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Help, DD 18mo wide awake 4am-6am most nights, at end of my tether!

(15 Posts)
AliBingo Mon 20-Jan-14 15:13:58

Hiya, can anyone offer any suggestions or advice please?

DD 18 months used to sleep through for around 9 or 10 hours every night but since early November this has mostly stopped and she is waking up usually around 4am but will not be settled back to sleep, she stands up and is wide awake and wanting to get up and play.

She is mostly not upset, just babbling away and keen to wake us up for some fun and games. (She sleeps in a cot in our room.)

Over the last couple of months I have tried all sorts. We tried getting her up quietly and doing nappy change and milk but she still didn't go back down. We tried bringing her into bed with us but she just wants to bounce on us and not sleep.

She goes to nursery three mornings a week and is very tired after being awake in the night but we cannot seem to get her to sleep much earlier. Or when we do, this just shifts the wakeful period forward.

I am 26 weeks pregnant and am now really panicking about what will happen when the new baby arrives (plan was to move DD into her own room by now) plus I am very tired!

DD naps a couple of hours after lunch, I cannot stop her napping as she just falls asleep, and if I cut the nap short she gets very grumpy.

Any ideas welcome! Thanks!

surgicalwidow Mon 20-Jan-14 21:11:04

No experience of this age, but I would suggest cutting down the nap? My 12 mo was doing similar but it has stopped since dropping her morning nap and she sleeps through again smile

TheGreatHunt Mon 20-Jan-14 21:13:56

I wouldn't cut the nap. She sounds over tired which results in poor sleep as too wired to sleep. 9-10 hours a night doesn't sound like enough.

Is she warm enough? The temp drops quite a bit from 3am in and the cold might wake her up. Also teething? Have you ruled it out?

AliBingo Tue 21-Jan-14 12:30:07

Thanks for the replies. She has always been a short sleeper in that she only has 9 or 10 hours a night, we used to try giving milk and resettling her but she is wide awake and ready to face the day after this amount of sleep. I have a friend with a DS 3 weeks younger than her and he sleeps about 10 or 11 hours then has a bottle and sleeps again for 2 hours!

We have experimented with different bedtimes to see if that affects length of sleep but doesn't seem to (so am loath to put her down too early or we'll be up for the day at 4am!)

It can't be daylight waking her as it's only been happening during the winter when it's pitch black.

I wondered about temperature but we keep the heating on overnight at 16C and so it's a constant temp all night.

She has been teething at times over the past couple of months but not at the moment.

Last night she was in bed a bit earlier than usual and so her wake up was at 3am not 4, it was just less than two hours, maybe that's some progress.

It's a mystery and it's driving me mad. I guess I have to hold on to the hope that "this too shall pass"!

slightlyconfused85 Tue 21-Jan-14 18:25:08

I had a friend who's little boy did this around the same age. She had to cut the nap to 1 sleep cycle (45 minutes). Although he could do with a bit more sleep in the day, and can be a little frazzled, it does result in a 7-6/6.30 night for him which is prefereable to getting up at 4am. It might be enough for her, worth a try perhaps

Fedupnagging Tue 21-Jan-14 18:41:36

Ali you have my sympathies, it's a real killer starting the day at 4am.

Ds1 and ds3 both started their days between 4 and 5am. I tried everything - warm room, cold room, blackout curtains, early to bed, late to bed - you get the picture. Nothing worked. Neither were having day time naps and were pretty active.

Basically, we would leave them to play as long as possible in their own room them take it in turns to go downstairs and provide milk, dry cereal and a long running video whilst we got some more sleep on the sofa.

Can't remember how long this phase lasted but it did pass.

Good luck OP

TheGreatHunt Tue 21-Jan-14 19:05:25

Even if the temp seems constant, the change in air can wake them. Also 16C is cold! How many layers does she have? Could you try popping a cellular blanket over her when you go to bed?

Also you need to try for a week with one bedtime to see if there's an impact iyswim.

dancemom Tue 21-Jan-14 19:17:07

try wake to sleep to break her sleep pattern?

AliBingo Fri 24-Jan-14 15:59:53

Thanks for the replies. I don't think she's cold as the temperature is constant all night.

I have tried shortening her daytime nap to 90 minutes the last two days and she has not woken up in the night! Unfortunately she took a while to go down (overtired?) and is only sleeping 9 or 9.5 hours at night though, I wish she slept longer. I will keep on with this new routine and see how we get on.

I haven't heard of "wake to sleep", what is it?

ShoeSmacking Fri 24-Jan-14 18:00:50

Wake to sleep is when you get up shortly who're her standard wake up time and disturb her enough that she comes out of deep sleep and then allow her to settle back again. The idea being that she then sleeps through her usual wake up time.

It's worth trying. We did this at times with ds and it could help. The secret is to make sure you don't wake them so well that they don't go back to sleep.

If she's up at 4 for two hours does she then go back to sleep at that point?

AliBingo Fri 24-Jan-14 19:12:52

Ah right that sounds a good idea, will try that sometime.

Yes she eventually goes back to sleep around 6 and is then difficult to rouse for nursery at 745.

ShoeSmacking Fri 24-Jan-14 19:22:49

If SE does fall back to sleep, then it sounds like something we've been through. If wake to sleep doesn't work, I'd suggest letting her be awake but absolutely no interaction. You are sleeping as far as she is concerned. Eventually, and this could take a while, she will realise that being up gets her no benefit. Good luck. I've been there!

unaltronome Fri 24-Jan-14 20:30:25

DS is 18mo now and before xmas, from about October onwards he started waking between 445am and 5am every day, literally from one day to the other. Nothing would get him back to sleep. Suddenly in last week or so he's started sleeping to 6/630am and yesterday he slept 730pm to 745am. Which is unheard of, he's normally a 9.5/10hr a night kind of guy. Just seems to be what he needs.

they change. you can fight it or you can try to ride it out and survive til the next change and hope its a positive one :-)

dancemom Sat 25-Jan-14 15:17:56

You need to do wake to sleep at least three nights in a row for it to have a long term effect

poocatcherchampion Thu 30-Jan-14 19:12:21

I'd suggest carrying on with putting her into her own room and entertaining herself in there! smile

we only go to 22 mo if she crys..

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