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Fed up with 4am wake ups - desperately seeking advice please!?!

(58 Posts)
LimesMum Sat 27-Dec-14 20:32:16

I know I've been on here many times and probably sound like a broken record but.... We are still having problems with early waking!! We did have a brief period of improvement when she woke at 5-530 but this only lasted a few days.

So she wakes at 350 on the dot every day and screams to get up, nothing will settle her other than getting up for the day.

We have recently done controlled crying which has helped hugely in that she now goes down for naps and bed on her own without too much trouble and is no longer being fed in the night. I have been holding off feeding until 6am and doing cc but this morning I tried feeding her at 4 to see if it settled her, she fed like she was starving but made no difference, still wanted up. I even put her in the buggy and pushed for 20 mins but no luck.

So we stay up until 930 then have a nap (as per previous advice in here as apparently going for a nap before then encourages early waking).

She naps for 1.5 - 2 hours then naps again at 3 for 45-60 mins and goes to bed at 715-730 ish. Going to bed later makes no difference, I've tried that too!!

Any pearls of wisdom out there at all would be gratefully appreciated!! She has also become extremely strange with her eating habits, she has always eaten anything and everything and now just spits it all out after a spoonful and will do this with anything apart from yogurt or brown bread.... I think this is a separate issue tho?! shock shock shock

TerrifiedMothertobe Sat 27-Dec-14 21:30:40

You poor poor thing. That's really hard.

Have you tried letting her have a short nap first thing, maybe 45 minutes and then a full sleep between 1-3?

How old is she?

I have early risers too, I feel your pain.

LimesMum Sat 27-Dec-14 21:32:30

No I haven't tried that, has that worked for you? She is 10 months

Natale28 Sat 27-Dec-14 21:50:37

Limes I remember you from a previous early waking thread - I'm still having problems to if that makes you feel any better?! DS usually wakes at 5 am but sometimes 4.30 am.

We too have used some cc as he was waking about 6 times per night and wouldn't settle without me or DP putting him on our chest!! Night wakings have improved but we still struggle with early wakings.

We too have set 9.30 am as his first nap and he usually does an hour. Second nap is 1.30 or 2 pm for another hour or so. Bed is 7 pm.

Strangely enough we too are having problems with his food - he was eating everything before but now he gags on bread, isn't great with any lumps and basically only seems to want to eat yoghurt! 4 teeth have come through over the last month though so maybe they are still bugging him - god knows! If you find out the answer please do let me know!

Our babies sound very similar!

Natale28 Sat 27-Dec-14 21:51:21


notasleep Sat 27-Dec-14 22:08:52

Dd went through a period of early wakings..around 4am every day. I feel for you.

Was advised by sleep clinic to allow no naps in the early part of day and then just one long one no later than 3pm.. Have you tried cutting out the afternoon nap?

notasleep Sat 27-Dec-14 22:10:14

And weirdly going to bed earlier can actually help with helping them to sleep later! Something to do with sleep cycles.. Was advised by sleep trainer and it did help.

Quitelikely Sat 27-Dec-14 22:12:22

My pearl of wisdom if you can be bothered to do it is to wake your daughter at 3am and give her a feed.

There is no way she will be up and fighting to start her day after that.

It's all about disrupting the natural body clock she has and I reckon this might work on her!

Please update if you try it and it works

notasleep Sat 27-Dec-14 22:13:14

Oh and another thing, called 'wake to sleep' - basically you slightly rouse the child before their usual wake up time (say 3:45) and this can mean that they go back into a deeper stage of sleep and through another sleep cycle.

It's slightly risky though as you reallymust be careful not to actually wake them!

notasleep Sat 27-Dec-14 22:15:48

Oh sorry I see she wakes at 3:50 - so go in about 3:15 - and just turn her over, or move her a little, just enough to bring her to a lighter stage of sleep.. Google wake to sleep for more details!

Ratbagcatbag Sat 27-Dec-14 22:16:08

Hugs as its awful.

We tried earlier bedtime for dd, but to be fair we only cracked it when we stopped bringing her into our bed in the ealy mornings and she got older.
She was19 months before she slept through and even now at 21 months she still is hit and miss and never sleeps past 5:30-5:45am (sorry).

LimesMum Sat 27-Dec-14 22:55:59

Natale28 yes hello again!! Our babies do sound similar!! I think I could possibly cope with 5 but not this!!

I've tried earlier bed but it didn't help sad I also tried no afternoon nap but it turned her into devil baby from 5-7, was unbearable!!

Never been brave enough to try wake to sleep but maybe I'll have to??! We are away with family at the moment so sleeping in same room which I don't think helps.

I do think she us teething possibly molars as constantly chomping on things and fingers at the back, maybe I can blame that again for a while??!

Not sure what this food issue is tho but reassuring to hear we aren't the only ones...

When I try taking her into our bed she gets even more annoyed!!

Stillwishihadabs Sat 27-Dec-14 23:05:32

It was a long time ago for me so feel free to ignore me. I would suggest a shorter morning nap (45 mins) I know it's really difficult when they (and you)have been up since 5, but it was the only thing that worked for us. Easier if you are out and about, so allow a quick nap in the buggy at 9ish then do a an activity (swimming/play group etc) then a really early lunch (11:30) sometimes even at the morning activity. Then a good long sleep in her cot even up to 3 hours so up at 3pm. It meant a later bedtime for us so 7:30 rather than 6:15-6:30 but he did start consistently waking after 6.

