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15 month old waking at 4:15 every day - HELP!

(18 Posts)
coveredinsnot Wed 10-Jun-09 21:16:53

Finally got him sleeping through after over a year of 1.5-3 hourly waking... only for him to wake consistently at 4.15am every bloody day. We have blackout blinds, so it's not the sun. Any thoughts? Any ideas? Anything appreciated!

thisisyesterday Wed 10-Jun-09 21:21:28

i bet it's the bloody birds. they're SO loud here they wake me up

coveredinsnot Wed 10-Jun-09 21:25:56

Ah yes, and we're by the sea so the seagulls could be doing it! But I'm a really light sleeper and they're not waking me... but then I'm so knackered that maybe that's why. Thanks though!

frogwatcher Wed 10-Jun-09 21:40:34

All three of my children did this for a few months. I personally dont think there is anything you can do but maybe reduce the daytime sleep if he is still having one (but may not be by 15 months). I think all children are sooo different. All of mine seemed to suddenly be genuinely awake at that time and there was no way they could get back to sleep (you know as an adult that sometimes it is impossible to get back to sleep if you have had enough). A few things to check though - is he warm enough? Does a boiler or something come on and wake him up? Is he going to bed too early and therefore getting up early as his nights are naturally shorter than some children (my three dds are usually all up by 6am even now when they go to bed quite late - certainly two of them simply need less sleep than average). But saying that, a lot of people will disagree with me and say that by insisting he stay in bed, controlled crying etc, you may beable to break it. I am sure there are lots more tricks - I used to know them all, but they never worked for me. We just went to bed earlier ourselves and got up early to start the day and it only lasted under a year at a time. I will just go and see if I still have my library of sleep books - would recommend you dont listen to a word I say as I have had almost 8 years of children waking!!!

frogwatcher Wed 10-Jun-09 21:57:00

Have just checked and still have a number of books on childrens sleep problems (we did seem to experience every problem there was from night terrors to early rising to waking up to 20 times a night - the only thing our dds always did from toddler stage onwards was go to bed really easily so we never had the delaying tactics (but as babies they would never settle!). As I said - I am obviously the worlds worst mother at getting children to sleep well but according to my books this is a difficult one to crack. Controlled crying is suggested but the problem being you end up with a child finally asleep as the household is coming awake. Also suggest putting quiet toys in cot for them to play with (but admits most toddlers want out of cot in early morning). Another suggestion is to let them play quietly in a safe environment in your room while you keep one eye on them! Also suggest putting them to bed slightly later and reducing daytime sleep but says you can simply end up with a tired grumpy early riser other than a happy early riser! Little else suggested I am afraid apart from one author saying that he advises parent to alter their night to get up early too! All my books say that some children who are just going through a short lived stage are easy to encourage to change their habits but there are children who naturally want to get up early and that will probably continue into adulthood (owl and lark theory). Certainly with my three dds I have seen that - my middle dd is the only one who slept through the night sometime after being 1, and likes to have the odd lay in until 7.30 or so. My other 2 still struggle to get through a night without a wander around the house, or a nightmare, or falling out of bed etc etc. And it is those two who will always be first up from 4.30 onwards (usually 5.30am onwards now thank god). And my oldest is almost 8. I live for the day as teenagers they all sleep in - but do wonder if it will ever happen. I am a really bad sleeper, and my father in law only sleeps for about 4 hours a night and gets up with the birds!

coveredinsnot Wed 10-Jun-09 22:21:12

Wow frogwatcher, thanks for your detailed replies!I think it's probably good to think of it as a phase. Occasionally he will go back to sleep after a bit of a breastfeed, but I would really like to stop this now, but am loathed to since it's the only thing that works during these wee hours! I don't think toys or anything like that would work - he seems to want to jump around on our bed and kick us in places that hurt, wants lots of interaction even if we have our eyes closed! Ah well, at least things are better than they once were with us. I think he must be a light sleeper like me, and I look forward to the day when he lies in a bit... even if it's just till 7am! How sad is that...!

Broms Sat 13-Jun-09 05:54:18

Frogwatcher - am depressed! My 18 month ds has always been an early morning waker and I have been living in hope that it would change - I have tried everything - but now I see that I just have to go with it. 4.30am every morning this week......used to be 5ish but we are now going the wrong way!

ChippingIn Sat 13-Jun-09 06:47:51

coveredinsnot - (interesting name )

It's an emotive subject, so I imagine you will get a lot of different opinions on here - this is only mine,
- for what it's worth - but I have got a lot of bad sleepers back on track... Just not myself!!

Keep repeating 'this too shall pass, this too shall pass, this too shall pass....', it helps x It is a phase most children go through around that age - having said that, I believe helping them through this stage as quickly as possible is of benefit to everyone in the house!

When you say 'he is waking up' I presume you mean he is crying/shouting etc if he isn't - just leave him there, he'll get bored and go back to sleep.

Feeding him is giving him an incentive to wake up and this is not a good idea! You do not want to do anything that encourages him to wake up. This includes any kind of playing, talking, cuddling etc

Go in. Check him out without any eye contact etc - just talk quite matter of factly out loud 'No, you're not too hot, you're not too cold, you don't have a dirty nappy. It's still night time, now go back to sleep'.

