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Early rising - what to do?

(21 Posts)
nellyjelly Sat 27-Oct-12 21:39:03

Ok there are a few threads about re early risers. 2 yr old DS waking at 5 each day and is killing me. Tomorrow it may even be 4 due to clock change.

Trouble is knowing what to do at that time of the morning. i am soooooo tired I can dardly interact so have been putting a dvd on for him. i sit comatose while he watches. I don't like doing this though as think he may now be waking just to watch the tv! He is a real square eyes and am trying to cut down on tv and dvds. He is only 2.5 after all. BUT what the hell else can I do at 5 am? I can hardly speak never mind interact.

Any ideas?

Suedeb Sat 27-Oct-12 21:43:57

when my DS was 2 we got a Gro clock for the same reason. It changes colour when they are allowed to get up. Set it early at first so as not to have to try to keep him in bed too long, then gradually changed the time every couple of days. It only took him a couple of weeks to get the hang of it. He is almost 3 now and has never got out of bed before his clock has turned yellow. It comes with a lovely story book about farm animals - and a pig who gets up too early so he got a clock too! DS loved it. Good luck

bangersmashandbeans Sat 27-Oct-12 22:23:52

I second the gro clock - worked a treat for my 2 year old. As hard as it is I would also not let them think it's ok to get up at that time. Treat it as if it's the middle of the night. Easier said than done I know but you'll get there!

nellyjelly Sun 28-Oct-12 05:07:53

We have a gro clock. Unfortunately doesn't work. Hence I have been up since 4.30 (due to clock change) and watching the frigging Lion King.

omama Sun 28-Oct-12 20:30:24

does he still nap during the day? if so, what time & how long for? & when does he go to bed? If so then maybe nap needs cutting back / dropping.

Perhaps you need to tell him whats expected i.e he is to stay in bed until groclock says its time to get up & keep putting him back in until he gets the message. He may not go to sleep but if he at least stays in his room it will mean in the long term you can get that bit of extra rest. I know, easier said than done when you have a 2yo shouting the house down!

nellyjelly Tue 30-Oct-12 06:32:29

Drop nap? He is 2 and a half. is it about the right time for it?

He has a a nap at 11 am and would do 2 hrs easily but let him do 2 hours.

Might try it. Thanks for your post.

addictedtolatte Tue 30-Oct-12 06:47:07

i just set a lamp on a timer and explain to him he can get up when light goes on. it works a treat.

KnittingZombie Tue 30-Oct-12 16:18:50

Watching with interest. Both my 18 month old and 3 yr have in the last week decided that 4 am is the time to get up for the day. Both have gro clocks already. It works on the three yr old in that he stays in his room, but he plays and makes noise, keeping us and DS2 awake, and he is so tired all day his behaviour is awful. Which I am not coping with as I am tired and have no patience left. How are things for you today nellyjelly?

nellyjelly Tue 30-Oct-12 16:40:15

Thanks for asking. We had 6am which is more bearable I suppose!

blueberry1972 Tue 30-Oct-12 18:34:07

Having exactly this problem with my 22mth old who shares a room with his 4yo brother. Wakes at 5 on the dot, so noisy end up taking him downstairs and giving him milk. He will then go back to sleep at about 6am. I also have a 3wk old dd and I'm now dreading going to bed. Haven't slept past 4am for 3wks now. Have got a gro clock but 23mth old doesn't understand/take any notice of it. He doesn't eat particularly well at tea time and i think this could be the problem so tonight I am trying porridge (any bloody thing) to fill his tummy. dP and I are beyond exhausted.

loveisagirlnameddaisy Tue 30-Oct-12 19:26:56

Nelly, my DD cut her naps totally on her 2nd birthday so 2 hours at 2.5 is not an insignificant amount. I would certainly be cutting the nap to see if that helped improve the EMW.

nellyjelly Tue 30-Oct-12 21:22:20

Well he only had an hour today so we will see.......

omama Tue 30-Oct-12 23:03:34

nelly - Early waking is strongly linked to the timing of the nap, and 11am is really early for a 2.5yr old to be napping, most nap after lunch at around 12.30/1pm. I'd say in his case, this is the likely reason for his EW.

Since he's still napping for a good 2hrs, I'd say he may well still need that, so I'd be wary of cutting it out completely just yet as you may just end up making him OT. What I would do first of all is to gradually push his nap later, 15 mins per week, 30mins if you feel he can handle it, until it starts at 12.30pm at the earliest, but probably nearer to 1pm (so bear in mind this may take 4-8 weeks to achieve). I would continue to limit his nap to 2hrs (as you may find he wants to sleep longer due to being pushed further from his EW to naptime). If he goes to bed reasonably early at the moment eg 7/7.30pm, you may find that as his nap gets later, he won't be ready for bed at 7pm anymore & may need a later bedtime, perhaps nearer to 8/8.30pm. The combination of later nap and later bedtime will result in a later wakeup time. It worked for my DS & we now do (at 26 months)

up: 7am
Nap: 1-3/3.30
BT: 8/8.30pm

Much as I dislike giving up some of my evening time, for him, I find this works much better than cutting his nap short, which just makes him overtired.

