HELP - Early Waking - Where Am I Going Wrong?!

(28 Posts)
anonnancy Mon 23-Nov-20 07:04:57

Good morning all.

I will try and keep this short partly because I am so knackered I don’t have the energy to waffle on!

DS is almost 11 months. Since he turned 10
Months (and started crawling) he has started waking at 5am (sometimes 4:30!) every morning.

Things we have tried:

- Later bedtime / earlier bedtime
- Treating it as a night wake (so feed and nappy change if nappy is super full)
- rocking
- leaving him to see if he will go back to sleep himself (if he isn’t crying which is usually the case)
- white noise on all night

His routine is:

Wake at 5/5:30
7oz milk at 6am
Breakfast at 7:30
Nap 1 at 9-10 (woken by me after an hour)
Lunch at 12
7oz milk at 1pm (he is starting to drop this feed)
Nap 2 at 1:30/2 - 3:30/4 (I usually wake if still asleep come 4pm)
Dinner at 4:45
8oz milk and bed for 7/7:30

He will then sleep through until 5/5:30. Sometimes
He is up for the day at 4:30 but I honestly don’t know why. His routine does not change in the day. He could probably go down for a nap earlier in the morning but I’ve read that is counter productive when trying to combat early waking, so I drag him out til 9.

I honestly don’t know what to do and I am sooo tired. Even when I go back to work I won’t need to get up til 6am at the earliest. And I only like to me awake for one 5’o’clock in a 24 hour period grin

I know I don’t have it as bad as some and I feel bad for moaning... <sorry>

Just wondering if anyone has any tips what worked for them?

Just to add that before he turned 10 months he was sleeping 2.5-3 hours in the day and then 11 hours at night.

Is he having too much day time sleep and should I cap the morning nap to 30/45 mins? confused

Thanks in advance x

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Sewsosew Mon 23-Nov-20 08:02:05

Any change of stretching the morning nap later to try and have one big nap (I can’t remember when DD dropped to one).

Sewsosew Mon 23-Nov-20 08:19:37


chasingshunshine Mon 23-Nov-20 08:23:05

It looks like the afternoon nap is too late. If I were you, I'd be aiming to reduce the morning nap to 30 mins and have the afternoon nap for 2.5 hours, but finishing no later than 3pm.

Hope that helps!

Littlepoppet1 Mon 23-Nov-20 08:32:09

Agree with posters above, he’s having too much day time sleep and the afternoon nap is ending too late. My DD dropped her morning nap at about 12 months and started just having one long 2.5 hr nap at lunchtime. We had to bring bedtime earlier to 6:30-7:00 but it worked a treat.

anonnancy Mon 23-Nov-20 09:06:59

@chasingshunshine thanks! I did wonder if he was having too much daytime sleep. He was a serial cat napper until 6.5 months so I guess I am just enjoying the long naps haha. He has just gone down for nap 1 so will wake him at 9:30 and aim to get him down for his second nap at 1pm and hope he has a nice long nap. His wake window is around 3.5 hours (I put him down at 3.25 hours so he is asleep after 3.5 hrs awake).

Feels so weird waking him so quickly but need to remember as he gets older his sleep needs change! Figured he would be knackered due to being so active now. Babies & sleep are mind boggling!

Will update at the end of the week... fingers crossed!

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anonnancy Mon 23-Nov-20 09:09:01

@Littlepoppet1 I think you’re all correct. He definitely still needs two naps at the minute, so will try capping morning nap to 30 mins and wake him at 3pm if he isn’t already awake from his second nap. Thank you! X

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chasingshunshine Mon 23-Nov-20 10:06:40

I would try moving naps slightly so that you can get him down by 12.30pm for his afternoon nap. That should help a lot!

A good long lunch nap is still needed at this age so you don't want to cut that short unless you have to, but any sleep after 3pm can disrupt night time.

anonnancy Mon 23-Nov-20 16:54:10

@chasingshunshine thank you! So I put him down at 9am today and woke him at 9:40. He then went down at 13:15 (wouldn’t go down earlier!) and he slept til 15:00. So I’ll see how we go for bedtime and if it makes a difference to his wake up time tomorrow morning.