If the crying continues, go back in and repeat 'it is still night time, go back to sleep. I will see you in the morning', go out, shut the door.

If it still continues - go in, repeat and add, I will not be coming back until it is time to get up/morning - whatever he understands.

Then leave him as long as you can, make sure it's proper crying before you rush in to pick him up and not just whinging....but go in when he has a break in the crying/screaming so that you are not rewarding the behaviour you don't want. Pretend it's morning and get on with your normal routine (as much as is possible) so that as far as is possible, he associates this with you saying it's morning and not him crying and shouting to get up.

Throughout this you have to have a 'tone of voice' that is firm & matter of fact.

I find about 3 mornings of this and it's all sorted...

Good Luck! x

Broms Sun 14-Jun-09 06:04:30

Thanks Chippingin - I have tried that - I go in and say its night time go back to sleep and leave - it might work for 10 minutes or so if I am lucky and then the really loud hollering starts and I give in after a few attempts and just get him up - blind up, nappy change "good morning" etc and then he gets milk when we are downstairs. I am thinking that maybe this is just his time and that there is nothing else I can do and I need to stop moaning/worrying about it.He goes to be bed 7-7.30pm - so maybe 9.5 hours is all he needs. Mind you he does wake up in the night to but generally only have to go in once and he goes back to sleep - thank god!

ChippingIn Mon 15-Jun-09 00:36:55

Hi Broms

It's tough isn't it, when they seem very wide awake and ready for the day. However, 4.15 is not morning and he needs to understand this.

Have another read through, see if there's anything you are doing differently and if not, then you need to look at the tone of voice you are using - it needs to be very firm & 'telling' and not soft & cajoling...

Set a time you consider morning (for me it's 6am) and leave him there till then, even if you have to go in every few minutes.

How long have you left him to shout and scream? This works ok if you have a child that tires of it fairly quickly, tbh I can't stand it for long and prefer the 'IT. IS. NOT. MORNING. GO. TO. SLEEP!' routine.

At the moment he is getting rewarded for his behaviour, you're getting up, he's going downstairs, he's getting milk... at 4.15am. I tell ya, he wouldn't in this house - that is not morning.


Broms Mon 15-Jun-09 05:35:16

Unfortunately he can go for an hour screaming the house down until I pick him up - he just won't play in his cot quietly -he stands there screaming - but to be honest I have not tried leaving it that long for ages as it just did my head in - now my head is being done in the other way with the never ending early starts. 5am today so not too bad but I think I will set 5.30am as the time for a few weeks and see how we get on.

Many thanks for the advice - I definitely need to do something.

DMCT Mon 15-Jun-09 05:54:08

Take him into the bed with you when he wakes at 4.15, at least that way you might get a few more hours!

Alot of people prob wont agree with this but , I'd do anything for a few more hours.

Broms Mon 15-Jun-09 06:28:14

Tried that! He thinks its party time and starts jumping all over me. Am going to cut his daytime nap right down and put him to bed a bit later and see what happens. But thanks appareciate any suggestions.

Broms Mon 15-Jun-09 06:31:28

Sorry Coveredinsnot seem to have hijacked your thread a bit - how are you getting on with these mornings?

coveredinsnot Mon 15-Jun-09 10:21:39

Broms no worries about the hijack, it's good to know we're not alone! He awoke ready for the day at 5.15 this morning. So so difficult to keep him calm at that time. Part of the problem is that we co-sleep and so we can't leave him in his cot! We're thinking of putting his cot together so at least we've got somewhere he can play without us having to get up if he's really awake.

We managed to get him sleeping through recently from waking every 1.5-2 hours for a breastfeed, this was by using the Dr Jay Gordon technique which worked exactly as it said it would. It was hard, but totally worth it as we can now at least get a few hours sleep in a row. We just need to extend this type of response to the early morning hours, I'm not even really sure why we haven't done this, I guess we were just so excited about him not waking at 11, 12, 2, 3 and 4 that once it got to 5 we thought, 'fine!' but now we are aiming for 6 or 7... hopefully we'll get there.

Let me know if there's anything else that works!

coveredinsnot Mon 15-Jun-09 10:23:13

Here's the Dr Jay Gordon technique

TantieTowie Mon 15-Jun-09 14:42:55

Ooh, I've been doing Jay Gordon too - with my DS (2.5) - it worked really well for us too, down from two or three wakings a night to sleeping through -like magic.
But now he keeps waking up early, at 5am... I think I gave in a bit early with a feed the first time he woke at 5.30am and now it's got a bit earlier.
But he is sleeping from 7pm or 8pm to 5am, so that's progress, even if it's not 11pm to 6am. Just that he used to sleep till 7am after his two nighttime feeds...

coveredinsnot Tue 16-Jun-09 22:11:26

TantieTowie, that's exactly the same sleep pattern problem we've had and have now as well! Spooky! Let me know if you find a solution, we're trying to Dr Jay him until 6am now, he didn't like it much this morning, but he did go back to sleep eventually... Good luck!

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