

I had exactly this with my 9 month old DS2. My HV (whom I respect very much) told me that babies don't always get everything they need during their waking day so waking at 5am for a bottle is perfectly reasonable, until they're 12 months+.

I've followed her advice since last wk and he now gets up between 6 and 7.


MrsMcCluskey Fri 29-May-09 07:49:46

Both of my DS's were like this and I tried everything.
The only thing that worked for me was going to bed at 9pm, I'm afriad
You have my sympathy.

bubblagirl Fri 29-May-09 07:57:29

i'm going to be no help my ds has always woke at 5 am and his 4 and he still does

but i did try later bedtimes he still woke at 5 really didnt matter what i did

when he was a baby i made sure curtains were black out i would give a bottle and leave him and he would go back off again i would treat it as night time no talking just go in feed bottle leave

as he got older was unable to do this but still making sure i have the black out to try and get the extra hour

rubyslippers Fri 29-May-09 07:59:27

search the archives on here for wake to sleep

you should try it if you are sure it isn't hunger

you basically wake them an hour before their wake up (so for you 4.15 am)

do it for 3 nights

we did it with DS and it did work after 2 attempts

bubblagirl Fri 29-May-09 08:13:43

i have to play devils advocate on this one we actually instilled help from a sleep therapist when ds was 2 as we were so tired and we tried everything and it didnt work he just was ready that was his time

and if we woke him early he never went back to sleep lol

we used to roll him over but he'd still wake at 5

we tried everything

amidaiwish Fri 29-May-09 08:25:26

DD1 was like this, she is still an early riser now but at least at age 5 it is more like 6ish...

i did find giving her something to eat at bedtime helped, toast, a scotch pancake, anything like that. also moving her tea time to 6pm helped but i guess by the time i did that she was about 3.

can you give him some very watered down warm milk at that time, still treat it like a night feed? it might just settle him for long enough to doze/rest and you can go back to bed. worth changing his nappy too, see if he has just wee'd and the warmth is waking him?

not sure what else to suggest, you're not doing anything obvious and seem to have tried the various techniques.

fwiw bright children often do wake very early ready to start the day!!

BiscuitStuffer Fri 29-May-09 12:00:08

My sympathies!!! We have discovered by accident that moving dinner from 5pm to 6 or 6:15 (even better) helps. DS used to wake anything from 4:45-5:15am and it looks as if we can push it to 6ish.

Harriet11 Fri 29-May-09 13:56:58

Thanks everyone.

It's nice to know I am not alone. I will try giving him tea later/a snack before bedtime, and yeh, the watered down milk thing might be a good compromise.

I am sure that I will still end up being frustrated with a capital F!

twinmam Fri 29-May-09 14:08:09

We had this and we found that putting them to bed earlier actually helped (goodness knows why!) If they haven't had decent naps during the day (2 naps of at least an hour each) and seem grumpy and overtired then we put them to bed 6-6.30 and that seems to make them go through to 7. It's that weird situation where more sleep = more sleep. Good luck!

Harriet11 Fri 29-May-09 15:54:03

Rubyslippers - Can you tell me a bit more about 'wake to sleep'? I have read all the blurb on it and tried it twice but to no avail.

He used to wake up at 5.25am on the dot. So I set my alarm for 4.25am and did the rousing thing. First night he woke at 5am. Second night and he woke at 5.15am. Third noight he woke at 4.55am. Fourth night woke before my alarm went off! and so on...

What do I do in that situation? Do I reset my alarm for 3.55am, cos the 4.25am waking didn't seem to work? Or do I have to wait until 3 consecutive wake-up times that are pretty much the same?

Why did you have to do it twice? What went wrong the first time? And when it went right, did your DS sleep past his normal wake time on the first night, or was it second or third?

Sorry for the detailed questions, but I have tried 'wake to sleep' twice now and got nowhere, but am prepared to try it again if I get a boost from someone!



rubyslippers Fri 29-May-09 17:01:11

ok - with our DS he woke at 5 am on the dot

we woke him at 4 am for 3 nights and seemed to shift things to a later wake up on those occasions

however, on the 4th night with no WTS he woke at 5am <<sob>>

SOOOOO .... what we had to do was WTS for 6 nights and that cracked it

it is grim BUT better, IMVHO, than waiting for the wake up call you know will happen anyway

when you rouse them you don't want them fully awake but nearly if that makes sense so it disrupts their old sleep cycle

beesonmummyshead Fri 29-May-09 20:08:31

my dd did this, from 8 months old til about 11 months. I do have to say that we started offering her a bottle of milk at 5am. Turns out she was just hungry

She would reject it at first, wanting actual food, and to start the day, but at around 11/12 months, she took the whole bottle and fell back to sleep until 6:30 (bliss)

one day she stopped waking for the bottle, but unfortunately, at around 20 months (she's now 21 months) she started waking at 5am again, so yet again she has a bottle of milk

As much as I wouold like to be one of those mothers who says "we stopped the bottle at 6 months old etc etc" I have to admit to being too damn tired to give a damn

Hope this helps.

