My toddler wakes at 4.30am

(29 Posts)
lullabiesplease Wed 10-Feb-21 06:01:35

Please help!! My 18 mo has never been a great sleeper, he will have 10.5 hours on a good night (also comes in our bed in the middle of night) so an example of his day

Wakes 5am
Going to nursery - naps at 12.30 for 1 hour
Due to this I put him to bed earlier (6.15pm)
This morning he's up at 4.30

And the cycle continues.

Would you suggest just putting him to bed later even though he is exhausted?

Another thing, he doesn't just wake up. He wakes up crying, for at least an hour each morning. Then he falls asleep on way to nursery at 8.15 but obv I have to wake him up 5 min later 🤦🏼‍♀️🤦🏼‍♀️🤦🏼‍♀️🤦🏼‍♀️ I just want a good routine

OP’s posts: |
lilylongbottom Wed 10-Feb-21 06:08:11

I would nap for longer during the day and push bedtime back a little. My dd used to nap for 2-3 hours at that age.

emma8t4 Wed 10-Feb-21 06:11:34

I could have written exactly the same post except my little one is 12months, we have the same problem up early then naps in the car on the way to nursery/nans. Feel a bit helpless as I have no control over daytime sleep.

Sorry I can’t be of help but I feel your pain .

MagentaDoesNotExist Wed 10-Feb-21 06:35:30

It sounds like you're trying to get him to fit into your schedule and it's not working. I agree with PP who said get him to nap longer in the daytime and get him to bed later. 7:30 or 8pm seems normal for a child that age, I think he's struggling to sleep as his bedtime is much too early! Never heard of an 18 month old asleep at that time.

croberts1208 Wed 10-Feb-21 07:00:19

'Just get them to nap longer'. This is the most annoying saying! My toddler naps 1.5 hours a day, unless I'm watching the monitor and go in 5 seconds after she stirs she is not going back to sleep. She will only go back to sleep on me but as soon as I put her back into her cot she wakes. You might need to wake earlier, around 30 mins before normal wake up and wake them gently and then settle them back to sleep.

croberts1208 Wed 10-Feb-21 07:01:22

Also a later bedtime won't help! If anything it will cause earlier wakes as over tired. 8pm for a toddler is too late. My 15 month old is asleep at 6pm. I

mynameiscalypso Wed 10-Feb-21 07:03:15

I have a similar age toddler. If he wakes before about 6.30, I tend to give him some milk and he quite often settles again for an hour or two. I don't think the nap advice is particularly helpful if he's at nursery!

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AubergineDream Wed 10-Feb-21 07:04:08

Can't you just get an earlier night yourself and get up at 5am? When I had an early waking toddler, I used to go to bed early and get up early, and instead of watching TV at night would watch it at 4am while my DC played

lilylongbottom Wed 10-Feb-21 08:07:51

croberts1208

'Just get them to nap longer'. This is the most annoying saying! My toddler naps 1.5 hours a day, unless I'm watching the monitor and go in 5 seconds after she stirs she is not going back to sleep. She will only go back to sleep on me but as soon as I put her back into her cot she wakes. You might need to wake earlier, around 30 mins before normal wake up and wake them gently and then settle them back to sleep.


OP hasn't specified whether the child is waking naturally and/or refusing to go back to sleep, or is being woken. I don't think it's unreasonable for people to suggest napping longer.
If a child is napping for 2-3 hours then 6pm might be too early. It certainly was for mine who went to bed at 7.30pm.

croberts1208 Wed 10-Feb-21 08:26:46

@lilylongbottom some toddlers don't nap any longer, my toddler has an internal clock that wakes her after 1.5 hours. Simply putting get your child to nap longer isn't helping. No one has suggested how to help extend naps either! I've also heard that tv in the morning means that they want to wake early to watch it so I know some people suggest no tv until after breakfast.

WannabeOT Wed 10-Feb-21 08:39:58

If he wakes crying and then falls back to sleep on the way to nursery he clearly isn't waking up ready for the day at 5am. If DD wakes up anytime before 6.30 I give her milk in her bed she pretty much always goes back to sleep. Then a later bedtime.

lilylongbottom Wed 10-Feb-21 08:42:53

@croberts1208 as I said, OP hadn't specified if she was waking the child up after an hour (which she might well be doing from the info provided, as some people try this when having night sleeping difficulties) or the child was waking themselves up. If OP is waking the child actively after an hour she might wish to allow a longer nap to see if that helps night sleeping.

croberts1208 Wed 10-Feb-21 08:45:18

@lilylongbottom the toddler is at nursery during the day????!!!!!

lilylongbottom Wed 10-Feb-21 08:48:33

@croberts1208 some children are only at nursery for the morning hmm again not specified.