If no change I will put him down early tomorrow for his first nap and wake him again and put him down early for his second nap and see how that works!

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anonnancy Tue 24-Nov-20 05:53:29

5:30 wake this morning.
He had 2hr 40min total nap time yesterday. 40 mins AM and 2 hours PM. In bed and asleep at 7:15.

Is this still too much daytime sleep??

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Twiglet2353 Tue 24-Nov-20 06:29:26

Just a post of solidarity. Early wake ups or middle of the night waking that lasts 2-3 hours, also 11 months old

What seems to have worked recently is 30m nap at 9.30 and then nap 2 at 1.15-3/3.15pm, asleep for 6.45/7pm, which doesn't sound too dissimilar to what you're doing already 🤷🏻‍♀️

OnlyFoolsnMothers Tue 24-Nov-20 06:39:21

Just to say my eldest did this and woke at 4.30 every day around 10months old- I thought it was down to the light mornings as it was summer. Anyway to get through it we shoved her in a baby bouncer facing the tv and my husband or I slept on the couch next to her- it was a case of survival and then suddenly it just stopped. Sorry no actual advice but lots of us have been there! flowers

anonnancy Tue 24-Nov-20 08:35:52

@Twiglet2353 it’s so tough isn’t it. I feel like I shouldn’t be complaining because he sleeps through. He stirred at 5AM but seemed to drift back off and thought that was it but he woke at 5:30. He doesn’t cry when he wakes he just lies there, which is why I can leave him for a while but he won’t go back to sleep. He gets fed up after about 30 mins and will then cry for me.

This morning he has been so grumpy, but he woke up with a bright red cheek so think we are getting another tooth which may explain it. He’s got 8 teeth already and they’ve just been one after the other for the last month and a half with no break so I wonder if this is what is causing the early waking.

@OnlyFoolsnMothers glad to know I’m not doing anything glaringly obvious that I shouldn’t be, and it’s probably just developmental or down to teething... the early starts just take their toll
After a while! DS is too big and heavy for his jumperoo now so that got packed away at the weekend. He outgrew his bouncy chair ages ago so literally have nothing to contain him anymore lol. He’s been rubbing his eyes since 7:45 but trying to drag him out til 9 again.

Going out for some fresh air after his nap in hopes that some fresh air and a play on the swings will knacker him out a bit, and blow the cobwebs away for me! Lol.

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anonnancy Fri 27-Nov-20 05:47:36

Capping the morning nap to 9:30 isn’t working, up at 5:15 today... he was asleep for 18:45 as he seemed knackered and slept through... should I just stop moaning and accept that this is his new wake up time? <sleepy sob>

Anyone out there got any other tips I could try?

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anonnancy Fri 27-Nov-20 05:48:38

Sorry, I meant to say capping the morning nap to 30 minutes** isn’t working ...!

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glowingtwig Fri 27-Nov-20 19:09:56

Following this advice with interest because dd 13 months suddenly started doing this last week- 4:20am wake ups for no apparent reason. I feel your pain! It's awful trying to go to work and do a demanding job with such an early start. She's usually not crying, just chatting to herself and doing the odd call out.

Her day naps have always been short- 45 minutes at the most and always woken by 3:30pm, bedtime between 6:30-7:30pm depending on when she woke in the afternoon or if she's been at nursery (seems to be more tired after a day there).

We've tried keeping the heating on low so it's not too cold, giving her a small bowl of cereal before her night time bottle in case she's hungry, bigger nappies in case she's uncomfortable... she's still doing it confused

Might be teeth with her too, but she doesn't seem in pain. Only has two teeth as well so we are expecting a few more soon. Really hope she just stops like pp!

glowingtwig Fri 27-Nov-20 19:11:15

Must also add I also feel like I can't complain too much because she has been such a fantastic sleeper and has been sleeping through to around 6:45 until now.

Twiglet2353 Sat 28-Nov-20 06:43:38

@anonnancy its not working for me anymore either! Had 5.30-6am wake ups all week!
Sleeping through otherwise though which is a vast vast improvement!

