1 year old wakes at 5am

(10 Posts)
IC28 Fri 02-Apr-21 07:34:37

Sorry for the long post! I know this has probably been posted so many times but I need advice or success stories please! My 1 yr old DS wakes at 5am most mornings. He has done this since about 6 months old off and on. He’s clearly still tired as is pretty grumpy in the morning but no matter what we try he won’t settle. He usually wakes at 4:15/4:30am and sits up - then I nip in and lie him back flat and I get another 45 mins before he’s up again and can’t be settled. He doesn’t seem hungry. We read until 6am and then he has some milk and then play and breakfast. Occasionally we get a 6:30 start which is a dream. I’m currently pregnant with our second and I’m pretty exhausted. I go to bed at 8:30pm so have no evenings with my husband. He works a lot so can’t be around to help often. The other issue is (my fault as should have initially put him in his cot from day one) - our DS will only nap in the pram on a walk! So I’m doing 20k steps a day which doesn’t help the tiredness but good exercise I suppose. His general routine is

5am wake up + story time and quiet play
6am - milk (tried milk and 5 and then back to bed - didn’t work)
7am breakfast. Blueberries/banana/toast/wheatabix
9-10am nap
10:30 small snack and water
12 lunch
1:30-2:30 nap
3pm snack and water
5pm dinner
6pm bath then milk and small snack like banana.
7pm asleep. Goes down easily.

Should I accept this is just the way it is or does anyone have any suggestions? Does it get any easier?

OP’s posts: |
LaLoose Fri 02-Apr-21 07:43:27

Hello, didn't want to leave you hanging.

I'm sorry, but yes, this is just the way it is. It is nothing to do with the routine you have with him or what he eats and drinks (though if I were to advise anything it would be to drop the activity / reading and offer no entertainment during what you want to be 'night' for him).

And most children that age find it easier to sleep in the pram, that is also not your fault! (And as you point out, the exercise is a bonus!)

I had twins (now 12) and nothing changed their wake-up time. Not changes in routine, not full tummies, not going to bed earlier or later. Just stick with it. Make sleep-time boring. Ignore the 'progress charts'. You're doing brilliantly.

IC28 Fri 02-Apr-21 08:03:43

@LaLoose thank you so much for taking the time to reply! Ok that’s great. In a way it’s nice to know that’s just how it is and nothing can be done. I’ll just accept it. In years to come he’ll be able to get up and make breakfast himself! Thank you for the advice of no early morning activity. I’ll give that a go. Thank you again for such a kind message

OP’s posts: |
FATEdestiny Fri 02-Apr-21 09:26:42

Two one hour naps is not much daytime sleep for this age.

It would be ideal to have a 1h morning nap then a 2-3h afternoon nap. That would stop Over tiredness (which causes restless sleep in early mornings) and also mean you can push bedtime later to shift his whole day later.

You mention pram naps. So I assume the 1h nap is because you do a 1h walk? That could be significantly longer.

A better option though would be to sleep train to achieve cot naps. Pram naps make a good emergency measure when you desperately need baby to sleep, but by 1yo daytime mapping could do with moving to the cot because So on you'll drop to a single lunchtime nap.

So I suppose it comes down to - Can you face sleep training?

IC28 Sun 04-Apr-21 18:13:42

@FATEdestiny thank you so much for your reply and I’m really sorry for my late response. Your advice is really helpful actually. I didn’t realise he needed quite so long an afternoon nap. I will attempt a longer one. We’re actually out in the pram for at least 1.5hours each time but he doesn’t fall asleep straight away. He wakes up naturally after around an hour on his morning walk and I wake him before 3pm on his afternoon walk as I read somewhere you shouldn’t let them sleep past this time if you want them to sleep around 7pm. I’ll aim for longer afternoon naps 👍🏼 House naps aren’t ideal at the moment as we live in a small flat with noisy neighbours but we are moving to a house in a few weeks so I might look into sleep training. This will definitely help for when the next baby comes along and I can’t go on 2-3hour long afternoon naps. Thank you again!

OP’s posts: |
aSofaNearYou Sun 04-Apr-21 18:18:10

Have you tried putting him to bed later?

Mylittlesandwich Sun 04-Apr-21 18:21:13

DS is 16 months. He wakes early in the summer. It's just the way he's made. He sleeps longer when it's darker. We have excellent blackout curtains but it doesn't make a difference. Could be something similar?

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NewMumma1819 Sun 04-Apr-21 18:30:05

Hi, I'm currently at this stage with my 1 year old. Exact same routine as you. We have found the pushing the nap to at least 11am and not letting him nap after 1pm to be the best thing. He will then go down around 6pm and wake around 6-7 (most days). He has woken early the past 2 days but he has yet another tooth coming through which is usually the reasoning behind his early waking! Hope this helps 😊

THNG5 Sun 04-Apr-21 18:31:15

2 of my children were/are early risers. We're currently going through it with my 22 month old but it's being going on a year. The other one seemed to grow out of the 5am wake up around 2 and a half so my fingers are crossed the end is near!
We never figured it out and tried everything: shorter naps, longer naps, blackout blinds, white noise, etc etc. Nothing worked! We had 2 good days with dd this week but then have had 2 really bad ones (4am!) but I think her back molars are coming in so hoping we'll get some more good mornings soon!

whatchathinkaboutthat Sun 04-Apr-21 18:45:24

Mine was like this. I spoke to a sleep consultant who suggested an early bedtime and being tougher in the morning about getting out of bed.
I started his bedtime routine straight after dinner and he was tucked up 6 pm sharpish. I then did controlled crying in the morning. For example he would wake at 4:45 and my desired time for him to wake would be 6:30 (7 would be ideal but we need to be realistic) therefore I would go in when he woke, reassure him quietly and calmly and explain it's nighttime and then leave him for ten min intervals until 6:30. Don't get me wrong, this bit was miserable and you HAVE to be persistent. You might not see a change for at least a week or TWO. But it worked. He now happily sleeps till 6 and then chats to himself until 7.

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