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Difficult to bed and early waking toddler....

(9 Posts)
desperatehousewife Tue 25-Jan-05 11:07:39

My 2.5 yr old has started waking quite often at 5am - really don't know how to handle it.

To start with I did what he wanted which was to get up and start the day - with milk and playing. Then this week I thought 'what on earth am I doing?' and then tried telling him that it was still night time and to get back into his bed. He wasn't having any of it and really kicked off. We ended up having shouting match about it - not what anyone wants at 5am.

Ended up taking him into our bed where we all fell asleep again, which was really lovely. (He has never slept in our bed before - not as a baby even). Obviously don't want to get into a habit with him and would like to encourage him to stay in his bed.

Also getting him to bed at night time takes longer and longer as the weeks pass - is this just his age - he's testing me and realises it's more fun downstairs - I guess I should be really strict about bedtime routine - maybe time it and if he's still wide awake by the set time, just leave him. Hate confrontations though at bed time, would much prefer a gentle, loving bed time for him.

Any advice from anyone who's cracked it?

desperatehousewife Tue 25-Jan-05 11:46:40

Forgot to say, he's been a 'model' sleeper since he was a baby - 7-7, which is why I think i'm finding it a bit of a shock now. Do I need to be firm or is it just a phase?

hippi Tue 25-Jan-05 12:34:25

Not quite cracked it. I have tried two options with regard to earlier risers which seem to work although second is harsher, but probably more productive.
1. I get up. Get a blanket and cushion. Lay them on the floor. Put on a DVD or video and hour long one is good! Get a bowl of grapes (my dd's favourite snack) lay her down on cushion, cover her with blanket place grapes and juice beside her, and go back to bed. I get woken up when the video ends! But have had extra hour in bed.
2. I take her back into her room, give her a cuddle, put her back in bed, leave the room and close stairgate so she can't get out. Then listen to her scream for 10 mins while I try to get comfy in bed and feel v v guilty.
Both work, I prefer option 1, but sometimes she gets up earlier and then option 2 comes into play. Probably should be more consitent.
Unfortuantely the only way to get them to sleep, as you want is to keep a strict bedtime routine, tuck them up tell them you love them. And leave them to scream. I always felt bad and went back to give her acuddle but then she would take the piss and we wouldn't get her down until we went to bed. Now she doesn't scream anymore. She just does it and it only took 4 nights.
Hope this is some help - sorry it's so long

desperatehousewife Tue 25-Jan-05 12:50:01

Thanks hippi,

like your style! Will put stairgate at his bedroom door I think to stop him coming down to me. Will try the letting him scream (hideous thought at 5am though!)

hippi Tue 25-Jan-05 13:07:28

It'll will get less and less though until it stops, also found out that at 5am they're tired so screaming wears them out so they don't scream as long as they do when they don't want to go to bed! My dd can scream for 25 mins solid if she doesn't want to go to sleep. But only 10 mins (max) when she's just woken up! Good Luck.

bumpsy Tue 25-Jan-05 13:36:15

I agree about leaving them to cry as they do need to learn that it is not acceptable to wake at that time of day even though most seem to do it at some stage.My daughter was just the same at that age and we just had to keep putting her back to bed I wish I had thought about the stairgate then as it was hard work but she did get the message in the end.I was made more determined by the fact that by late afternoon she was so cranky because of the early waking it was obvious she still needed the sleep.Does your son still have a sleep in the day?

desperatehousewife Tue 25-Jan-05 14:07:57

he's on the cusp of still needing a sleep - he can get away with it, but can get bit cranky by 3-ish. He can sleep still for a couple of hours if i let him...but trying to cut it out so he doesn't wake so early.

hippi Tue 25-Jan-05 14:36:41

My dd doesn't have a sleep now during the day, she's two in a week! But bed time has got earlier due to this. Bedtime routine starts at 6 - 6.15 now as opposed to 7pm. therefore she's in bed at 7 for her story, and settled at 7.15. She wakes (most of the time) at about 7ish. i read though not sure where that children of two need 12 - 13 hours sleep a day, which is what dd gets. Also just a breif point, my dd stopped wanting to go to bed because she got scared. so we put a lava lamp in room, gives a nice glow, and she watches the patterns it makes (which are quite relaxing) until she falls asleep.Might help get him into bed, we've made a big deal of this lamp, saying it's time to go to bed to see her pretty lamp etc although i think it's a phase they go through!

pipsy1 Fri 18-Feb-05 14:49:24

Like the lava lamp idea a lot.....
My DD has only just gone into a bed and so the early morning waking is worse as she just gets out and stands at the gate crying. When she was in her cot sometimes she would cry herself back to sleep at least. Do you find if you leave them long enough they do eventually get back into bed after early waking? Not sure what to try

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