Waking Up Too Early

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Babies and Toddlers Two, Three and Four Year Olds Older Kids

5-month-old sleeps all night, wakes at 4:30

Aug 2005

My 5-month-old sleeps from 7:30 pm to 4:30 am without waking up. About half the time I am able to coax him back to sleep at 4:30, and then he sleeps only another hour before he is VERY awake (alert, smiling, the whole bit). Half the time when he awakens at 4:30 he does not go back to sleep and is grouchy. I've tried putting him to bed later but it is REALLY hard to keep him awake past 7:30. Any suggestions? Or has anyone else had this issue? Did it go away after a certain age? I'm having a hard time being rested when I can't sleep past 4:30 on most days!

Re: the 5 month old waking at 4:30 am.
Many books will say to put your baby to bed EARLIER, not later, to get her to sleep later. This has been effective for me with both babies I've had. I try to expect them to sleep 12-13 hour nights. At 5 months, my first baby's bedtime was 6:30 pm and he slept till 7:30 am. My current 4 month old's bedtime is 6:00 pm and he goes till 6:30 am. I'm sure all babies are different, but the advice to try an earlier bedtime for early waking problems is a good one. early to bed, later to rise

9 month old is VERY early riser

April 2008

Our 9 month old used to sleep soundly from 7:30 pm to 6:00am (when we get up for work). Over the past month, he's been waking up around 4:00am, sometimes crying for a bit and then going back to sleep and other times crying for a long time until we go to him. He's always crabby if he gets up too early but we don't know how to get him to go back to sleep on his own. We've tried leaving him to cry, giving him a pacifyer, soothing him, and all combinations. We'd love for him to get his full night of sleep - any advice?

Time to retrain your child or your child will retrain you. He will go back to sleep. It may take a week, but he will figure it out. Make sure you're the parent and ignore your child or he will be up earlier and earlier playing you. Sleepy Momma

9-month-old waking an hour too early

March 2006

Crying It Out - Baby Waking Up Too Early
Please, those that have used this method, respond only. I understand that this is not for everyone, but it is the method that works best for our baby and family.

So now for my problem. Our daughter is 9 months old. She has always been decent about going down at night. But aside from this, she always resists sleeping. We have successfully used the crying it out method for establishing a regular time for going to bed and nap times. We have just recently been starting to let her cry it out during her night time wake ups which has been going well. However, she is now waking up an hour earlier. We're not crazy about this for our own reasons, but most importantly, she seems like she is still could use a little more sleep. The times she has slept just an hour longer has made a remarkable difference. These times have been on her own, though. But, of couse, once she's up from so many hours of sleep, it's much harder to get her down even if she needs it. My question is if you have had a similar problem, did you let your child cry it out when he/she awoke for the morning? Was this effective? If not, what did you do that was effective in getting your child to not be so tired? anon

Our son went through a period of wanting to get up earlier too. We treated it as any other waking up in the middle of the night (Get up, let him know we're still there, make sure he's not poopy or in pain, make him stay in bed, repeat every 10 minutes until he goes back to sleep). We decided that he had to stay in bed until 5 am. What was annoying was when he woke up at 4:30 because we were worried that he'd get confused (aha! if I cry for 30 minutes instead of 5 minutes they'll get me up) So we set a loud alarm clock for 5am. Eventually he associated the alarm with wake up time and would just babble to himself until the alarm went off. I don't remember it taking too long for him to just start sleeping a bit longer. Now at 2 he's a fantastic sleeper. well rested

Try moving your baby's bedtime 1/2 hour earlier! Crazy but it works. SLEEP BEGETS SLEEP! At 9 months baby is very active and may be missing naps here and there and is starting to become overtired because we keep the same bedtime. Give this four or five days to take effect. More night sleep will help.

Do you have Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth? Great sleep book. Also you may want to visit www.familysleep.com for more info on age appropriate naps and bedtimes.

