Toddler waking 4:30am

(27 Posts)
Mazzatron Tue 10-Nov-20 04:56:16

My toddler has been having a very bad patch of sleep the last 3 or 4 weeks. It's starting to get better now, he's now sleeping through the night again but waking at 4:30 consistently. He seems very tired from this so I don't think it's because he's getting too much sleep. His room isn't too cold and it's pitch black at that time. He's eating well so I don't think he's hungry and I evidence of teething (we are waiting for back molars).

His speech has developed quite a bit in the last week which i think could be part of the sleep disturbance?

What could I be doing to encourage him to sleep longer in the morning? He is 23 months.

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Mazzatron Tue 10-Nov-20 04:57:39

Also wondering what time to do his nap when he wakes so early. Stretch out to lunch or go earlier?

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Terriblecreature Tue 10-Nov-20 05:02:52

Omg I feel like I could have written this post myself!
Yesterday morning was 3.45am and today 4.10am. I have no idea what's going on.
He goes down fine between 6.30pm-7pm and sleeps through til when he wakes but I can't seem to handle the early wake ups very well (23 weeks pregnant).

His speech has also come along over the last few weeks although he is only about to turn 20 months and I think his speech is still due for an awful lot of development before he turns 2.

He naps in the morning between 8.30am and 9am and for the last few days I have stopped it going over 2 hours. He would sleep for 3. Just don't know what to do as I can't imagine he will be enjoying the lack of sleep either.

Looking forward to others responses x

maryberryslayers Tue 10-Nov-20 05:14:30

We have this with 2yo DS. I've started to act as though it's the middle of the night (because it bloody is!) and put him back to sleep as I would do if it was 2 am. I realised that he thinks he gets to see daddy and have milk if he gets up, but instead he just gets to sit in his room with boring mummy tunelessly singing at him, so I'm hoping he'll just start getting himself back to sleep eventually 🤞🏼

DryHeave Tue 10-Nov-20 05:24:08

Mine went through a patch of 5am waking. Perhaps yours is, but fiendishly coincided with the clock change?

Mazzatron Tue 10-Nov-20 14:09:14

@DryHeave he's always been one for getting up around 5:30 and I accepted that but 4:30 is not acceptable!

@maryberryslayers sounds good but my boys temperament is quite highly strung, once he's awake and stood up in his cot he's awake, no matter what. It's super rare for him to go back to sleep.

@Terriblecreature I empathise. We've had 4 3am starts in the last couple of weeks - absolutely ridiculous. Who knows what's going on. People keep saying it's just a phase but how long is a phase seriously.
We're all just very tired 😒

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Terriblecreature Tue 10-Nov-20 14:15:42

My little boy sounds like yours and once he is up he is up. I try not to complain too much as he still sleeps from 6.30pm til 4ish Mark but my goodness I am like a zombie come 7am. I hope this phase passes soon for u OP, same for me too x


firstimemamma Tue 10-Nov-20 14:17:56

No advice but solidarity as my ds was an early riser! He's outgrown it now and wakes around 7, hopefully you'll be in the same club soon thanks

GreyPanther Fri 13-Nov-20 14:50:19


I had the same issue for ages pre clock change and posted on here for advice (I can’t find the thread to link it).

I had some very helpful tips, the most helpful was pushing his bed time back to a bit later. Our DS (21 months then, now 22) was waking up between 4am-5:30am) for months on end and it was exhausting. We were putting him to bed early around 6-6:30pm. Some people suggested putting him to bed later. We aimed for 7/7:15pm and it actually started working! We had a whole week of blissful 7am wake ups. Then the bloody clock change happened and it all went downhill and we are back to 5am wake ups. Also, he started jumping out of his cot so we’ve recently moved him to a bed and that’s thrown things too so we are all trying to adjust.

Perhaps try a later bedtime to see if that works? It didn’t happen overnight for us, took a few days but was worth it.

Some of the other suggestions were shortening nap time and getting a gro clock.

Hope you find something that works

Mazzatron Sun 22-Nov-20 04:50:17

@GreyPanther thanks for the tips. We were putting him to bed at 6:30 but we're now doing 7 for the last week. He's still waking between 4:20 - 4:40. Brutal.

We got him a gro clock which he understands but I'm not sure if it's helping or hindering because he wakes up, screams for 20 seconds then stands up and stares at it until it turns yellow (which is at 5:30). He doesn't think to lay down and go back to sleep at all.

His body clock seems totally fixed.
So bloody tired. 😢

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GreyPanther Sun 22-Nov-20 07:28:17

@Mazzatron I’m in the same boat at the moment. 4:49 wake up today and nothing seems to work 😭😭😭

Mazzatron Sun 22-Nov-20 12:27:52

@GreyPanther my condolences!

I'm 17 weeks pregnant so I've just resigned myself to ?4 more years of this early rising fun. Sometimes it's easier to accept it then constantly try to make the right change which in my case never works.

Early nights for the foreseeable future.

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GreyPanther Sun 22-Nov-20 13:05:34

@Mazzatron oh nooo you poor thing! I’m having one more go at trying to rectify things by putting my lo to bed at 6pm for a few nights to see if it makes a difference. Good luck! X

GemmeFatale Sun 22-Nov-20 14:07:19

We had this recently and even though I didn’t think his room was cold we tried having the heat kick on at 4am in his room (and only his room). To my surprise it seems to have worked.

Mazzatron Mon 23-Nov-20 05:14:36

@GreyPanther good luck! Let me know!

