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Daughter waking at 5.30; mornings are a hideous sleep deprived disarray of disorganisation and bad temper.

(6 Posts)
AcrylicPlexiglass Thu 16-May-13 08:07:14

What can I do? She's 3 years 9 months, has a fairly typical bedtime routine, wind down, bath, teeth, story, bed, goes down fine at around 7 to 7.30, sleeps though the night. And then arises at 5.30 and wakes the whole household (consisting of 2 fulltime working parents (one of whom has an illness which really benefits from good, uninterrupted, refreshing sleep, both of whom have quite stressful jobs where their decisions affect other people's lives profoundly) and 2 teenagers who also need their 8/10 hours and are constantly oversleeping partly because they are rudely awoken at 5.30 and then fall back to sleep when the commotion is over).

Daughter's room is at the top of a very steep straight double flight of stairs and for safety reasons we have a gate at the top still as a small child falling really would cause potentially serious injury. At the crack of dawn, Daughter stands at the gate whining and shouting "IT'S WAKEY TIME! IT'S WAKEY TIME! I'M NOT TIRED! COME UPSTAIRS AND GET ME!" Calling up to her to go back to sleep usually results in a full blown tantrum. Going up half asleep to put her back to bed = her boinging up again within minutes and resuming her horrible whingy shouting. Bringing her into our bed is a disaster- she chirrups and bounces about until we are thoroughly awake. Shouting doesn't work (never thought it would and don't do it deliberately but prone to growling with cold anger at when half asleep at 5am, which makes me feel ashamed). Groclock was a waste of money as she worked out how to undo the child lock and make it change to the sun picture within seconds (serious design fault!). Reasoning doesn't work- she's developmentally normal so neither understands nor cares that we are furious and suffering! I think smacking would work- instant aversive consequence- but I have never smacked them and never would. So tempted though! Wish I didn't believe it was wrong!

Any ideas?

AcrylicPlexiglass Thu 16-May-13 08:08:46

Forgot to say that putting her to bed later doesn't work either. She actually tends to wake up earlier.

KatAndKit Thu 16-May-13 08:37:46

Perhaps she only needs 10 hours sleep a night? It sounds hideous and you have my full sympathy, but not sure what you can do if she isn't tired. Can she not be persuaded to play with toys by herself in her room till 6 and get some sort of bribe reward if she doesn't bother anyone till 6am?
Does she sleep in the day at all? If she does then cut that out.

We have an early rising one year old here and to be honest, the only thing that is working for us is going to bed at 9pm ourselves so we have also had a full night's sleep by 5am. Not sure teenagers would see it that way though!

It sounds counter intuitive but have you tried earlier bedtime? Some books say early rising is caused by overtiredness and bringing bed forward by half an hour so she is asleep by 7 rather than 7.30 might make a difference. It might not but you have tried everything else it seems.

ArabellaBeaumaris Thu 16-May-13 08:44:36

Story tapes in her bedroom? Work brilliantly for my dd. I don't know when she wakes up anymore because she just puts on a tape & potters around her room.

Or, suck it up & take turns getting up with her?

AcrylicPlexiglass Thu 16-May-13 12:07:14

thanks for the replies. story tapes sound like a good idea. I would really prefer that she was actually asleep till at least 6.30 or so because she does get very tired and whingy from late afternoon onwards and i don't think she's getting quite enough sleep. But if there's no way to achieve that then tackling her behaviour would be the next best thing! bribery and story tapes may be the way forward. I do wonder if i should be doing more sucking it up. perhaps accepting it would make us feel less resentful... but feel like I just can't go to bed at 9 or get up at 5!

AcrylicPlexiglass Fri 17-May-13 09:26:31

Did the wake to sleep thing of shaking/stirring her a bit at 4.30am (eeek) without waking her fully and she slept till 6.30 this morning then played for 15/20 mins before calling down. think I'll bite the bullet and do that for a few days to try and "reset" her: internal clock to wake later. We did try it when she was about 2 and it worked, tho she has slipped back into her old habits over time. wasn't sure whether it would be effective now she's so much older and more evil with it but so far so good!

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