So baby seems fine, right? Still sleeping about the same amount at night? But becoming overtired is a cummulative process and occurrs over several days or a week or more of an occassional missed nap and the same bedtime as usual. When a nap is missed here and there but we keep the same bedtime, then baby starts to produce more cortisol which can cause baby to fight sleep and not stay asleep as well.

The best remedy for nightwakings or earlier than normal wakeups around 9 months: a. Put baby to bed 1/2 hour earlier for a few nights, even one hour earlier if you can. b. Try not to go in for a visit. Give baby some time to return to sleep. They are crying because they are mad that they woke up and want to go back to sleep. Not because they are hungry. Babies don't need to eat at night after 9 months. c. Keep the same nap schedule and try to leave baby in the nap for one hour, even if baby plays or fusses. When the night sleep gets longer and better, the naps will return to normal provided you try to be consistent about the times you are putting baby down for a nap. d. On ANY day when your baby doesn't get his/her usual naps, try to get baby in bed earlier that night to make up for the loss in sleep. Mimi

We also sleep trained our daughter and she is a wonderful sleeper (she is 2.5 now). My first thought in your situation is--is she hungry? I remember that when my daughter woke up early, I would nurse her and she would go back to sleep for another hour or so. If she didn't, then I'd let her stay up for a little while (less than an hour), and put her back down (of course my sleep was ruined at that point, but the period of early wakings didn't last long). I didn't worry about what this would do to her morning nap--naps just shifted a little bit on those days. If neither of these suggestions is helpful, then you can always try letting her cry. If after several days it's not working, then, again, she may just need to be fed. It's not clear from your message whether she is crying UPON waking, or crying after she has been awake, but left alone, for a while... if it is the latter, then perhaps you can find a toy that will attach to the crib rails that she can play with upon waking, to entertain her for a while... Best wishes. Tracy

Just a thought, but I've read where experts say that if they wake up too early you should try putting them down earlier. It kind of defies logic but it's worked for me Jill

Since you didn't give us a time reference, it's a bit tricky to give the best advice. What is too early to you might not be too early for your baby. For example, if you are putting your baby down at 7pm for the night, it would not be unusual for your baby to be up at 5am. Many babies sleep 10-12 hrs straight. Perhaps your baby is on the 10 hr end? If this is the case, crying it out won't help.

Check w/ your pediatrician too. I remember that w/ my son he went through periods of early waking because he was hungry, probably due to a growth spurt.

I really like the book ''Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child'' by Marc Weissbluth. Just read his sleep research section at the beginning. He outlines what babies need sleep-wise and what is considered normal sleep patterns for each developmental stage.

Good for you for helping your baby get into a good sleep routine! Mom of two

Hi- Our son goes thru phases of this too. Can be any number of things, thirst, hunger, teething, diaper, etc. I am still nursing, so it's usually hunger/thirst/diaper change combo. We've found at this point when he wakes it's pretty much impossible to get him to go back down, even if he seems sleepy (usually naps earlier then). Sometimes we're lucky enough that he just palys for a while, but usually he's crying. When we've tried to wait it out the cries get more and more frantic (= a longer calm down period) the longer we wait to go get him. And then he's really up for the day, and cranky ALL day. So what we do is usually bring him into the bed where he nurses and both hubby and I can snooze more. He likes the mommy and daddy cuddle time, and goes back to his normal sleep pattern within a couple of days. When he's tried to throw a coup and shift it even earlier, I nurse him in his room and then try to get him back in his crib, which is not always successful, but he gets that waking earlier doesn't get him anywhere and quickly reverts. Good luck! sleeping till 7

