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Consistent 4-5am waking up to start the day...help!

(18 Posts)
freneticfox Mon 02-Nov-15 08:07:40

My DS will be nine months old in a couple of weeks and he's always been up and down with his sleep, but he's normally been fairly consistent in waking up somewhere between 6.30am-7.30am. The past couple of weeks though, he's been wide awake and ready to start his day by 5am. He has a short nap about 90 mins after waking, but this is so short it's not enough time for me to catch up :/

He has a flexible but firm bedtime routine and is usually in bed by 6.30pm and he self settles very well within 10-15mins. We've tried holding bedtime back a bit longer, but he is extremely stressed when he gets overtired and we wind up with a horrendously bad night. He's in the process of transitioning from three to two naps, and even if they're short and spaced out, we still can't encourage him to sleep later.

We have blackout blinds, and he still has a dream feed at around 11pm (though we've been watering this feed down and are almost ready to drop it - he's not hungry when he wakes up, just ready to get up!) He's a very mobile baby and if left to play in his cot he'll wind up getting frustrated that he can't crawl off and starts shouting.

The idea of going back to work in the new year is chilling; while I know it's not a huge problem compared with some, my husband doesn't get home from work until the evening and so our time together is already limited and I don't want to cut it even shorter by going to bed early ourselves.

Help?

BinToHellAndBack Mon 02-Nov-15 14:22:05

I know you said you've tried a later bedtime, but could you try initiating it gradually? 10 mins later every 2nd or 3rd night (or something similar).

Not an instant fix but in a couple of weeks you'd potentially have moved your morning to 5:30-6:30 instead.

freneticfox Mon 02-Nov-15 14:31:37

That's a much better idea; we'd tried 30 min increments but that wasn't working. Will give it a try going much slower. Work in progress and all that!

freneticfox Tue 03-Nov-15 06:20:56

Well, he went to bed 10 mins later than usual. He was then wide awake from 11pm - 1am and up for the day at just gone 5am.

I literally have no idea how to move forward.

Blueberry234 Tue 03-Nov-15 06:27:39

My 15 month old wakes at 530 regardless of what time I put him to bed. Am just hoping he grows out of it

VocationalGoat Tue 03-Nov-15 06:33:03

I find that pushing back bedtime doesn't change the wake up time. We're 5:30 starters here, regardless of bedtime.

Poppyclock Tue 03-Nov-15 07:09:15

My DS (now 13 months) went through an almost identical pattern around the same age as your LO. I tried the later bedtime, was still breastfeeding once at night so wasn't hunger. In the end I was so exhausted I didn't have the energy to do anything and like everything with babies; it ran its course. Crap advice but maybe just wait it out.

shitebag Tue 03-Nov-15 07:15:43

Unfortunately I think some children are just early risers so it may be a phase or it may not.

My 2yo still wakes through the night, sneaks in with us and is set for the day between 4.30 and 6am. My 9yo has rarely slept past 6.30am in his life.

Its crap and exhausting but nothing will change them.

Fraggled Tue 03-Nov-15 07:24:45

What shitebag said. 5 years in I've just had to adapt my sleep so I get lots of early nights. It's rubbish but I tried everything and neither of my 2 would sleep past 6am.

omama Mon 09-Nov-15 22:00:01

Hi bit late to this but I would say its not bedtime you need to adress, its the naps.

90 mins awake time between waking in the morning & his first nap of the day is a very short awake time for his age (for comparison my dd could stay awake around 2.5-3 hours at this age) & I suspect this is why he is only taking a very short nap (he's not tired enough to sleep longer).

Also, a too early morning nap can lead to early waking. As can staying on 3 naps when they need to be on 2.

I would recommend slowly pushing the morning nap a bit later, by slowly I mean 5-10 mins later every 3 days until it eventually (& consistently) starts at around 9.30am

This should encourage him to sleep longer, which will in turn push the second nap a bit later meaning you can drop the 3rd nap for good & eventually push bedtime back to 7pm. Hth

mewkins Mon 09-Nov-15 22:05:23

Totally agree with Omama. The morning nap needs to not happen until 9am earliest. By giving an early nap because he needs it you are getting into the cycle of him waking early because his body knows he will be able to catch up a little later. It will be painful bit you need to gradually push back (and make shorter) that early nap until you are at 9am and then push to 9.30. Also no more than 40 mins. It really really does work.

gemsie23 Fri 20-Nov-15 13:51:55

Mewkins do you mean no more than 40mins when they do nap?

GenevaMaybe Fri 20-Nov-15 13:59:46

9 months old you can drop the dreamfeed.
Aim for v short morning nap then a longer one at lunchtime.
Into bed by 6.45pm aiming to sleep 7-6

mrsmugoo Fri 20-Nov-15 14:08:29

I would drop to two naps and make the first nap no earlier than 9:30 - it will be a struggle but these things are vicious circles you have to break somehow.

gemsie23 Fri 20-Nov-15 14:18:02

This morning my dd woke at 4:45 I managed to get her back 5:25-6:25 and then she had a nap at 9 til 11:15 and will be due one any minute now, I'm imagining a short one! We then won't try bed until 7:30 tonight as the last 2 nights she was asleep by 7:25 and has woken 5 & 4:45 whereas previous days she was asleep by 7:45 and slept til 6-6:30!

Writerwannabe83 Sat 21-Nov-15 06:02:53

I used to have issues with my DS's nap times and what worked best for us was:

9 month old woke up at 6am.
First nap at 09.30 until 11.00.
Second nap at 14.00 until 15.15.
Asleep by 7pm.

It took a week or so of jostling about with his routine to implement these timings but it worked well.

Ledkr Sat 21-Nov-15 06:26:15

Sorry ladies but my 4.5 yr old is still up for the day at 5.30 hmm
I loathe it.
Now she is older I give her the I pad and chocolate biscuits healthy snacks so I can snooze.

wannabestressfree Sat 21-Nov-15 06:50:10

My boys are all teens and I am wide awake ready to start the day at 5.30......Can't get out of the habit.....sad

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