Anyway I'm done replying to you, I gave some advice which I hoped would help OP, probably won't but worth a try. And you're just being unnecessarily rude and antagonistic. Have a good day now! 👋

lullabiesplease Mon 15-Feb-21 07:12:54

WannabeOT

If he wakes crying and then falls back to sleep on the way to nursery he clearly isn't waking up ready for the day at 5am. If DD wakes up anytime before 6.30 I give her milk in her bed she pretty much always goes back to sleep. Then a later bedtime.


Yes I know that. But he will not go back to sleep. I've tried everything.

OP’s posts: |
lullabiesplease Mon 15-Feb-21 07:14:16

lilylongbottom

I would nap for longer during the day and push bedtime back a little. My dd used to nap for 2-3 hours at that age.


I can't force him to nap when he's at nursery. At home he will have 3 hours but not there.

OP’s posts: |
lullabiesplease Mon 15-Feb-21 07:15:24

MagentaDoesNotExist

It sounds like you're trying to get him to fit into your schedule and it's not working. I agree with PP who said get him to nap longer in the daytime and get him to bed later. 7:30 or 8pm seems normal for a child that age, I think he's struggling to sleep as his bedtime is much too early! Never heard of an 18 month old asleep at that time.


As I said I only put him to bed early as he doesn't nap well in nursery. At home he would have 3 hours in the day. But I can't force him to sleep at nursery can I 😂

OP’s posts: |
lullabiesplease Mon 15-Feb-21 07:16:24

croberts1208

Also a later bedtime won't help! If anything it will cause earlier wakes as over tired. 8pm for a toddler is too late. My 15 month old is asleep at 6pm. I


Agree with everything you've said. How can I force my child to sleep longer if he's awake he's awake ? And yes we have tried later bedtime it just causes overtiredness x

OP’s posts: |
lullabiesplease Mon 15-Feb-21 07:17:34

AubergineDream

Can't you just get an earlier night yourself and get up at 5am? When I had an early waking toddler, I used to go to bed early and get up early, and instead of watching TV at night would watch it at 4am while my DC played


I do go to bed early but it's not really the point. I'm worried he is not getting a full night sleep. When he wakes that early his whole day is messed up.

OP’s posts: |
Indecisivelurcher Mon 15-Feb-21 07:22:06

Difficult one! I agree sounds overtired. Speak to nursery about their arrangements for napping, see if there's anything they can do to extend the nap? If little one is up at 5am then a nap at 12 might be going too long. Other than that the only things you can do are, really early bedtime, anyone from 5pm (really) and treat 5am wake up as a night waking. Will they dose in bed with you?

Bopahula Mon 15-Feb-21 07:23:29

We had this. But anything from 3am. 5am felt like a dream. Honestly. I don't think there is much you can do. I tried all of it. But my dd was (is) an early riser. Doesn't matter if she goes to bed at 8 or midnight. She never slept past 6am.

At nearly 8, she still wakes around 6ish, but if it's cold and dark can be persuaded to try relaxing again, she may have another 30 mins.

I'm not saying this to upset you. I just think I used to get most frustrated with all the "x,y,z will work - you should try those" when actually nothing did. I found it easier to accept that my day would start earlier and just crack on with it.

lullabiesplease Mon 15-Feb-21 08:00:29

Thank you @Bopahula I think you may be right! Just the way it is! X

OP’s posts: |
Bopahula Mon 15-Feb-21 08:09:12

As they get a little older too. I realised I actually like the fact that she was in bed and fast asleep by 7pm. Meant I could watch tv and still go to bed at a reasonable time, or (pre-covid) have a friend around for a coffee and catch up etc.

Even now, on school nights she is fast asleep by 8pm. Weekends I'm more flexible, but she is still up at 6. She will go and grab her own breakfast now, get the iPad or watch tv alone (and even feed the cats and let them out). And I get to lie in.

I know it feels tough right now. I hated it some of the time. But pluses are I've never had to drag her out of bed for school either. I gave friends who struggle with that. grin

OnceUponANightmare Fri 19-Feb-21 02:22:32

MagentaDoesNotExist

"*It sounds like you're trying to get him to fit into your schedule and it's not working. I agree with PP who said get him to nap longer in the daytime and get him to bed later. 7:30 or 8pm seems normal for a child that age, I think he's struggling to sleep as his bedtime is much too early! Never heard of an 18 month old asleep at that time."*

As I said I only put him to bed early as he doesn't nap well in nursery. At home he would have 3 hours in the day. But I can't force him to sleep at nursery can I

Sorry that was not well phrased. I think if you stop trying to put him to bed so early he will get to sleep more easily, and then because he is tired in the day he is likely to sleep longer in the mornings and at nursery. Just adjusting the schedule basically.

Where does he sleep at nursery? Perhaps he's not comfortable enough/ warm enough etc compared to home? Some adjustments there might help also.

OnceUponANightmare Fri 19-Feb-21 02:23:16

croberts1208

Also a later bedtime won't help! If anything it will cause earlier wakes as over tired. 8pm for a toddler is too late. My 15 month old is asleep at 6pm. I


He might well be, but that is very unusual.

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