Hello! We are CIO parents, and had a similar problem--early waking. When you read all the books (and I think I've read them all) they all say this is the hardest problem to fix. Here are a couple of thoughts (and I think I've tried all of these): 1) what's different about the one-hour early waking compared to the middle of the night? In other words--is it reasonable to treat them similarly 2) You might try putting babe to bed earlier 3) Set a time for wake up. Make a deal with yourself that baby won't get out of the crib until time X. Then slowly creep that time back: X + 15 minutes. then X + 30 minutes, etc. My son would always wake up at a particular time: 5:30 AM--no matter what, it seemed. So, I would not go in immediately--I'd make him wait until 5:45. What ended up happening, is that he grew very accustomed to hanging out in his crib until mom came and got him. So, now (at 2y3m), he will get up anywhere from 5:45 to 6:15, but I don't go get him until 6:30 or 6:45 depending. He doesn't cry, he'll chat with himself or his toys sometimes, which is often hilarious. And, usually at 6:30 on the dot, he'll say, Mama, it's time to wake up! CIO mom

My baby has been waking up earlier recently too. Do you think it could be because the days are getting lighter earlier? Daylight savings begins April 2, perhaps that will solve the problem! another sleepy mama

I don't have any advice, but you do have my sympathy... my 9 month old daughter has been waking up between 4:45 and 6am (for the day, and nothing can get her back to sleep), but usually at about 5am, for as long as I can remember, and I can't figure out how to get her to sleep longer. It doesn't seem to matter when she goes to sleep (although it is currently around 5:45pm but has been as late as 10pm) or how much she is awake during the night. We already use a noise machine and black-out shades. 6am is fine but any earlier is painful for us! Hopefully someone else will be able to help us. anonymous

10-month-old wakes up at 5, still exhausted

July 1999

Our ten month old son Myles, after two months of sleepless nights, has consistently been sleeping for ten hours at night. The problem is that he goes to sleep at 7:30 and wakes up between 5 and 5:40 a.m. I nurse him and he stil doesn't go back to sleep. We have been on the schedule of nursing around this time since I returned to work in January. He used to go back to sleep until a few weeks ago. I also doubt that he is getting much from nursing, as I have very little milk, although he does nurse for a long time. (I am planning on weaning him this weekend since this is the only feeding he has been getting.)

When Myles gets up, he is still exhauted! He rubs his eyes constantly, and is very fussy and clingy. I try putting him back in his crib, but he won't stand for it. A few hours after he gets up, he usually takes a 2 - 2 1/2 hour nap, longer than he used to, wish proves my belief that he is not getting enough sleep at night. His afternoon naps are irregular, and when he does take one, it does not affect his nighttime sleeping.

I would appreciate any suggestions about how to stretch his nightime sleeping. I have tried putting him to sleep later in the evening, but that doesn't work. I also would like to stay away from giving him a bottle, as I would like him to learn to sleep longer on his own. Thanks!

I have found that to change my child's sleep patterns requires a lot of patience because it takes a while for him to adjust to the new hours. For example, he used to go to bed at 7 pm and wake up between 5 and 6 am. This was tooo early. So I then changed his bedtime to 8:00. He still woke up between 5 and 6 for about two weeks. After 2 weeks, his sleeping increased and he started waking between 6 and 7 am. Yippee!. I also found that the same adjustment period occurs when I shortened his naptime - - it takes a couple weeks for him to adjust.

From what I understand, individual human bodies have different biorhythms. This means that you wake up (generally) at the same time each morning no matter what time you go to bed. Our 11-month-old goes to bed at night between 6:30pm and 8:30pm and wakes up around 5am. I nurse him to sleep every night and put him in his crib. When he wakes up in the morning I pick him up from his crib and take him back to bed with us. Usually we get at least another hour's sleep, plus some cuddle time. You might want to consider that as an option. Good luck!

A couple of thoughts. 9 to 10 hours of solid sleep is pretty good for a ten month old, so you're trying to stretch what is already a long sleep. That is, he's likely to be easy to wake by 5 or 6 am. That said, 5 to 5:40 am is around sunrise -- is his room sufficiently dark?

