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2yo wakes for the day at 0430 - how can I break this habit?

(32 Posts)
PeggyCarter Sun 17-Jul-11 07:36:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JoleneJoleneJoleneJoleeene Sun 17-Jul-11 07:49:27


juneau Sun 17-Jul-11 07:51:44

Have you tried putting her to bed earlier? I know that sounds counter-intuitive, but I've found that putting my DS to bed later actually makes him wake earlier. He went through a phase of early waking too and I found that moving his bedtime up to 7pm helped.

The other thing that helped was a zero tolerance policy for early waking i.e. we took him straight back to bed, spoke quietly and calmly, told him it was very early in the morning and not time to get up, etc. If you and your DP take it in turns to do this and are boringly consistent in your approach, hopefully it will work. It did for us.

Something else you could try (although your DD might be a bit young yet), is to get one of those day/night clocks. You set the wake-up for a suitable time and until then the clock is in sleep mode and shows a night-time scene (the Gro-Clock has a sleepy star on it). Then at the designated time the clock changes from blue star to yellow sun and the child knows he/she can get up. Our DS took a while to get the hang of the clock, but he now knows that he's going to get a grumpy mama if he gets up before the sun comes up!

happymole Sun 17-Jul-11 07:52:17

Would she go back to sleep if you bought her into your bed? Could you put some toys in the bottom of her cot or a tv in her room

PeggyCarter Sun 17-Jul-11 08:22:54

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SenoritaViva Sun 17-Jul-11 08:34:19

I would say that a 2 year old going to bed at 6 and asleep is actually far too early. My DD (now 4) dropped day time sleeps just before she turned 2 as well and she went to bed at about 7 / 7.30 at that time.

DD now goes to bed later than her friends as she doesn't need so much sleep; there are benefits she doesn't get quite as tired and grumpy as others her age etc. It will pass but I would really move that bedtime, even if she is struggling to stay awake (personally I'd rather have a harder time just before bed than awake times at 4.30am).

juneau Sun 17-Jul-11 09:11:08

I agree that 6pm is too early for her to be going to bed - but if she's waking at 4.30am and not napping I can see why she's fast asleep at that time.

If I were you I would gradually move her bedtime to 7pm (or even 7.30pm). You don't have to do it in one go - you could move it by 5 or 10 mins per day, but at the age of two my DS was sleeping for about 10.5 hrs at night and if your DD is the same that would mean waking at ... 4.30am!

I'm guessing she's seriously overtired too, which can disturb night time sleep. If you put her in the car and drive around does she fall asleep almost immediately? If so, she's overtired. A child of two need about 14 hours of sleep per 24 hours (if I remember correctly), so if your DD is only getting 10.5 hours she's running on a serious deficit. My DS also dropped his daytime nap at around 2 years old, but I used to do whatever it took to get him to nap, because although he didn't want to, he still needed that sleep and he was a nightmare by teatime if he didn't get it.

Some ways you could try to encourage her to nap:
1) Take her for a drive at her natural sleepy time (usually about 12-2pm).
2) Have a quiet time at home at that time. If she'll lie in bed or sit in a rocking chair you could put on a story tape, read to her, give her some books to look at, dim the lights, etc, and see if she'll fall asleep.
3) If she falls asleep in the push chair, go for a walk around a park or other quiet place.

I'd also do the zero tolerance on early waking. Hopefully attacking the problem on several fronts will yield results! Good luck.

PeggyCarter Sun 17-Jul-11 09:59:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RuByMaMa Sun 17-Jul-11 11:41:03

Interestingly, I notice a real link between my DD's dinner time and her wake up time the following day... As I sometime's work in the evenings, her dinner can sometimes be quite early (for us, early is around 5/5.15) - her usual dinnertime is about 6pm, maybe just before... I noticed that when she's had an earlier dinner, she wakes earlier the following morning too (when I could really do with a lie-in, having worked the evening before grin )

Maybe you could try pushing your DD's meal times back slightly too, this would also prolong bedtime a bit more too and so hopefully get her going to bed a bit later...

SenoritaViva Sun 17-Jul-11 11:55:35

TJPJ my DD was the same. At nursery when all her other friends were sleeping she was awake, but had a half hour quiet time. She'll adapt to being awake and the 5 minute changes to later bedtime as suggested is the best way of doing it.

I know it's a pain but there is an upside later. Our DD is now pretty flexible and doesn't get in the same grumpiness as other children her age. It does get better...

juneau Sun 17-Jul-11 18:46:05

I think, if it was me, I'd persevere with moving the bedtime to a later time. By the sound of it that's the only thing that's going to make her start waking later - it will undoubtedly mean pain in the short-term - but it should be worth it in the longer term.

Alternatively, you can wait and hope her sleep habits change (they probably will - my DS's have changed lots of times in his almost four years), or you could emigrate to a country with a time roughly two hours ahead of GMT smile

spout Sun 17-Jul-11 19:50:00

<watches thread blearily, having today ordered a Gro-Clock>

MissBeehiving Sun 17-Jul-11 20:12:05

DS2 (22mos) started waking up at 4.30-5.00 about 2 weeks ago. He's still NOT going through the night either, little bugger sweetheart grin.

He was going down at about 7pm. I moved his bedtime to 8pm and I started giving him a snack before bed. He is now waking for the day between 6 and 7am. BUT he has a good nap at lunchtime so is able to stay up later, mind you he slept for 3 hours today and then wanted "sleepy cot" at 7.15 so it could be an early one for me tommorrow. Good luck smile

WowOoo Sun 17-Jul-11 20:16:59

Ds2, who is two, started doing this for a few days. Moved his bedtime to 7-7:30. It had been 6 ish before. He now wakes at seven thirty ish.
Horrible at 5/ 6 o clock as he is so ready to sleep, but he has a nice long bath and lots of stories. Then nods off eventually like a dream. Still sneaks into our bed early hours sometimes.
Good luck.

PeggyCarter Sun 17-Jul-11 20:17:30

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PeggyCarter Sun 17-Jul-11 20:18:37

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SenoritaViva Mon 18-Jul-11 09:03:26

What time did she wake this morning? Don't get disheartened if it was even earlier than usual!

PeggyCarter Mon 18-Jul-11 09:27:05

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SenoritaViva Mon 18-Jul-11 09:34:31

Great! Fingers crossed for you that it continues to improve.

PeggyCarter Mon 18-Jul-11 12:24:01

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MissBeehiving Mon 18-Jul-11 21:14:17

Oh, well done Puddle smile. Great news. How did you convince her to have a nap?

PeggyCarter Tue 19-Jul-11 08:04:48

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MissBeehiving Tue 19-Jul-11 14:13:14


I feel your pain on the nightimes. Last night DS woke at 1240 and 0400 but did go back to sleep reasonably quickly.

If you can, you should persist for a few days with the nap - IME DS found a pattern during the day after a week or so.

PeggyCarter Tue 19-Jul-11 18:42:38

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juneau Tue 19-Jul-11 19:25:55

Glad you've already had some success. I'm sure it will be one step forward, one step back for a while, but hopefully she'll give you some more sleep soon. I can't imagine getting up at 0430 and not being able to go back to bed. The day must be sooooo long!

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