My 1yo wakes every day at 4:30am :((27 Posts)
He's always been an early riser and used to wake at 5:30am. 4:30am and sometimes 4am really hurts. He cries and stands up in his bed. Feeding him doesn't get him back to sleep and he then comes into bed with me and basically 'feeds'/uses me as a dummy until 6:30am. I'm sure he dozes in this time but he's restless and I don't get back to sleep well. He's just 1yr old and I'm recently returned to work. I really need to sort this out but don't know where to start.
He naps from about 9:30-10:45/11, then 2-3:30 if home, or bit less when out or at nursery. I was told he's in a development leap so this may have affected his sleep. I saw a sleep consultant who said to use a form of controlled crying and to leave him (but go in to 'soothe' him) for an hour. I can't leave him screaming for an hour. I wouldn't anyway, but also have a 3yo who would be woken.
Sorry for long post. Any help or tips would be much appreciated.
Can't really help as my daughter gets up anywhere between 4am and 7am (wouldn't mind some consistency tbh)
Hope you get a 'lay in' soon!
Thank you Consistency in-between at 5:30am would work a treat! Anything with a '4' in it is just painful!!! x
My just 3 year old has started this. Awake at 4:30 and a fight to get him back to sleep (about an hour) then sleeps till about 7:30. Okay weekends (the going back to sleep bit) but not on a work day
Yeah, it just makes the day seem a whole lot longer doesn't it!
Mine does this as well as waking every sodding hour or so... we've had so little sleep since he was born. It's tough.
He dropped the second nap at about that age - could you try going to one nap? Go out and do something really fun and exciting to push the morning awake slot later, then longer lunchtime nap.
Ultimately it may be just how he is. He's a lark, like mine. I tell him 'still sleep time' and try to settle him but he's just full of beans and bouncing around wanting to play. I wish I had so much energy!
How about reintroducing a dream feed when you go to bed? Add in a nappy change as well if baby will tolerate it.
It acts like a reset-button. It also means that baby's nappy is a bit less full and baby's tummy a bit kess empty come the early morning.
I honestly think you just have to power through these crappy phases. My DS did the very same thing when he was about 1. The day felt endless, nothing on telly, nowhere to go, can't go out and play. I think you just have to wait it out, sorry.
What time does he go down?
We went to a sleep consultant but it was an open session. Seemed to be the case that if those over 1 / toddlers went to bed later than 7 and without a regular routine (bath, bottle, quiet time, white noise/whatever you do but some form of winding down), just won't go through the night.
This seemed to be because if they don't go to bed after this time or about this time, they get what seems to us like 'second wind' but for them is stressful and they produce cortisol instead of melatonin. Then, around 3-ish, they don't have enough melatonin to make it through any longer.
I've done quite a lot of reading (Gina Ford, Ferber, that Baby Whisperer one as well, and a stake of more hippy type ones) and it seems to me that they're all based on the same science and methods. They just dress it up differently.
Beargrass, that's so interesting, thank you. He goes to bed at 7ish but I'm wondering if actually he should go to bed even earlier, so he's asleep before 7pm and my 3yo could follow at 7-7:15. She could probably benefit from a bit more sleep too. That's really useful, thank you x
Good luck! I can't get mine to last that long so she's really on 6 to 6. I have tried pushing back her morning but no real luck. Mornings are punishing but I get more of the evening so I guess it's swings and roundabouts! x
The no cry sleep solution books (there is a baby or toddler one) are really useful and I've found to work very well, you get to understand the science and apply some ideas gently.
Similar to pp I wonder if you gradually worked towards just one lunchtime nap you might have a better outcome for the morning waking!
We've never really cracked early rising, but a few things that I have found helped:
Getting rid of morning nap or making it later. I was told early risers get in the habit of using it to effectively make up for lack of night sleep. It got rid of the 4 something mornings for us
Bedtime before 7 - earlier to bed definitely makes for better sleep for us
You could try "wake to sleep" if it becomes routinely early at the same time. It's worked for us, but it's also gone disastrously wrong on a few occasions.
I have two terrible sleepers, and have seen sleep consultants. Have been told early rising is the toughest problem. Sorry....