Ten to 10-1/2 hours straight sleeping sounds like a dream to me! Our 11-month old son usually sleeps eight hours straight (from about 11 pm until 7am). He also takes a one to two hour nap approximately 3-1/2 hours after waking. Additionally, because we were worried he wasn't getting enough overall sleep, many months ago we began putting him down for an evening nap at about 8:00 pm, then waking him at approximately 10:30 or 11:00 pm for a final meal, keeping voices and lights low so he returns to bed groggy. In this way we have been able to increase his total amount of sleep. I think some refer to this as the focal feeding approach. This routine also gives us a chance to have some couple time in the evenings. It may be that your son wakes from hunger after 10 hours, or it could just be all the sleep he needs at one time.

10-month-old waking at 4:30

Our ten-month-old son goes down every night between 8 and 8:30 with no trouble and sleeps through the night. It looks like we've got it made, but he wakes up around 5:30 every morning. We would LOVE for him to get up at 6 or 6:30. We started the Ferberizing that was so successful in getting him to sleep through the night in the first place, but he screamed so much, and so much more than the middle of the night awakenings of the past, that we gave in and got him up. We figured a half an hour wasn't that big of a deal. But then he started waking up earlier and earlier until it was 4:30, which, as you know, will very soon be 3:30.

We went through this twice- trying to Ferberize, giving in, and being awakened by insistent yelling earlier and earlier. We decided we better stick to our guns and keep him in his crib until 6 every morning (we have an alarm clock that plays a tape of Irish harp music, so he can clearly hear when it's time to get up). When we go in periodically to soothe him, as Ferber directs, it only pisses him off more. We have been doing this religiously now for about 10 days and he is still yowling before the sun comes up. We are desperate for a solution! It seems like it's either listen to him scream for 15 to 30 minutes every morning or get up with him earlier and earlier.

Has anyone out there encountered anything like this? Has anyone come up with a solution? And how do you deal with the end of daylight savings time, which I now see for the EVIL it is!!!

By the way, he takes a morning and an afternoon nap of about an hour each, so he's only sleeping about 11-12 hours a day instead of the normal 14 for this age.

If anyone out there can help us, WE WILL WORSHIP YOU LIKE A GOD.

Someone was asking (begging!) for help changing their infant's bedtime schedule so that s/he would go to bed later and (even more importantly) sleep later in the morning, particularly with the impending time change. I was having the same problem so I watched carefully for suggestions but don't recall seeing any. My baby seemed dead set on going to bed at 8 p.m. and waking anywhere between 5 and 6:30. Keeping him up past 8:01 p.m. seemed impossible. Well, I've finally switched him to a 9 p.m. down time and he has actually stayed asleep until almost 7 most mornings, even once until 7:30 (of course that morning I had to get up early). The solution may seem obvious but it wasn't to me so maybe this will be a revelation to others too. ** Don't focus on changing his evening bedtime at first - instead start with making the morning nap an hour later than normal.** Keeping the baby awake in the a.m. is easier to do bcs the baby is more happier in the morning anyway and more amenable to different activities - at least mine is. Then make the afternoon nap an hour later and the later bedtime will follow. It was fairly painless and quite effective. Good luck.

My $.02 is that your son seems to be learning to fuss more, not less, so a change in program sounds definitely in order. Most of the parents I know get an extra hour or so of morning rest by bringing the child into the bed with them when s/he wakes up at 5 a.m. or whenever. Typically, the baby eats, and snuggles, and maybe even drowses for another hour or so before it's really time to get up. Snuggling has worked for all getting plenty of sleep in our family, but we do a total family bed, which doesn't sound like your bag....

Here's another idea I've heard about, that might work for you: a less harsh way [than Ferber] to get a baby to sleep longer at night is scheduled wakings. Spend a week writing down (not trying to remember but actually writing down each time) when your baby wakes and why. Then the following week, especially if there is consistency, set an alarm for five minutes before each one. Then each night move it back (up?) a minute or two until baby is sleeping longer and longer between wakings. Good luck. Let me know if I become a god.