Harriet11 Sat 30-May-09 07:59:07

Thanks again for all your help ladies.

My DH dealt with him this morning. Gave him a bottle of milk and he went back to sleep till 6.30, so maybe he is hungry?!? Oh I dunno.

Rubyslippers - Thanks for the info. I am gonna give WTS another go. I'm locked in! 6 nights. Off we go.

I'll keep you posted!

BiscuitStuffer Sat 30-May-09 20:44:36

Giving mine milk then doesn't send him back to sleep at all angry.

BUT having given him dinner at 6pm, he's woken at 5:45am instead of 5am both times grin.

jkklpu Sat 30-May-09 20:49:12

anything to do with dawn chorus? my 19mo ds2 has been waking early (sometimes before 5 even) for 6 weeks or so and I think it's because the birds start up at around 4.30/4.45 and he sometimes wakes and drops off straight away for a short time, or just wakes and that's him wanting to get up. Then he goes back to bed for up to an hour after 8.30. Nightmare.

Harriet11 Mon 01-Jun-09 05:57:06

Well, as predicted nothing has changed in my house.

Rubyslippers - I attempted to do the 'wake to sleeep' thing and for the past 2 nights he has woken up before my alarm went off. Once at 4am and this morning at 4.10am. Took me 20 minutes to get him back to sleep and he still woke up at 5.30am!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Shall I stick with it?

Yesterday morning, I ended up feeding him at about 6. Couldn't get him back to sleep (but was CLASSICLY grumpy until his nap at 7.45am)
This morning, thought 'Right, maybe he's hungry??? Answer 'Yeh, I'll have the milk, and now can we get up please??'.

My todddler woke me up at 3.55 this morning too, so again, I am dead on my feet. Brilliant start to the day isn't it?

We started WTS last week as my 10 month old has started to wake at 5am. We abandoned it after 2 nights as my LO became ill. RE-started it this morning, lightly roused him at 4am but he woke at 5:15am. He's not hungry he just wants to start the day! May move supper to 6pm if WTS doesn't work but going to giveit a 6 day go first.

vicky275 Mon 01-Jun-09 07:23:36

my heart goes out to you my ds has been like it since birth and even now is still up anywhere between 4am and 5am every morning he is now 3 its a killer espicaly when you have got the rest of the house to take care of as well
I dont know the answer but i will be
watching this for any clues. hang in there your not alone

beesonmummyshead Mon 01-Jun-09 07:44:48

Harriet, it DOES get better. dd started waking at 5 at 8months old, but by 1 really would take her bottle and go back to sleep. We were so unprepared for it, we used to bring her downstairs, give her her bottle and she'd fall asleep on our lap. After a week we stopped bringing her downstairs. She NEVER woke at 5am since then (6am sometimes hmm but Never 5!)

Its just a phase, it will pass.

PlumpRumpSoggyBaps Mon 01-Jun-09 08:00:11

My 18 month old has just started doing this- the past few mornings have been a 5.30 wake-up, wanting to get up. Usually he wakes at anything between four and five thirty, we run in, give him a bottle and some cardboard books and run back to bed. He would then be good for at least another hour or so.

Not any more! sad 5.30 seems to be a perfectly acceptable time to get up to him thankyouverymuch and he won't go back to sleep.

So fingers crossed that it is just a phase- although I might try putting him to bed earlier as twinmam suggested. He does seem to be needing the extra sleep.

PlumpRumpSoggyBaps Mon 01-Jun-09 08:01:31

Actually I should've said that he usually was good for another couple of hours.

ExplodingBananas Mon 01-Jun-09 21:26:27

Am I the only person willing to admit that after an early wake up I bring DS into my bed and can normally pursuade him to dose off again if I breath heavily enough blush

fatzak Mon 01-Jun-09 21:38:37

I'm afraid that DS is 6 and still wakes usually by 5.30am.

We have tried everything over the last three years including taking the lightbulb out of his room, tripping all the upstairs electrics blush but have had to accept that no matter what time he goes to bed, he is ready to go by 6.00am at the lastest!

Sorry, not what you want to hear i am sure sad

MajorMajor Mon 01-Jun-09 21:59:11

Harriet, I have an early waker as well, he's now 17 months. I suggest that if wake to sleep doesn't work after a few days, give up and try again in a couple of months, if he's still doing it. At 10months I would be giving him the bottle at 5am - anything to prevent starting the day at that stupid time!

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