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3 yr old waking early

(18 Posts)
tim091 Tue 24-Jan-17 09:30:48

I know this is a regular subject but I have a slightly different twist on it! Three and a half year old has recently taken to waking early: anytime between 3.45 and 5.00. He used to never wake before 6.30 - 7.00.

The thing that seems to be causing it is that he has become a bit afraid of the dark. So, unlike others whose problem is solved by blackout curtains mine has the opposite! He has a night light but as soon as I put him to bed and close his door he switches on his main light. Throughout the night if I am up I will slip in and quietly switch his light off, but he switches it on as soon as he wakes or uses his potty. I am sure this is keeping him awake once he wakes at 3,4,5 etc.

He will play in his room (loudly!) after waking but obviously has no idea when is "getting up time" so regularly shouts "is it waking up time?"! This, and his noisy play, is what wakes me via the monitor.

He goes to bed at 7. I tried pushing it to 7.30 but it made no difference. He stopped daytime naps about a year ago.

What I would do for a lie-in..... sad

FATEdestiny Tue 24-Jan-17 13:13:18

If he is afraid of the dark, you need to deal with that. You seem to be dismissing that fact he is scared of the dark. He's putting the light on because it makes him feel safer and less scared. That would tell me the night light is not bright enough for him.

How about a lamp on, rather than a night light?

Or get a dimmer switch fitted and have the overhead light on, but dimmed down.

Or maybe several night lights plus a touch for him?

The bottom line is, he wants more light. You feel the over head light is too much light, so find a compromise he is happy with so that he doesn't want to put the light on.

tim091 Tue 24-Jan-17 13:35:40

Thanks, good ideas. I may have been overstating it saying he is afraid of the dark. He doesn't seem to be or talk about being, it was just me assuming that is why he switches the light on.

Mammatron Tue 24-Jan-17 15:49:21

Have you tried a gro clock?

tim091 Tue 24-Jan-17 16:16:04

Been thinking about, but the problem is that even if he learns it isn't waking up time until the clock says so he will still be doing noisy play! Perhaps the real question is at what age do I ditch the monitor? I can't see myself sleeping if I can't hear if he has a bad dream, wets bed etc though!

Lukeandlorelai4Ever Tue 24-Jan-17 16:20:15

Same happened here, have you heard of the gro light? It's connected to main light and gives the room a slight glow. It has worked wonders here.

ElphabaTheGreen Tue 24-Jan-17 16:25:25

I'd get rid of the monitor. At 3.5 I'm sure he's got the lungs to shout for you if he really needs help, or come looking for you. DS1 (4.5yo) hasn't had a monitor for about a year now.

tim091 Tue 24-Jan-17 16:54:15

Thanks all. I will investigate gro light. I am not comfortable with not being able to monitor him yet, and letting him escape from his room is a no no! I can't have him roaming the house in the small hours!

Lukeandlorelai4Ever Tue 24-Jan-17 20:13:31

I still have moniter for my very nearly four year old, I'm keeping till she's moved outgrin
Try the gro light definitely, I can't post links but you can get it in smyths.
Good luck!

tim091 Wed 25-Jan-17 06:01:41

Thanks Lukeandlorelai4Ever . I can't see myself giving up the monitor either smile.

Having looked at how Gro light works now I don't think that will help as he will just switch the light switch until it gets to the bright light.

The only "solution" I can see is getting something that tells him when it is time to be up, and teach him to play quietly until then!!! Possible I guess.

DMnamechanger Wed 25-Jan-17 06:04:15

That would be the Gro Clock then wink

Fueledwithfairydustandgin Wed 25-Jan-17 06:52:45

We got a gro clock because 2.8 yr old DS started walking at 4.30 every morning and demanding to play. The gro clock helped as he wasn't allowed up until it was yellow and he now sleeps until 6 (when it changes colour)

MrsGB2015 Wed 25-Jan-17 06:56:54

My friend tried the Aloka night light and that worked for her son, they are about £30-£40 though.

tim091 Wed 25-Jan-17 07:20:50

Thanks everyone. I will get a Gro clock and see how we get on.

Tabitha1983 Wed 25-Jan-17 14:38:47

Gro-clock working here 👍
It's surprisingly bright too....I was worried for the other reason as my DD has always slept in complete darkness (black out blinds etc) so it might be perfect for you.
If that sheds enough light out, plus his night light could you take the main bulb out so he can't turn it on?! Or is that mean lol! X

tim091 Wed 25-Jan-17 14:56:24

Thought about taking the main bulb out but need it for reading bedtime story, changing wet bedding in the middle of the night etc!

Starduke Wed 25-Jan-17 15:08:18

The gro clock worked for us too. It's really bright (too bright for us - we turn it to face the wall).

Try a combination of that and stickers if he doesn't make noise to wake you up before it changes colour.

My 2 year old went through a phase of waking at 4.30 everyday so I sympathise (the phase lasted 3 months!) but not it's between 6 and 6.30 which I can cope with.

Petalbird Wed 25-Jan-17 15:20:55

Take the bulb out but have a desk lamp to take with you for story time. Possibly soft toys with light button may help with the dark as he can hold it close. Oh and get a grow clock

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