Please help 3.5 year old waking at 5am

(19 Posts)
BlingLoving Mon 08-Mar-21 16:11:48

Did he start sleeping less when he dropped his nap? We discovered that we had to bring DD's bedtime massively forward when she dropped her naps.... but she was still waking up at the same time. So for a while she was in bed every night by 6pm and sleeping straight through until at least 7.

I can't remember at what age we did this with DS and it might have been a little earlier, but we did do that thing where we woke him up about 20 minutes before the time he would wake up "naturally". From memory, he was waking at around 5:30 and was tired and cranky all day so I sort of gently half woke him at around 5am and he'd then settle back into a deep sleep and sleep through the 5:30. You do it for a few days and it breaks the habit. It did help, but I should mention in the interest of full transparency, that DS was a terrible sleeper so he went from waking up at 5:30 to 6:30 ie not exactly transformational. But at that point in my life, that extra hour was everything to us.

dancemom Mon 08-Mar-21 16:06:36

Try the Baby Whisperer wake to sleep method

NameChange30 Mon 08-Mar-21 16:04:33

Why did the gro clock "encourage discussions"? It's pretty simple, when the clock's in night mode they have to stay in their room (preferably in bed) apart from if they need a wee, and can only go to parents' room or call for a parent when the sun is displayed. Nothing to discuss!

The gro clock still works a dream for my nearly 4 year old, but then I introduced it when he was 19 months old and have been consistent with it from day one.

Recently he was waking very early but clearly tired, he also had a 7pm bedtime and wouldn't nap. It might seem counter intuitive but we actually put him to bed earlier for a few nights - 6.30pm, and it worked, he's now waking later. Also make sure there's no light in the room, a good blackout blind and keep the door closed (DS likes us to leave his door open but we've been pulling it closed when we go to bed, as otherwise the light gets in from the landing).

JLG25 Mon 08-Mar-21 16:03:51

Thanks everyone: yeah room is pitch dark. He doesn’t nap now, sometimes he has too at the weekend as he can’t cope. He has a snooze in the car, he’d never ever go to bed for a nap these days! It’s awful him being so miserable: Maybe the clocks changing will give him a wee reset or maybe I’m wishful thinking. X

OP’s posts: |
sadie9 Mon 08-Mar-21 15:53:58

Blackout blinds on the windows so not a crack of light comes in.

alphasox Mon 08-Mar-21 15:52:49

My 3.5 year old slept to 5am today and I was elated! He used to sleep 7pm-6.30am but since just before Christmas he started waking through the night and getting up for the day at 4am. Like you nothing at all we tried made any difference. Agree the Gro Clock doesn't always help for every kid either. (My eldest used to play quietly in his room until the sun came up, but my youngest doesn't give a hoot what the clock says and wants a chat).

Yesterday we didn't let him nap which was hard as he loves a nap, he was asleep at 6.30pm, came into our bed at 1am and slept til 5am.

But I think they just go through phases like this and get through it eventually. Just stick with your routine and he'll get there eventually.

Throughabushbackwards Mon 08-Mar-21 15:51:44

I agree with bringing him in bed with you. We did this, we kept the room dark and snuggled him in and if he didn't go back to sleep and was fidgety we would put on an audiobook so at least he was calm and settled and resting (and we could doze for longer too).


DelurkingAJ Mon 08-Mar-21 15:48:59

We still have naps for DSs (8 and almost 5) at the weekend if they get cranky because they cannot seem to sleep in. I’d reinstitute a nap. Or just quiet lying down eyes shut time.

RandomMess Mon 08-Mar-21 15:45:20

I would encourage him to have a nap the day of the clocks change tbh.

Would he snuggle in for cuddles in your bed and hopefully nod off in the morning?

RandomMess Mon 08-Mar-21 15:43:47

Well the clocks going forward will help as at least it will be 6am.

The lighter evenings may help him stay awake a bit later too.

He doesn't nap at all does he?

JLG25 Mon 08-Mar-21 15:39:49

The gro clock created a lot of discussions at 5am so we ‘broke’ it lol. He’s definitely not cold, no noises waking him (I slept in his room one night to check) it was like a switch he went from sleeping 13 hours a night to 10 and I know it’s not enough for him. He also doesn’t do it when he sleeps elsewhere. I probably just need to ride the storm until the phase passes but everyone exhausted. X

OP’s posts: |
Allthenumbers Mon 08-Mar-21 11:05:27

I think with the gro clock you have to start with the sun coming on at 5 and combine it with a sticker reward chart. Then he’ll succeed straight away. Then very gradually (5/10 min increments) change the time the sun comes up so it gets later and later. Don’t get into a discussion just “the sun’s not up yet, back to bed” etc On repeat!

Good luck though. I’m going through this with my 2 year old at the moment. It’s crap.

ChelseaCat Mon 08-Mar-21 10:52:11

Is he cold? Might seem like a daft question but children can struggle to identify or correct this (eg by pulling covers back over themselves) and then they’re properly awake for the day

Neversleepingever Mon 08-Mar-21 10:50:57


OnlyFoolsnMothers Mon 08-Mar-21 10:50:02

Naps gone yet?
Tbh I have an earlier riser, nothing I can do about it and I’m not prepared to severely compromise my evenings.
In the morning stick her in our bed with the tv and I get up an hr later

LampsOn Mon 08-Mar-21 10:48:50

Might be worth getting a grow clock. I know they don't work for everyone but it worked wonders for us

JLG25 Mon 08-Mar-21 08:30:28

Thanks so much, I’ve tried that a few times already. Doesn’t seem to make a difference, oh god yes the clocks changing! I had forgotten that. The joys!!!! If he was coping with his day then I would just suck it up but he is awful all day I know he needs another couple of hours.

OP’s posts: |
Ffsffsffsffsffs Mon 08-Mar-21 07:02:50

Which do you value more op - another hour in bed in the morning or another hour of your dc company in the evening? Try pushing bedtime back to 8pm. 7pm asleep to 5.30am awake is a really good chunk of sleep at 3.5yo,he just (I know, just..) needs to rejig the body clock. Wait until the clocks change before getting too crazy though!

JLG25 Mon 08-Mar-21 06:54:20

My 3.5 year old since turning 3 has been waking at 5am. He is so miserable all day as he’s exhausted. We’ve tried later to bed, earlier to bed, naps, no naps. Nothing works. He has a bedtime of sleeping by 7pm every night. It’s getting so draining as he is so miserable as are we. We tried a gro clock too but it encouraged more discussions at 5am.

OP’s posts: |

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in