We read the two extremes: Ferber and Sears. What really helped for us was Jodi Mindell's book: Sleeping Through the Night : How Infants, Toddlers, and Their Parents Can Get a Good Night's Sleep ( http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0062734091/o/qid=937124430/sr=8-1/00 2-0567064-9271851)

I found the book practiced a kindler, gentler Ferber. In your case the book recommends that should you Ferber your son when he goes to sleep, when your son wakes up in the middle of the night, DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO GET HIM BACK TO SLEEP. In our case that might be milk, holding our girl, whatever, but in our case that wasn't Ferbering her again.

The premise behind this is that the initial Ferber is enough and will teach enough skills that eventually they will enable the child to put himself back to sleep in the middle of the night.

This is what has happened with our daughter who was sleep trained at around 19 months and now sleeps through the night from 8:30 to about 7:30 on almost every night.

You might consider that sleeping from 8 to 5:30 (and even 4:30) is a very long time and my understanding from the Sears books is that most MDs would not consider 8-9 hours of sleep on his own to represent a sleep problem.

Though it's of little consolation, I fear the 5:30 wakings because they get later and later and run into when we have to get up, whereas 3:30 wakings get us all back to sleep.

Maybe you should try putting your baby to bed a little later. I know that it is recommended that the baby sleep 14 hours a day at that age, but ours never did. At 10 months she was still taking 2 naps a day, but she stayed up until 9:30 or 10:00 and slept until probably 6:30 or 7:00. Its seems like she got about 12 hours of sleep a day, and did just fine.

It sounds like our situation, although we've fared a bit better. Our son slept through the night at 3 months, all the way until we took him on a week's trip and got him used to being soothed with every waking. Two months later, at 11 months, we did the method of not going in at all when he woke. It only took about 3 nights until he slept through. He'd go down at 8 and sleep until 7. Then it changed to 6:30. Then 6. Now it's around 5:30. But frankly, we are so happy not to get up constantly through the night that we're accepting it. We are putting him to bed a little later and will do so - up to an hour later to see if in a couple of weeks it keeps him asleep longer. It's our understanding that it takes at least 2 weeks to move a baby's sleep time. From the first time we got him to sleep through the night, I noticed he'd get up earlier each day until he reached some sort of equilibrium and went back to 8PM - 7AM. Maybe it has to do with the simple change from waking up all the time. I know that waking up several times at night is not good sleep, and perhaps this is all the sleep they need (getting up at 5:30 after going to bed at 8). Several moms in my moms' group have kids the same ages who get up earlier - so babys do vary. I'd suggest putting him down gradually later and see if he'll sleep later. But it will likely take time to adjust. Wish I had a magic answer for you - and for us!

13-month-old waking at 4 and 5 am

March 2002

I stopped night nursing at 13 months and the first couple of weeks went very well. But, after two weeks, my son began waking at 4 and 5 am ready to get up and start the day. He is not yet walking and is doing some teething, so I want to be compassionate and availabe to my little guy,but this new sleep deprived state has my husband & I back at the infancy nuttiness. We just set up a portable crib in his new room (we've been doing family bed but are ready to move on) and hope to graduate him to his own bed. I'm sad to lose the family bed, but I've just about hit the wall by starting my day at 4:00. Any similar experiences out there? jnana

This sounds familiar! We stopped family bedding full-time when my daughter was about a year (she's now 18 months) and she now shares a room with her older brother. She wakes up anywhere from 4am to 6am and when she does I usually bring her back to bed until her brother wakes up. We're still nursing, so I doze while she nurses. She's used to this routine and doesn't affect her sleeping through (most of) the night in her crib.If you use bottles, you can doze with your son while he drinks milk, or water, or whatever. I really cherish this morning time with her. Hope this suggestion helps.