Indecisivelurcher Sat 28-Nov-20 06:51:42

I suspect he's not getting enough sleep and you ought to bring his bedtime forward. Babies do well with 12/12 day/night. If he's up at 5:30 I would put him to bed at 6pm. I'm serious! At the min he's not getting enough sleep and has run up a sleep debt. This could be causing early wake up. It would be a bit of a sleep 'classic'.

Twiglet2353 Sat 28-Nov-20 07:15:00

@Indecisivelurcher my baby's bedtime flexes depending on what time he woke up from afternoon nap, so is anywhere between 6-7pm. He's no longer wanting to take a long afternoon nap and "naturally" wants to sleep for 1.5hrs in a morning and 1hr in the afternoon. He definitely still needs two naps as he's waking so early he wouldn't be able to make it through to lunchtime without a short 20/30min cat nap. He seemed so much happier when he consolidated his sleep into one long afternoon nap after a short morning one but it's gone out the window again confused

UnbeatenMum Sat 28-Nov-20 07:27:34

Looking at the food schedule I would add 2 snacks at say 10am and 3pm. I have a 15mo and this is what I was advised by the health visitor. I'm not sure if it will help with sleep but it might do if he's waking up for milk.

The other thing that might be worth a try is a full blackout e.g. gro anywhere blind.

THNG5 Sat 28-Nov-20 07:28:10

I hate to say this but some babies are just early risers. My second was like this until around 2 and a bit and my third is 18 months and has been waking at 5am since around 10 months.
I tried it all but never found anything that worked.
They do grow out of it. Well, my second did! Good luck

Indecisivelurcher Sat 28-Nov-20 07:35:10

You have my sympathy op, early waking can be hard to sort. My 3.5yo was up at 5:40 today. How long has this been going on and how consistently?

Worth just checking enough sleep in 24hrs, so 12-14hrs would be age appropriate. And wake time before sleeping around 4hrs. With a 5:30am wake up I would be doing morning nap 8:30 maybe and limiting it to an hour, 1.5hrs tops. Then afternoon nap at 12:30 for ideally 2hrs or even 2.5hrs. Then like I said early bedtime. You might be presently surprised and find your little one then starts to sleep in a bit later, even though it sounds counterintuitive.

Indecisivelurcher Sat 28-Nov-20 07:39:05

I'm just thinking back though and neither of mine slept that long after lunch until they consolidated to 1 nap. I think after lunch was more like 1.5hrs.

anonnancy Sun 06-Dec-20 14:57:01

@Indecisivelurcher thanks for the tips! Really appreciate your replies (and everyone else’s!)

Been a bit absent on here as trying to soak up every last minute of my maternity leave (back to work on Tuesday - waaa!)....

So the early waking has kind of improved.... some mornings he will wake at 5/5:30.... other mornings he will sleep til 6/6:15 which is fine.... and honestly I have no idea what it is that makes him wake early.

We have black out blind up in his room since the summer.

He has around 13-14 hours sleep in 24 hours on average. Most days he has a total of 2.5-3hr daytime sleep and then the rest is night time sleep. He goes to bed between 6:30-7pm depending on when his last nap ends.

He has recently been fighting the afternoon nap and yesterday woke at 6:30, went down for his first nap at 10:30-1 (I put him down at 10 but he didn’t fall asleep until 10:30), and then he didn’t sleep again til bedtime at 6... this is the first time that this has ever happened as he’s always had two naps. He slept through til 6am this morning.

I’ve tried early bedtime in the past (tried it for a couple of weeks to make sure I wasn’t quitting too early) and it just made his early waking worse, as once he’s had anything from 10 hours overnight he seems to wake very easily.

I darent turn the heating on in the early morning much to my OH’s dismay in fear of waking the baby as our pipes make a lot of clicking abs popping noises when the boiler fires up... we used to use white noise but stopped using it ages ago as it didn’t really do much with regards to helping with the early waking (we used it initially as thought maybe an external noise was disturbing him)

Hey ho.... let’s see how this week goes. I’m now having other issues relating to him refusing all solid foods. I need a break! Lol.

Sorry for the long post... well done if you’ve gotten this far! X

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