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AIBU to think that we should be getting some sleep by now

(13 Posts)
mumaa Wed 12-Mar-14 07:18:25

DD is 19 months old, wakes every morning at 5am. People say she is just an early riser but she wakes up screamingly, throwing herself around cot and is tired and grumpy by 9am.

Try as I might she won't stay in bed longer, she has 1 nap in the day for about an hour - usually 11.30am - 12.30pm, I have to fight to keep her awake until this time, in the week we have activities and classes during the morning, which she looks exhausted through and many have commented how tired she looks but these classes help me keep her up. At the weekend I try to do activities to keep her interest otherwise she falls asleep around 10, wakes at 11 and we have a grumpy, tired afternoon.

She goes to bed for 7pm, we have tried to do later bedtime to see if this affects the wake time but it doesn't, we just have a grumpy child we are trying to keep awake.

On a good night (rare) she will sleep right through to 5am. On an average night she stirs and cries 6-8 times throughout the night, we go through and sush, so early start and broken sleep. On a bad night she will be awake 3-4 times for prolonged periods when we have to go in and out to settle. We never take her out of her room after bedtime and only rarely lift her from her cot if she is really upset or worked up to try to instil messages that it is bedtime. We have tried leaving her to settle herself but she gets more worked up and then we have hours of screaming.

What are opinions/views/suggestions? Everyone I speak to tells me their child sleeps through until 7ish and has done for a long time. Our DD has never improved on the above, of course it has been worse when she was smaller but I hoped we would be getting a bit more zzz by now. Am I being lied to about the sleep thing, am I being unrealistic?

Onesieone Wed 12-Mar-14 07:26:54

Watching with interest as my 25 month old son is doing this and has been since birth. I'm a zombie!

DoItTooJulia Wed 12-Mar-14 07:31:53

Change everything, try everything.

Try an earlier bedtime for a week.
Try a pre bedtime snack
Try a lighter room, a darker room.
Try letting her nap at whatever time she wants for however long she wants.
Try a warmer room, a cooler room.
Try some soothing music at bed time and then if she wakes in the night
Try a Ewan the dream sheep

We still have an early riser, so have accepted it and go to bed earlier now, but we have fewer night wakings. Our ds's pattern was much like yours. He's 17 mo now and we do get some sleep, so hang in there. Fwiw I think my ds wasn't sleeping because his tummy was upset. I suspect milk is the culprit.

noblegiraffe Wed 12-Mar-14 07:37:22

Have you tried wake to sleep?

If you know she usually wakes at 5, the idea is that you wake her before this (4? 4:30), get her back to sleep, and she will sleep through 5am and get up at a reasonable time.

Artandco Wed 12-Mar-14 07:40:19

Need to change the exhausted in the morning habit.

Tonight:
Take her outside from 3-6pm. Walking/ on scooter/ in park
Dinner at 6.30pm ( she might be hungry so waking earlier)
7pm play some puzzles with her/ toys that are quiet but require concentration
7.45pm give some milk
8pm bath, x2 stories and in bed for 8.30pm

She will be exhausted today as nap was early, but the later dinner, mental late stimulation, and later bedtime should hopefully allow a later wake tomorrow. Also make sure room is very dark ( even at 6am) and not too cold.

Aim for nap 1-3pm

Do this for a few days for change pattern. Then if its working and you want earlier bed you can bring bedtime/ dinner forward by 10 mins each few day until its say 7.30/8pm bed if better

jumperooo Wed 12-Mar-14 07:47:47

An hour nap all day isn't enough, on that routine she could do with about 2-3 hrs nap, does she always wakeup after only an hour or will she sleep longer? As someone else suggested, try/change everything. She sounds seriously overtired which is probably why she's so unsettled. You could try going for two naps, 10-11am and another in the afternoon say 3-4pm, or even just 30/45mins. She might not be ready for just one nap. If she is looking that tired in the mornings I would probably be tempted to try and get her down for a two-hour nap from 10-12, but not before 10am. I would probably try putting her to bed before 7pm too

hootloop Wed 12-Mar-14 07:57:05

Some children don't sleep.
My DS is 7 he didn't sleep through (by which I mean a a block of more more than 5 hours without waking) until he was 3. He was getting enough exercise, a later dinner, enough day time naps etc as suggested above, he still wakes at around 5am but at least now will lie in bed and read.
My DD parented exactly the same way has slept through (5 hour blocks) from 9 weeks and properly 7:30 until she is woken from about 5 months.

My point is that you can do all the sleep training (and believe me we tried and had professional help) you can tire them out, feed them up etc you want but at the end of the day some children don't need as much sleep as others. They sleep through when they are ready and not before. You have to find a way to cope with it until it passes.

mumaa Wed 12-Mar-14 08:33:39

Thank you all for your responses. Like some fellow zombie mums wink have said, my DD has always been like this, I always felt she was overtired but other than give her every opportunity to sleep I don't know what more can be done, believe me, if I could have forced her to sleep, I would...

When she dropped to one nap I kept her up until 1pm as I was told by a friend that 1pm - 3pm is a good nap time. I managed this for a week, she then literally fell asleep in her lunch 3 days in a row and I couldn't keep her up.

We have let her just do what she wants in terms of sleep also, she will fall asleep at 10am, wake an hour later and then scream if I try to put her down for an afternoon nap, even though is clearly tired. We are talking the kind of screaming that turns to coughing and then retching, we then are past tired and bombing about until bedtime.

