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Why does my toddler think 4.30am is morning?!

(15 Posts)
MjTired Sat 18-Mar-17 05:41:03

Can anyone suggest what to do to get my 22 month old to sleep a little later please. She is waking anytime from 4.30, usually about 5. By 9 she is often tired and grumpy and might have a little sleep in transit somewhere but I don't let her sleep long (she only naps on the move, I gave up trying in the house a long time ago). By about 1pm she'll be tired again and within minutes of being in the pushchair she's asleep and will be out for 90 mins. She goes to sleep quite easily around 7.30 so she's only getting about 9hrs overnight. She used to average 10-10.5. She's always been an early riser and no amount of telling her it's not morning, putting her back to bed etc has ever worked. If she's awake for the day that's it. She seems to need her nap(s) but should I stop her sleeping so long or can anyone suggest something else?

CurlsLDN Sat 18-Mar-17 05:43:05

The clocks change next weekend, so her 4.30am wake up will become 5.30, and maybe that will stick?
Otherwise, a groclock

MjTired Sat 18-Mar-17 05:47:16

Thanks for your quick reply! I've looked at a groclock but don't know if she'd understand/take any notice but worth a try.
Previous daylight savings havent helped much as we've slipped back to usual times within a week or so. I think we'd have to stick with 8.30 bedtime to get 5.30 wake up but maybe I have to accept that's all the sleep she needs.

Tralala33 Sat 18-Mar-17 05:47:44

Mine DS is exactly the same. I have just accepted he's an early riser and hoping it will change one day…

MjTired Sat 18-Mar-17 05:53:25

I don't know why that half an hour makes a difference but 5 now sound much more reasonable then 4.30! Never did I imagine pre-baby I'd think of 5.30 as a lie in hmm

whataflop Sat 18-Mar-17 05:59:09

Another early riser here. My 17 month old has woke up early for as long as I Can remember and now my 3 year old is
Joining in too. The youngest used to wake 4-430 and it was awful! Now he can stretch till about 5! Sorry have no tips because my ds sounds like your little one, he's a struggle to get to nap in the house aswell. Not sure how he can wake so early but not be tired untill 1pm for a nap! I've just excepted this is all the sleep he needs! Is you dd in her own room?

MjTired Sat 18-Mar-17 06:21:32

Yes she's in her own room and has been in a cot bed for about a month which is much better then a cot (which she hated and wouldn't fall asleep in it- lifting 12kg in and out was back breaking).

Good to know we're not the only ones going through this

KP86 Sat 18-Mar-17 07:05:37

Blackout curtains?

DS went through this phase not long ago (after he teased me with 8am starts for a few months, cheeky boy) and now we are at a slightly more reasonable 6am start.

Gro-clock definitely helped us but it took a while for him to understand it. Probably close to 2.6yo.

dinobum Sat 18-Mar-17 17:04:25

Same, 4:30 start and she's 21 months. I don't have any advice!

MjTired Sat 18-Mar-17 17:45:19

We have blackout curtains and blackout blinds. There's a nightlight we use (from my time as a non-sleeper) but I don't think it's bright enough to cause any of the issues.

Will definitely think about a gro clock in a couple of months time.

We've had a lovely day today, fantastic mood all day. She's still going strong but I'm wilting after 13 hours on my feet! How do they do it...

FusionChefGeoff Sat 18-Mar-17 18:05:24

I worked with a sleep consultant when mine was doing this. Approach was 3 fold - for a week it was hard line routine, same meal times, same nap times, and early bedtime at 7 (we had been 8). Then those naps were strictly limited to one hour - I hated waking her but I'd fallen into the trap of letting her have up to 2 hrs which was definitely not helping.

The third, and the most difficult bit, was rapid retypurn / broken record / gradual retreat in the morning. If she woke before 6.30, I just returned her back to bed, stood quietly by the door and picked her up and lay her back down every time she made a move to get up. It was tough as I'd always been very baby led and she seemed so blatantly awake but after the 1st morning there was just 15 mins of that on day 2 and on day 3, she just resigned herself to the fact that it was morning yet and went back with no protest at all. I was amazed.

Changed our lives! Google baby tech support - all telephone / online support starting with a tailored sleep plan based on your family and your routines. In our case it was definitely worth the investment.

beargrass Sat 18-Mar-17 18:48:01

I've heard a sleep consultant say the same re: earlier bedtime and it being 7 at the latest. The one I saw give a talk, said this was because after 7 starts to disrupt their melatonin levels and then they don't have enough in the tank to make it past 4-ish because their cortisol levels (stress) rise.

LalaLeona Sat 18-Mar-17 21:31:11

my boy is the same. wide awake at silly o clock, usually some time with a 4 in it! I cant do controlled crying, rapid return etc as he literally has the loudest bellowing cry you can imagine, and we live in a terraced house. Don't know how to fix this but I'm shattered!

MjTired Mon 20-Mar-17 14:19:33

Thanks for the replies particularly FusionChefGeoff for sharing your success story. I'm quite good at the routine bit but would be hopeless as returning her to bed. I feel like she's too strong willed but it's probably more the case I'm too weak! By chance we ended up with shorter naps and earlier bedtime this weekend and this morning's wake up started with a 5 not a 4, hurray!

splendide Mon 20-Mar-17 14:46:24

Mine did this.

I used to go in and lie on the floor next to his cot if he woke before 6 - for a while 4.30 was pretty normal. He would sometimes go back to sleep sometimes (often sad ) not but at least he was still in bed in the dark.

He just gradually grew out of it really although i like to think the staying in bed until 6 helped. He always maintained his 2 hour nap throughout all this and still does it now at 2.5.

We had a glorious few months of 7 wake ups, it's recently retreated back to 6 ish.

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