Thanks so much all. I can't really do bedtime much earlier than 7pm as I work and we get in at 6ish. I'll aim for 6:45 and make the morning nap later. I made it 10:15am today tho, and just had to wake him up so not sure how this will pan out today...! xx
If I was in your situation I'd be in bed as soon as the 3 year old goes down. 8 till 4 is 8 hours and I'm terrible without sleep! I know I wouldn't get anything done but sleep is the most important thing to me Or I'd be sharing the 4am start with DP and taking it in turns. When DS2 was younger DP would get up at 5 with him and leave me in bed till 7.
DS2 is 17 months now, he usually wakes at 730. Naps (only one) are different everyday. He goes down for the night at 930. We've tried for earlier but he's only ever had 10 hours for as long as I can remember.
My DD (2.5) is an early riser too and always has been 😢 I'm constantly aiming for a 7-7 routine but it just doesn't happen and she's up at 6 everyday...strangely I've actually noticed if she goes to bed earlier (say 6ish) she sometimes sleeps until nearer 06:30! Strange! So you could try earlier bedtime?? Appreciate tho it's hard to get them to bed earlier than 7 when you work because I'm in the same boat! X
We had the exact same problem. We spoke to a sleep consultant who said to move his nap to the afternoon. When you first start doing this, allow them a 15min cat nap in the morning then wake them up (otherwise they'll find it too difficult to wait until the afternoon).
We were told our son was using his morning nap to catch up on the sleep he hadn't had because of getting up at 4.30. Moving his nap to the afternoon Really changed things for us - he now usually sleeps until 6am.
Also give milk at 7 and breakfast at 8, we were told. Their expectation of food also impacts their sleep so if you feed them too early they wake up expecting food. (We do breakfast at 7 actually as we have to leave the house at 8).
After a few months of sleeping until 6am, at age 2 my son started waking up at 4.30 again. This time we were told to shorten his afternoon nap to just 30min. (It was an hour and a half before). At first he didn't like being woken up after 30min (we did it gradually - 45min for first few days) but I see it as being like jet lag. When an adult tries to adjust their sleeping pattern to a new country it feels grim, say, getting up at 8am in the new country when it's 4am in the place youcame from. But then your body and sleep cycle adjusts.
All the best to you - it's really tough when they get you up that early!
Ds has consistently woken early since his sleep settled. It was between 5-6 but is often 4.30 now. I do take him into bed and he's the same as yours, bf/comfort sucks for 30-60 minutes. Sometimes will go back to sleep for half an hour but often not.
I really should try Fatedestinys reset suggestion, but am too scared of it going horribly wrong! Bedtime is about the only reliable part of his sleep and it had taken a lot of effort on my part to get it there. I am loathe to mess it up.
My DS2 did this. He is 8 years old next week, and he still routinely gets up soon after 5am. Since about age 3.5 he entertains himself until a more civilised hour. The time when I had to get up with him was Not Fun.
Point of interest, ds stayed at mums last night. He refused his daytime nap til mid afternoon then slept for an hour.
He went to bed fine, 7.30ish. Woke 4.55, put in bed with mum straight back to sleep. Stirred 6.45 then slept another hour getting up just before 8!!
This wasn't because he was overtired, he often naps for an hour only. I am hoping it was the later nap that helped.
If it makes you feel any better my DS did this and it did get better. He's at High School now and is still an early riser. Never had a problem getting him up for school and he's never been late either.
Pushing back the nap time can help. Maybe try an early lunch at 11/11.30 and nap right after. He might need a cat nap just before dinner.
I think you can accommodate the early waking with an early nap.
<< waves over here! >>
Set your alarm clock to 15 mins before he is due to wake up and gently disturb him not to wake though. He will drift back off in ti another sleep cycle.
3-4 nights of this and I swear he will get passed that time the night after.
It's just a bad habit he has got in to .
My DS sometimes rouses enough to come into bed with me at that time. It used to be every day. I get him milk if he asks, change nappy if very wet, cuddle him down into the duvet and then ignore him. He always goes back to sleep. Absolutely
Nothing ever happens before 7am in this house, no lights on, no talking. We have been consistent with this since day one. I can cope with grabbing milk at that time, but no way could I survive getting up then.
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