@GemmeFatale ok interesting thanks. My husband followed suit last night and he's still laying in his cot (5:13!) he's awake but drowsy instead of waking up and screaming and standing up... so maybe it's helped! Thanks 😊

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GreyPanther Mon 23-Nov-20 07:13:41

@Mazzatron great news! We tried putting our ds to sleep at 6:30pm but by the time he fell asleep it was 7:40pm. He’s been up since 5:30am 🤪
We had the heating on last night too but the pipes are so bloody loud. Maybe that’s what woke him?!

Mazzatron Tue 24-Nov-20 19:07:17

Well @GreyPanther it wasn't so great today. 4:18.

by any chance is your LO learning to talk a lot at the moment? Ours is and someone at work told me that causes major sleep regression / early waking. Idk sometimes it's useful to know why but it doesn't actually change anything.

I'm so flipping tired 😓

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Mazzatron Fri 27-Nov-20 05:11:28

How's it going @GreyPanther? Any luck? We are entering week 6 of 4:30 wake ups so facing facts it's probably not a phase.

I'm wondering about dropping the nap. He seems really tired like he he still needs it but maybe that's because he's up at 4:30 and if he didn't nap he wouldn't be??

What does your DC's nap look like? We have to cuddle ours to sleep (never used to) and he naps for about 1.5 - 2 hours

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GreyPanther Fri 27-Nov-20 08:01:27

@Mazzatron this is so frustrating. I feel for you!

By some miracle on Tuesday our DS woke at 6am then on weds 6:30am. I have no idea what we did differently and it didn’t last as we are back to 5am wake ups 😫

His nap varies considerably as he is with the child minder 3 days a week. When he is with us he naps for 1.5-2hrs and with the childminder it can be no nap or if we are lucky 1.5hrs. Yesterday it was no nap as he was having too much fun with the older kids.

I’m a bit annoyed about the napping at the childminders but there isn’t much I can do as she’s great and he’s otherwise happy there.

One thing that did cross my mind is whether his nappy is too wet in the mornings and the cold wet nappy wakes him? Not sure what I can do other than to disturb his sleep with a nappy change in the middle of the night!

If I’m being honest the early wake ups have been going in for about a year and we’ve had maybe 3 or 4 weeks scattered throughout the year of 6/7am wake ups so maybe this is the norm for us. I can’t help feeling that it isn’t as he always wakes up upset 😭

Maybe try cutting the nap before dropping it to see if it makes a difference?

We have to lie down next to DS to fall asleep and we never had to do this before the move to the single bed. X

GreyishDays Fri 27-Nov-20 08:05:03

You might find that the naps are a bit long. What time do they wake up? (Both Greypanther and Mazzatron.)

My first thought would be to make sure they don’t sleep past about 1.45pm and to limit it to 1-1.30hrs.

Happyhappyday Fri 27-Nov-20 22:46:07

What happens if you just leave him in the cot until 6:30, or whenever you want to wakebjon up? My kiddo wakes up in the middle of the night most nights but just chats to her kitty and eventually goes back to sleep. She’s not upset and won’t go to sleep faster if we go in (slower in fact) so we ignore her and at least parents get more sleep. Pediatrician advised that some kids just do this and worst thing to do is reinforce by rewarding the behavior, ie, parent going in.

Ohalrightthen Fri 27-Nov-20 22:53:14


What happens if you just leave him in the cot until 6:30, or whenever you want to wakebjon up? My kiddo wakes up in the middle of the night most nights but just chats to her kitty and eventually goes back to sleep. She’s not upset and won’t go to sleep faster if we go in (slower in fact) so we ignore her and at least parents get more sleep. Pediatrician advised that some kids just do this and worst thing to do is reinforce by rewarding the behavior, ie, parent going in.

Absolutely this.

Worriedhomemover Fri 27-Nov-20 22:54:01

Could you give him some milk in a sippy cup? Or even water?

My DD wouldn’t sleep if it wasn’t for her bottle- she’s almost 2 and a half, I know it’s a bad habit but honestly I can’t fight that battle yet! She usually just has water in it during the night and she settles herself back to sleep (until about 6.30 if we’re lucky).

Worriedhomemover Fri 27-Nov-20 22:56:52

Forgot to say she usually naps 12pm latest and we make sure she’s up before 1.30. Bed is about 6.30/7. But she has two long walks, one in the morning, and one in the afternoon (if she’s not at nursery). What’s his routine during the day?

GreyPanther Sun 29-Nov-20 07:31:47

@Happyhappyday I’ve sort of hijacked @Mazzatron thread but our DS won’t stay put otherwise I would leave him. He jumped out of the cot twice recently so have had to switch to a bed. He also wakes screaming his head off. I would love it if he woke chatting.

@GreyishDays the past few days have been 1hr30/1hr20 and it doesn’t seem to have made a difference sadly.

@Worriedhomemover I’ve tried milk when DS wakes in the morning but he just gets annoyed when I leave the room and runs around. When he’s at home we go out for a walk/playground in the morning and walk in the afternoon. At the childminders I think they just go out in the morning but he gets lots of stimulation in the afternoon and always comes home tired.

Since getting the bed, bedtimes have been more tricky. He used to fall asleep by himself in the cot (still wake up early though) but he’s fall asleep within 5 mins. Now one of us has to lie next to him until he falls asleep and this can take up to an hour. Last night he was physically in bed at 6:50 but wasn’t asleep until 8pm which is far too late. He woke until at 5:30am so these later bed times aren’t working. He napped for 1.5hrs yesterday. He was in bed by 12pm but didn’t fall asleep until 1pm.

If he woke up happy all of this would be so much easier to deal with. I think I have to resign myself to having an unhappy sleeper 😭

Sorry to hijack *@Mazzatron*. I also recently found out I’m pregnant (8 weeks) and am trying to mentally prepare for 4 more years of bad sleep x

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