If you do this but your DS continues to EW, or his BT's go crazy late i.e. post 9pm, then & only then would I cut back/cut out his nap.


nellyjelly Wed 31-Oct-12 08:02:54

Thanks. Trouble is his nap is the nursery schedule. They all nap then so rather than disrupt that I stick to same schedule at home.

In some ways I can put up with early waking for the sake of a 7.30 bedtime. I am ready for him going to bed by then. 8.30 would drive me nuts I think!

Up at 5.50 today. Slightly better.

peppajay Fri 02-Nov-12 08:10:27

Since the clock change my DS has been waking at 430. We are all walking zombies apart from him seems to be having no effect on him whatsoever!! People seem to swear by gro clocks but I don' think it would work for my son. He would just get up anyway!!!

Kt8791 Fri 02-Nov-12 08:21:15

It does get better nelly. Mine ds's use to be very early risers. I was a zombie for 3 years. Now they are 3.5 and 2 years and usually sleep to 6.30 much better than 5! We got the gro clock and really perservered with getting them to wait till it was yellow. Most mornings they are quiet till then. They have also both dropped daytime naps, which means bedtime is easy because they are tired. With mine it makes no difference if they go to bed at 6.30 or 8.30 they wake at the same time so they go early and we have an evening.

IsletsOfLangerhans Fri 02-Nov-12 08:40:55

Just a word of warning from someone further down the line - some children are and will stay early risers. DD1 is nearly 8 and has always been up very early. This has ranged from 4.30 as a toddler and now wakes up regularly at 5/5.30. It is hard, especially when they are toddlers. However, as they get older, they can entertain themselves and we hardly know she is up and about now. We left books, jigsaws and sticker comics in her room when she was a pre-schooler and as she has got older, she spends this time reading and doing artwork. I was constantly knackered as a toddler/pre-schooler mum and everyone kept saying, "when she starts school, it will get better". It didn't! She does loads of sport activities as we thought that might help - nope! Some kids just don't need as much sleep - she thrives on what she gets, is happy, very sporty and academically ahead of her age. And we aren't zombies anymore smile

nellyjelly Fri 02-Nov-12 09:39:06

Actually my DD who is now 6 was exactly the same and will now often stay in bed til 7. Whoooo. So I do know it gets better. It is all that keeps me going!

LoobyLou33 Sat 03-Nov-12 11:32:26

I'd like to piggyback this discussion!

I am pg with DC2 so really needing my sleep. DS1 is 18 months old and being weird...

Not only has he started waking at around 5.30/6am (which is not super early I admit but it seems to be getting increasingly early), but he's also reluctant to nap in the afternoons. For about the past 6 weeks he was napping between 2-3.30pm (or longer if I didn't wake him). On Thurs and Fri he just refused.

I need that afternoon nap so badly myself at the moment I don't want him to drop it! It seems a bit young to drop a daytime nap? confused

DH is mostly getting up with him at 6ish because of my tiredness but I think it's wearing him down.

Do you think I have to accept either no PM nap or early rising? His bedtime is around 8pm by the time lights are out and we've left the room.
I know some friends just leave their kids to moan until they want to get up..I'm too soft for that though!

omama Mon 05-Nov-12 15:16:33

loobylou - Can I just check, he doesn't still nap in the mornings does he? How old was he when he dropped to 1 nap? If he was very young to go to 1 nap then he could be dropping the nap already but he is still quite young for that so its most probably a developmental thing (18 month regression) - very common to see nap refusal/bedtime resistance/NW/EW at this age & it will settle back down again in a few weeks. One thing I will say though, is on days where he doesn't nap, you may find he benefits from a much earlier bedtime than 8pm, especially if he is getting up so early, as he may well be overtired. I find with my DS, if we do no nap, he needs to be in bed no more than 11hrs after he woke up for the day, if I put him down any later he will be overtired, take ages to settle & is likely to wake early the next day too. I'd suggest a couple of days of 6/6.30pm bedtimes & you may find he sleeps til later in the morning. And even if he still wakes up at 5.30am, at least he will have slept for longer, so will be less overtired & may then be willing to take a nap the next day (sleep begets sleep). hth.x

op - tough with nursery times being as they are. At least you get the evening time, relish in that & get yourself to bed a bit earlier & enjoy your early morning time. He won't do it forever.x

LoobyLou33 Wed 14-Nov-12 20:43:13

omama thanks that's a really useful response (sorry been away so only caught up with the thread just now). I hadn't realised about 18Mo regression. He is also being more fussy at bedtime wanting us to sit with him where before he would self-settle, so maybe that's also linked.

Yes he only has one nap, he dropped the morning nap ages ago, probably around the age of 1.
I think you're probably right about the earlier bedtime if he doesn't nap in the day...we are so stuck in our routine of 7pm upstairs, 8ish to bed, but we could easily move it forward if he doesn't sleep in the day.
Actually this past week we've been away AND he's been ill, so he's napped in the car/buggy/a bit in the cot... we'll see what happens now we're home.

How old is your DS? If he doesn't want to nap do you just leave it? Do you just put him down if he seems really tired, or have a routine for a nap?

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