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4 year old waking too early and shattered

(11 Posts)
TheSkiingGardener Sun 14-Dec-14 09:22:19

Any advice much appreciated. DS1 has always been a bit of an early riser and as long as he sleeps beyond 6 ish this seems to be enough and he is fine. But we are having episodes where he wakes earlier, at 5:15 ish and won't go back to sleep and he is absolutely shattered. When he was at preschool we could get through this using an occasional daytime nap but now he is at school it can't happen. He is pooped and coming out of school white with tiredness but then still wakes up the next day at 5:15.

We have had some success before with making him stay in his room until he goes back to sleep, but can't do this on schooldays and this morning he woke at 5:15 and is still up there now playing quietly. He's had a drink and some food and knows he can't come down until he's gone back to sleep. Usually this sorts it out and he'll then sleep later but today it's just not happening!

TheSkiingGardener Sun 14-Dec-14 10:46:54

I've just been up there. He is shattered but won't sleep. Argh! Crying now (me, not him). He's been so tired before he's made himself ill. Feel like such a crap parent.

VerucaInTheNutRoom Sun 14-Dec-14 10:48:54

Can you take him for a drive? It might send him to sleep today. I don't know what to suggest for school days but I really feel for you. Is he perhaps waking because he's cold or hungry?

ThinkIveBeenHacked Sun 14-Dec-14 10:53:16

You arent a crap parent!!

In the long term, would you try a Gro Clock? Ive found it very successful in getting dd to stay in bed til a more appropriate time.

Artandco Sun 14-Dec-14 10:56:01

I would have a rule of no playing/ no food/ no light on before 7am.

7am onwards they can read books in bed / play quietly. But any time before 7am is treated as nighttime

TheSkiingGardener Sun 14-Dec-14 11:07:16

I might take him for a drive later. I have DS2 who is 1 as well and he is currently napping.

He had a Gro clock. Staying in his room isn't an issue, he'll do that fine and just lie in bed until we say it's time to get up. We hear him making up stories! Doesn't help with the tiredness though. Not cold or hungry. He goes for weeks waking between 6 and 7 which is fine then goes into one of these episodes of early waking. This one has now lasted 2 weeks and the bags under his eyes are huge!

ThinkIveBeenHacked Sun 14-Dec-14 11:15:29

Is he warm enough? 4-5am is the coldest part of the night, and with the weather as it is at the moment, that might be it. If yoyr heating is off overnight, could you maybe set it to.come.on at 3am so it keeps his room cosier?

TheSkiingGardener Sun 14-Dec-14 11:19:35

His room was about 19 degrees this morning and he curls himself up in his duvet so I don't think that's it.

It's so frustrating. I don't know what causes these episodes, they happen year round and don't seem to have a pattern.

I've just taken him a banana and an apple. We're heading for lunchtime now!

iknowimcoming Sun 14-Dec-14 11:28:53

Have you tried putting him to bed earlier? I know this sounds counter productive but it does sometimes help to break the cycle. Most people tend to think going to bed later will make them get up later but it's not always the case, what time does he normally go to bed?

iknowimcoming Sun 14-Dec-14 11:31:17

Might also be worth trying leaving the heating on overnight if you can but just slightly lower than the temp during the day so as it stays constant and see if that helps.

TheSkiingGardener Sun 14-Dec-14 11:40:40

He goes to bed at 7. Sometimes a fraction earlier if he's really tired and he asks to go up. Could try with the heating but it doesn't seem to be related as this happens in summer too.

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