Sounds like you have already go a lot of changes going on--no more night nursing, no more family bed. It could be that your son is responding to all the changes. But just to let you know, my son went through a similar thing between about 14-16 months. By the end of it, I felt like I was going insane from sleep deprivation! My husband and I finally read the Ferber book and tried some of his suggestions. Yes, Ferber is the one you hear so much about. Oh, that awful word, ''Ferberize''! But to be honest, in reading his book--and not just listening to playground anecdotes--I found he had a lot of good information about sleep and developing good sleep habits. The book is worth reading; ''Solve Your Child's Sleep Problem.'' We didn't follow every suggestion, but we did follow a few. Within a week, our son was sleeping through the night again, and until 6:30 in the morning. Still earlier than I'd like, but late enough that I feel sane again. Good luck and sweet dreams.

Yes, we experienced the same thing with our daughter when she was young. We tried everything, including 5HTP and Melatonin. At this point, I'd recommend against using the melatonin on a regular basis, because of the ''rebound''--it eventually stopped working, and then we were worse off than before. But I wanted to let you know that, yes, this happens, and yes, they will grow out of it--eventually. Have you tried putting your child down to sleep much later in the evening, or shortening the naps the day before? I found if she got a nap of any length after about 5pm (like, 1/2 in the car on the way home from daycare/work in the evening--almost impossible to avoid!!) she wouldn't want to sleep at a ''normal'' time of the evening. So we would TRY to keep her awake after about 5pm, and put her down to bed at about 10pm, which resulted (most of the time) in her sleeping till about 7 to 8am (although she'd usually wake in the early morning to nurse--but we'd go back to sleep from that--usually). But I vividly remember a period where one or the other of us would be up with her at 5am every morning, semi-conscious on the couch while she watched tapes of Teletubbies till it came out our ears! I took to taping channel 9 every day and saving it for the next early morning stint. Sometimes she'd go back to sleep, and sometimes she wouldn't. During this period I was fortunate to work at a place on campus that had a ''nap room'' in one of the bathrooms--naps were the only thing that saved my sanity. On weekends my husband and I would ''tag team''--one would be up with her in the early morning, and then in a few hours they'd go back to bed while the other one got up. It's probably also worth noting that the late night/early morning nursing was the LAST one we had, even after we weren't doing ANY other nursing, and we didn't stop until she was almost 3. Eventually I got this to be the ''waking up in the morning'' nursing, which was much more tolerable. And even later this metamorphosed to the ''morning snuggle'', which we often still do (she's 5).

If you're sad that you're stopping the FB, and the waking started after you stopped the FB, I'm wondering why you're not bringing that child to bed with you? It seems to me that the answer is simple - continue nursing your baby and bring him to bed. Am I missing something?

15 month old gets up at 4:30

Oct 2003

We have a very happy 15 month year old that does not like to sleep. He gets up almost everyday between 4:30-5:00am. Needless to say this is very wearing on us. His nightly routine is the following, dinner at 6pm, bath by 7pm, play and then some books with a last cup of milk around 8pm. He usually (9 out of 10) goes to bed without any complaint, but he is awake and ready to go by 4:30am. He is not cranky during the day, and takes a nice 2-2.5 hour nap around noon. Is he getting enough sleep? Should we put him to bed earlier/later? Help, we need some sleep! mitch

Now with the time change I may be in your shoes! Our child is a pre dawn riser. Someone recently reminded me about the Weissbluth book and the advice there about putting kids to bed earlier (NOT LATER) to achieve later sleep in the morning. I'm going to take advantage of the early darkness and try and move everything back 15 minutes each night to see if a 6-ish bed time gets us a bit more sleep. Dinner's won't be very elaborate or family, that's for sure. anon

I guess I don't have a specific technique to share but maybe trying to put your child to bed later would be helpful. Our 19 month old son goes to bed any time between 8pm-10pm (on occasion 11pm, especially if we have company!) he wakes up between 7:30-9am. This has been his ''routine'' since he was about 10 months old. However my husband and I are night owls so this pattern does not bother us. I guess this would not work if you yourself go to bed early. I was a night owl as a child. My mother was very strict about my bedtime, but I have memories of lying in bed for hours before falling asleep. I guess it makes sense that a child and even baby will be tired at different times on different days depending on how busy their day was. anon

