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calling all fellow parents of early risers - i hardly dare say i, but i THINK this wake-to-sleep thing MAY work...! <<crosses fingers>>

(226 Posts)
Tutter Tue 08-Jul-08 09:33:54

ds2 (1yo next week!) has always been an early riser - just as his brother was

generally it's between 4:50 and 5:10

we tried everything - blackouts, white noise, cc, milk, later bedtime, earlier bedtime, shorter naps in day, earlier naps in day

etc etc

the last two nights we have set the alarm for <vomit> 4am and have gone in and gently roused him

he's gone straight back off each time

yday morning he woke at 5:25

this morning 5:45

so, not exactly miraculous, but a huge improvement

(but how sad that i should view 5:45 as a good time to start the day grin)

Mimsy2000 Tue 08-Jul-08 09:38:29

oh my god my ds is a pretty rubbish sleeper but he at least would sleep in till 7 or sometimes 7.30. i can't imagine 4.50!!! well done on the progress. i always feel powerless in the face of sleep issues, nice to see you can make improvements.

what time does he go to bed, just out of curiousity?

Tutter Tue 08-Jul-08 09:39:16


EthelTheUnready Tue 08-Jul-08 09:40:30

We have an early riser too (about 4.45 - 5). I like the idea of the wake-to-sleep thing but I suspect I wouldn't be able to get back off to sleep again myself after 4!

Tutter Tue 08-Jul-08 09:41:55

indeed ethel - took me ages to drop back off again today

but the going-in-an-hour-before-they-wake thing isn't meant to be a permanent solution - afte a few days they are supposed <<crosses fingers>> to be into a new sleep pattern and therefore not need to be disturbed

littlerach Tue 08-Jul-08 09:45:16

WE did this with dd1 and it did seem to work too.

hiccymapops Tue 08-Jul-08 09:49:08

I will have to try this. My little man is a terrible sleeper, but nowadays he's never up later than 5:10. Have a funny feeling if we try this he may get up at 4, but it's worth trying grin

Tutter Tue 08-Jul-08 09:51:08

we had the same concern, hiccy

but he was really dopey at 4am

hiccymapops Tue 08-Jul-08 09:54:02

If your little one wakes during the night, does he get himself back off to sleep, or do you have to help him? My little monster prefers company (and trust me we've tried everything!) Just wondering if it makes a difference.

Tutter Tue 08-Jul-08 09:56:21

no, he can resettle on his own

(but he has a dummy - i imagine he uses that)

hiccymapops Tue 08-Jul-08 09:57:35

Thank you. I'll still give it a go.

solo Tue 08-Jul-08 10:03:19

So...what exactly do you do? just wake him, then leave him to go back to sleep?
My Dd has slept through for two whole nights, but she's done this before...then gone right back to waking at 2, 3, 4, 5am - whatever! <yawn>

EthelTheUnready Tue 08-Jul-08 10:10:50

Sounds very promising Tutter. A couple of early wakings for me would be worth the long term gain of a child that sleeps past 5.30. I might just give it a go.


Tutter Tue 08-Jul-08 10:15:13

solo - this was cut and pasted for me the other day (taken from the baby whisperer):-

(btw, i think this technique is really intended for a child that wakes at the same time (ish) every day)

A PLAN: Nine times out of ten a child who wakes habitually doesn’t need more food (unless she’s going through a growth spurt; see pages 115—119 and 197 TBW SAYP). Instead, Re-swaddle, if necessary, give her a dummy to calm her, and comfort her with the shush-pat. Keep stimulation to a minimum. No rocking or Jostling. Don’t change her unless her nappy is soiled or soaking wet. Do the ‘Four S’ routine and stay with her until she’s settled into a deep sleep. You’ll also need to take steps to break the waking habit.

So, let’s say you’ve ruled out other causes such as pain or discomfort. You’ve also eliminated hunger by both upping her food during the day and tanking her up at night. This is what I call my “wake-to-sleep” technique: Instead of lying there waiting for her to wake up, set your clock an hour earlier than her habitual waking time and you wake her (see bottom of this page). She probably won’t wake up completely, but her little eyes may dart back and firth under her lids, she’ll murmur and move a bit just as an adult would if you interrupted his deep sleep. Do this for three nights in a row.