In terms of nap time she averages an hour, sometimes 40mins, sometimes 2 hours (though this is VERY rare. Think can count these naps on one hand), more often than not is around an hour, I have tried leaving her to resettle, going in to comfort her, even tried wake to sleep at nap time. Nothing I do seems to affect the time.

I have tried wake to sleep, my DH thought I had lost it, getting up earlier to try to get her to sleep longer, tried this for a week, no affect. We have tried keeping her up later, later dinner, taking her out in the afternoon, torturing her by trying to keep her awake in buggy on way to/from park, no difference, we only managed to do later bed 3 nights in a row before I really felt like all we were doing was just upsetting her as is wasn't affecting the sleep at all.

We've tried pitch black room, night lights sleeping bags, blankets, heating on 30 mins before wake to make cosy, heating off incase too hot, bedtime 'aids' with soft light or sound.

Nothing has made a difference, if she was early riser and not so tired looking I would accept she is an early riser but to me I just feel she is over tired and I always think she looks tired in the morning... She also won't eat breakfast when she gets up until about 8am so I know she isn't hungry, have tried giving her a drink incase thirsty, isn't fussy.

I haven't tried putting her to bed earlier, everyone I have spoken to in RL seems to think I put her to bed too early, I will definitely try this, I am willing to try everything. Thank you all for your suggestions and experience.

It is so frustrating, yes I am tired, but I also hate seeing her look tired, my DN sleeps 12 hours solid and naps for 2 hours every afternoon, my DB has done no sleep training, he just fell into it naturally and he is 12 months older than our DD so I think there is something in some are just naturally sleepers and others aren't.

Any other suggestions I am happy to try and really appreciate all of your experience, I will report back if earlier bed has any success. If you told me to dance outside 20 mins before bed time I probably would! Thanks so much for your responses!! It does help to know am not alone too thanks

TheresLotsOfFarmyardAnimals Wed 12-Mar-14 14:41:09

If you take her out in the car in the PM does she nap then? Could you do it for a couple of days to stretch our her bedtime and readjust her clock?

mumaa Wed 12-Mar-14 17:30:47

I don't have a car during the day as my husband takes it to work. I've tried putting her in the buggy but doesn't seem to work as there is lots to interest her. Recently i have tried taking her for a walk round the block or to the shops (with her walking) to tire her out, sadly hasn't done anything other than make a trip to the shops REALLY long wink

LovelyWeatherForDucks Thu 13-Mar-14 19:02:29

My DS is 17 mo and an early riser too - we were working towards one nap but now I let him have a quick 20-30 mins at 9am, which sees him through til 1pm when he has an hour and a half or so. Admittedly it doesn't always help with the early waking but at least he is happier! Worth trying going back to 2 naps, temporarily, to see if you can get out of the overtired cycle?

MisForMumNotMaid Thu 13-Mar-14 19:17:55

DS2 was/ is a very early waker. He just doesn't need as much sleep. He's 8 now so knows the rules but at some point when he was towards 3 i put a TV/ dvd player in his room and he had a film in bed each morning with a drink (bottle made up night before) before DS1 and I got up.

When he started full time school and the lunch time nap couldn't happen i'd just about stretch him to 6.30pm. He then started going roughly 11 hours and slowly his bedtime has crept back to 7.30ish.

In a perfect world he would have learnt to sleep through, but the extra hour in bed was what kept me going. DS1 is Autistic and struggles settling and if he wakes in the night, I couldn't loose my morning sleep as well.

Now he knows he's not allowed out of bed before 6am except to quietly use the bathroom. He gets up at 6am just about every day.

They're all so different. I know that TV's in bedrooms for some are an absolute no no. Sometimes I find you have to go with what works for a spell to get you through the particular development phase.

Good luck

mumaa Sat 15-Mar-14 07:53:49

Morning,

thanks for all of your posts, just wanted to post an update as promised... So, we tried putting her to bed earlier, this is a first as am constantly being told I put DD to bed too early, so, we've now done 3 nights, I think there is a bit of an improvement, so will continue with it and see how it goes.

Each night, we have put her into bed and she has settled down without a fuss, so:

Night 1 - sleeping by 6.30pm very unsettled night but woke 6.30am, sitting in cot "chatting" and seemed happy. Napped 12.00pm-2.15pm,had to wake her from her nap.

Night 2 - sleeping by 6.30pm, only woke once in the night, woke at 5.30am, crying, tossing and turning in cot, didn't want comforted or settled, up for the day. Nap was late due to visitors turning up. Napped 12.20pm - 1.40pm.

Night 3 - sleeping by 6.30pm, only woke once in the night again, woke at 5.30am, crying, managed to settle her. She stayed in bed until 6.30am when she was shouting on us. Not sure if she slept after 5.30am but she settled down enough that we fell back to sleep and come 6.30am she seemed ready for the day, not grumpy and rubbing eyes like day before.

Will definitely stick with it and see how we progress, I would say there has been an improvement, so far, hope it will continue. I know it will all change again with outside factors and am pretty sure as misfor said that I will probably have to find ways to manage it, am sure she is an early riser by nature. So long as she is up and ready for the day I am more convinced she has had sufficient sleep, rather than being upset on waking.

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