Christelle2207 Sat 27-Dec-14 23:28:40

Ours also did this approx 10-13 months. At 16 months he's much better, still wakes 4/5 am many nights and often feeds but can now be persuaded almost always to go back to sleep. Things that (may have) helped us include 1. Making sure well fed during the day- generally I now offer porridge about an hour before bed to make sure he goes to bed reasonably full 2. Giving him 100ml of milk as soon as he wakes, if he does 3. Rather than battling to get him back in the cot putting him between us in the bed (after the small feed) and singing/rubbing his back to get him to sleep. Sometimes takes a while but its a much more restful way to settle him. He then sleeps with us till 6/7/8.
I think he got better of his own accord when he started walking too, at about 12-13 months. Hang in there it will be a phase that he will grow out of.

Natale28 Mon 29-Dec-14 06:07:21

DS woke 4 times in the night and was then fully awake at 4.45 am today and I haven't been able to settle him. Has anyone succeeded with controlled crying or gradual retreat or pupd for early waking? I just don't know to start!

I go back to work on Friday and really don't know how I'll do my job.

How was your night Limes?

Rollermum Mon 29-Dec-14 06:08:50

Hi OP,

I was just coming on to ask about this exact thing. My DD is 15 months, used to sleep 7-7 (briefly) but since August has been waking earlier and earlier, generally 3.50ish too.

Once we are home from relatives I will be making a list of all the suggestions here and giving them a go. At home I tend to go back to bed whilst she has a long nap which I need to survive but think this will need to go / get shorter.

Good luck and hope it improves for you soon, it is just horrible.

LimesMum Tue 30-Dec-14 17:59:25

Our night was ok as in she slept the night but we had our earliest wake up of 330!!! For the day!! That was yesterday morning and then we've had the same last night plus several wake ups before.. ..

Tried a shorter morning nap but made no difference. I'm on the verge of just totally giving up and letting her get up at 4am and go down again at 8 as keeping her up is not working and she ends up so cranky by the time 930 comes round.

Otherwise may try wake to sleep as someone has suggested eeekkkk

Books1979 Sat 03-Jan-15 09:18:44

Hi, we have problem with our 5mo DS who wakes for the day at around 4. Google baby sleep science, really good article on their blog about re setting a baby's circadian rhythmn. Only try once you've tried sleep raining and it hasn't worked. We're just about to starting sleep training so haven't got there yet. Pls post back results if you try it, ta and good luck.

Books1979 Sat 03-Jan-15 09:48:56

I've just read thru some earlier threads re early waking and am dismayed how much others are suffering without respite!

Has anyone paid for a sleep consultant for early waking, and if so, any improvement? We have zero cash but if I thought consultant could help I would consider e-baying half my wardrobe to raise the dosh needed :-/

We took away dummy at night 1 week ago but things are worse not better. If we put the dummy back in at 3am onwards we would at least get chunks of further sleep in 20m intervals til maybe 5am ... Now without the dummy he is just awake. Last night fed at 8.30 & 12.30, then awake from 3 to 5.30 (refused food so not hungry) then slept again from 5.30 to 7, then needed a nap again at 8.30am.

Should we go back to the dummy or stick it out? TIA.

LimesMum Sun 11-Jan-15 17:27:45

Really sorry books but we never had a dummy so I'm not sure?!?

Have you considered sleep training? I know people who have had consultant's that have helped but others that haven't...

Cbell Mon 12-Jan-15 04:48:02

I am currently sitting here doing my first early morning sleep training session with my DS (18mo) who wakes at 4am to start the day.

We have tried BF, sitting by his cot and taking him into bed with us none of which has got him back to sleep. So we've resorted to taking it in turns to get up with DS.

This has been far from ideal but recently DS has just been tired and grumpy in these early hours and wanting to nap around 8-9am. I know he's tired so why won't he stay asleep?!

We're hoping to get him out of this habit with ST over the next week, so I will keep you informed.

GinGinGin Mon 12-Jan-15 05:02:00

Cbell what ST method are you trying?

OP I feel your pain - dd is a v early waker too - was 2.30 last week, 3.15 today, usually between 3.30 and 4.30.

Cbell Mon 12-Jan-15 06:01:13

We're using CC. It's not very nice and I go and check on him at various times according to his needs, he's not been very upset this morning so left him for longer stretches.

I would happily BF, co-sleep, sit by his cot but for us these methods of just not worked but I would try the gentle approach first.

Having said that he eventually went back to sleep after nearly 2 hours with me sushing and patting him. Not ideal but baby steps are what's often needed.

When he next wakes I will go in turn on lights and make a big deal about starting the day. Despite having been up since 3.45am.

What I'm hoping is that getting him back to sleep, using whatever method is the key to him not thinking 4am is time to get up.

DH turn tomorrow so will keep you informed if progress.

GinGinGin Mon 12-Jan-15 06:06:51

Good luck! Cc didn't work for the early wakings for us; hope it does for you. Going to order a Gro Clock to see if that helps

LimesMum Mon 12-Jan-15 08:56:00

Ok so.... We have had huge improvements since doing cc in the early hours. If was pretty tough going but only lasted 3 nights and she has slept til 530 since. The first couple of days of doing it she actually slept til 730!! But I think that was only from cc so long that she was shattered!!

So I never thought I'd think of 530 as good but hey ho!! I still leave her in her cot til 6 as she just sort of moans and chats but I'd like to try for at least 6 if we can?!

Another this this has coincided with is cutting back her naps as people suggested to me. So she used to nap at 930 for 1.5-2 hours then at 3 for 45-60 mins. And now we just do one at 1145 for 60-75 mins. It's really doesn't seem long enough to me as she only gets 10 hours at night. It's also very painful keeping her up until 1145 as she seems really tired.

Thing is she goes to nursery in a couple of weeks as I'm back to work and I know they nap 12-2 so I'm trying to persevere. Has anyone got any advice on this?

Anyway just thought I'd share my positive cc for early waking experience to give other sufferers some hope!!

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