Advanced search

4am start ! please help !

(20 Posts)
khaya602 Tue 19-May-15 05:20:32

Hi everyone, in desperate need for some help. My 1 year old has been sleeping through from 6 to 6 for over 4 months. For the last couple of weeks she has started getting up at 4am. We have tried everything including blackout blinds, waking up at 10pm for small feed and nappy change keeping up longer but she still wakes at 4am. Please any advice would be greatly received as I am an ambulance driver and on the road untill 9pm so waking at 4 is making my job impossible. Thankyou in advance x

Humansatnav Tue 19-May-15 05:22:53

Is he/she distressed on waking or just awake and ready for the day to begin ? What do the daytime naps look like ?

khaya602 Tue 19-May-15 05:26:09

Hi humansatnav she is waking fully awake and ready for the day. She naps at 8 for an hour and then again at 2 for an hour and half. This has moved about a little since the 4am starts but generally try to stick to this pattern x x

Humansatnav Tue 19-May-15 05:29:24

What would happen if you left her, would she babble to herself or become distressed?

khaya602 Tue 19-May-15 05:36:04

She babbles for about 15mins then gets distressed.x x

ColdCottage Tue 19-May-15 05:47:50


My just turned 1yo has gone from a 6am wake up to 5am and it was 4.45am today. He stands and shouts until I bring him in with us. I then get about 10mins before I feed him.
He will then normally sleep til 8ish. No fun though. I was just going to ask for tips too

Humansatnav Tue 19-May-15 05:48:39

If I were you I wold try a slightly later bedtime, half an hour to an hour , and see if that made a difference.
I had one horror story sleeper and one good sleeper & your dd sounds like my good sleeper.

khaya602 Tue 19-May-15 05:52:52

I have ttied a later bedtime and it didn't change but how long would it take for her body clock to catch up how long would o have to change it before seeing a difference x x

TandemFlux Tue 19-May-15 05:57:35

Is she cold?

lolalotta Tue 19-May-15 06:05:05

She is using that 8.00am nap for an extension of her nighttime sleep. I think at 12 months they should have given up the post breakfast nap and wait for a lunch time nap at say 12.00pm until 2.00pm.
Definitely check she isn't cold, the early hours are meant to be the coldest part of the night. If she is waking like clockwork at exactly the same time it has become a habit which can be hard to break when they set their body clocks... Google the "wake to sleep" method which an look scary in the face of it but is supposed to work.

lolalotta Tue 19-May-15 06:09:29

We had 4.00am starts at this age too (my DD is now 18 months) it nearly broke us and I don't work. confused

CaptainZoot Tue 19-May-15 06:16:56

Agree with lolalotta. She's napping too early and using that as an extension of nighttime sleep. The early naps are reinforcing the early waking.

We have some sleep rules in our house:

1. We NEVER get up for the day before 6am. Controlled crying technique is used if he wakes before this time. Yes it works but you have to be consistent. Letting them fuss isn't going to hurt them, letting them get up at 4am every day isn't an option for you. It's silly to even consider it!!

2. No morning naps before 9am, even if he has been awake before 5AM.

3. No afternoon naps before 1pm, even if his first nap is short.

4. No bedtimes before 6pm.

The early naps are reinforcing the early waking. You are dealing with over-tiredness now which is the number 1 cause of early morning waking. Sick to the above and be FIRM. Don't give in. If you start getting up at 5.50 it will be 5.40 the next day and 5.30 and so on.

All of this from a sleep consultant at The Baby Sleep Site.

khaya602 Tue 19-May-15 06:21:32

She has at least 4 hours between waking and her first nap so I don't think she is using this as extended night sleep.

confusedandemployed Tue 19-May-15 06:31:04

I agree with PP and despite what you say about the 4 hour gap, I still think the morning nap is the problem - 1yo is prime time to switch from two to one nap.
DD did this at 10 months-ish. We switched to one nap (we just did it 'cold turkey', no gradual making the morning nap later. It was fine) and she was back sleeping 7-7 that very night.

FishWithABicycle Tue 19-May-15 06:32:05

I agree it's time to drop the morning nap. do it by gradually pushing it later and later and curtailing it shorter and shorter. You'll probably go through a phase where you have to give her lunch at 11:30 because she's gonna keel over face forward into her food if you make her wait till noon but she sounds ready to just have one post-lunch nap each day (which should be done and dusted by 2:30 so that there's a good long wake cycle before bed)

khaya602 Tue 19-May-15 06:37:28

So of o skip that nap what time should her next nap be and how long for. And do I keep her ip untill 7

khaya602 Tue 19-May-15 06:39:54

Sorry for the miss types im on my phone and very very �� tired !!!

confusedandemployed Tue 19-May-15 06:45:56

Since she was 10mo DD has been napping 12-2 with lunch usually before, but sometimes after if it's a really busy morning.
She is woken up around 2pm and goes up for a bath 6.30 ish, bed by 7. She's 2.3 now and has been in this routine for all that time and shows no sign of dropping her nap yet.

CaptainZoot Tue 19-May-15 09:08:57

Hmmm I don't think skipping the morning nap at aged 1 is a good idea. Most babies aren't ready to drop to 1 nap until between 15-18 months. If you rush this transition you risk LO becoming overtired which is very hard to resolve. The early waking could get worse and she will probably stop sleeping through the night as well.

It might be that she is having too much daytime sleep for her age though which is causing her to wake earlier. My sleep consultant told me that 13.5 hours is typical sleep need for 1-2 year olds. Total naps should be no more than 3 hours per day.

You could try limiting the morning nap to 45 mins and putting her back down after 3 hours for a longer afternoon nap? If she sleeps 9-9.45 and again at 1-2.30 that means you can put her to bed at 6.30/7.

At 1 year old your LO is going to struggle to stay awake for more than 4 hours without becoming seriously overtired. This means her afternoon nap should be ending at 3pm if you want a 7pm bedtime. If she's waking up from nap 2 any earlier than this then you are going to have to put her to bed earlier. If she's sleeping for 3 hours in the daytime (in 2 naps) then realistically you can't expect her to sleep any longer than 10 hours.

The timing of the naps, rather than the number of them, is the problem.

Artandco Tue 19-May-15 09:16:14

I would move bedtime until 8 pm tbh, in the hope she soon does 8-7, or 8-8. If your working until late surely it makes sense to put her to bed later with the aim for later waking for you also. Even 6am is early if you have work later

Personally I would aim for 8pm bedtime. With morning nap 10am-10.45, and afternoon nap 2-4pm. She's too small imo for just one nap atm. Around 18 months I would move nap to just one nap 1-3/3.30 pm

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now