I can just hear your response: “You must he out of your mind!” I realise that wake-to-sleep is a shockingly counterintuitive suggestion, but it does work! Sometimes, in fact, it only takes one night to break the habit, but I recommended that you keep it up for three nights nonetheless. If it doesn’t work, you have to reevaluate whether her habitual waking is due to another cause. If you’ve ruled everything else out, do this wake-to- sleep technique for at least another three days.

Wake to Sleep? Tracy, You’ve Got to Be Kidding
Parents are often shocked when I suggest the wake-to-sleep strategy for habitual night waking. Set your clock an hour earlier than your baby usually wakes and go into his room. Jostle him gently rub his belly a bit and stick a dummy in his mouth—all of which will help stir him to semi-consciousness. Then, leave. He’ll fall back to sleep. This gives you the control, rather than your sitting around hoping that your baby’s habit will magically go away. (It won’t.) By waking him an hour early you’ll disrupt his sleep pattern.

HonoriaGlossop Tue 08-Jul-08 10:43:45

how interesting - god, I wish I'd heard of this strategy when ds was waking at 5am!

Hope it works!

RubySlippers Tue 08-Jul-08 10:48:38

yay Tutter!

it does work - i did it with DS when he started waking at 5.00 am when he was around a year old

getting up at 4.00 am was HIDEOUS but we cracked it

took us 6 nights but he has NEVER gone back to habitual 5 am starts (and he is now 2)

HonoriaGlossop Tue 08-Jul-08 10:56:31


thinks back to YEARS of early starts

MehgaLegs Tue 08-Jul-08 10:59:41

Ooh might try this with DS4 - he wakes at about 5.15 - in desperation I have staple gunned black out lining to his window and lined the curtains so it is pitch black in there, some success but he hears the birds and our roosters.

solo Tue 08-Jul-08 12:40:02

Thank you! I may try this if she goes back to waking up early. It's usually at about 3 o'clock, but has changed over time, and was more recently at 5.30. Only thing is - she's in my room! hmm

deaconblue Tue 08-Jul-08 13:38:38

I really hope this works for you Tutter, can you post in a few days with results? I am up with dd for a feed at 4ish anyway and have only just got her back to bed when ds wakes at 5ish (utterly grim) so I could rouse him and then maybe they would both go back to sleep til 6ish?
(shoppingbags secretly dreams of a 7am start to the day What heaven!))

twofalls Wed 09-Jul-08 19:28:21

I might try this, dd, aged 2 up at 1am and then 5 for the day every morning. Some of my friends newborn babies sleep for longer! Stupidly I gave her milk a few times at 1 because I was so tired that I now think she is waking out of habit. I might try to wake her at about 12 to try and crack that one first.

How did it go this morning?

kingfix Wed 09-Jul-08 19:33:58

oh please oh please! If this works i will LOVE you! (not in a scary way though)

deaconblue Thu 10-Jul-08 11:19:29

Come on Tutter, tell us about your lovely lay-in this morning...
Is it working?
Ds up at 4.50am, I am sooooooooo hoping it works for your ds then we shall try it

Tutter Thu 10-Jul-08 11:28:07


bad news first - yesterday it didn't work. he woke at 5:10. then this morning he woke properly when we went in to "gently rouse" him at 4am (so then cried for 20 mins)

but good news - this morning he then slept on til <<drum roll>> 6:30!!!!

and actually, yesterday morning may have just been a hiccup, as he'd had a very restless night anyway (i suspect chicken pox is about to make an appearance)

so - on the whole we are encouraged and will stick with it

a couple of more 4am "rousings" then we will wait and see what happens if he's left alone.....

orangina Thu 10-Jul-08 11:30:32

By the way, all you mothers of early risers, do your little darlings sleep any longer in the winter? I only ask as I have 2 early risers these days, and I am getting through it with the hope that when the mornings start getting darker again, I might be allowed to sleep beyond 5:45 again (ahhh! who would ever have thought that sleeping until after 6am would be a lie in...?!?!)

(Please say yes)

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