15-month-old's 5 am wakeup call

November 2002

hi, our 15 month old wakes at exactly the same time each morning, 5am. this is regardless of his bedtime, as we have tried putting him down later (seems obvious) and earlier (less so, but the Healthy Sleep Habits book suggests that). the digest has some postings in response to a similar question, but i wonder if anyone out there has any suggestions other than putting him to bed later. he used to nurse and go back to sleep at 5am, then as we weaned he started having a bottle and going back to sleep. now at 5 he's wide awake, not hungry, and ready to play. i don't give him a bottle but rather, do a short version of our nighttime routine (say night-night to the animals, sing softly to the CD we always hear, rock in the rocking chair if he's squirming out of my arms). he gets quiet but not sleepy - when i sneak a peek at him his eyes are wide open! and when i move him to bed for the snuggle that used to be a prelude to sleep he will hang out with me for well over an hour, awake and alert (but not too active). it is maddening and exhausting for me, and i know that he's not getting enough sleep either. any ideas? -sooooooo sleepy

We had exactly the same problem with our son. Unfortunately for us, we tried everything over the course of a year or more-- things we had read in books, advice we had been given-- NOTHING worked. As he got older, the problem disappeared on its own, and, once he hit about three, he started waking up later and later until he hit 6:30-7AM (and holding at four years old). We eventually became resigned to the fact that he was just an ultra-early riser. My father is the same way, so I conveniently blamed the problem on him and his genes!! Once he got to be about 2.5, occasionally he could be persuaded to watch a video or otherwise occupy himself while we slept. This bought us about a half-hour. We were lucky in that he's not the kind of kid who gets into stuff-- we never had to worry that we'd wake up to find him drinking Drano or whatnot. Good luck, and remember- this too shall pass. But it sucks while it's happening.

Your situation sounds like ours from this past summer. Our son (now 18 mos) was waking up typically around 5:30 am. Like you, we tried putting him to bed later (made no difference, just made him tired and cranky) and settled for putting him down earlier (between 5:30 and 6 pm) just so we could maximize his nighttime sleep. It was tortuous for us but we managed to make the best of it -- my husband watched live coverage of the Tour de France every morning at 6 am and I started jogging. We also tried to be diligent about getting to bed early. Our son did eventually start waking up later (changes in 10- or 15-min increments) and so we moved his bedtime accordingly (as a general rule, we put him to bed 12 hours after waking up). Up until a few weeks ago, he was waking up regularly around 7 am, of course, until we changed our clocks for Daylight Savings. Now we are revisiting the 6 am wake-up calls and hoping to push his waking/sleeping hours back once again. Good luck! Teresa

18-month-old early riser

Feb 2006

Our 18 month-old has started getting up at 5:30 a.m. He goes to bed at 7:30 and sleeps well. He naps 1-2 hours/day in daycare. He gets up at 5:30 regardless of whether we put him to bed earlier or later than his usual bedtime, and regardless of whether he's had a long or short nap. We're OK with Ferber-like approaches ('learn to go back to sleep by himself even if it means some crying') but we're uncomfortable doing that in the morning because he doesn't go back to sleep. He just cries and cries. He's up for the day. If we take him into our bed, he wants to play. He asks for milk -- and we're worried that if we always give him milk at 5:30 a.m., his body clock will wake him up because it's 'time to eat'. We don't know how many hours of sleep he really needs. Has anyone had similar experiences? Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated! Melissa

Regarding your 18 mo early riser - we had the same issue with our now 18 mo and it was really hard on us. So we gave him a CD alarm clock and put his favorite music in it. Then started out by setting it for 6 a.m.. We told him over and over again before bed at night that we would see him in the morning when his clock played music. At first he cried at his usual time (5ish)and we would go in and hug him and tell him it wasn't time to get up yet and he had to wait until the music came on. After a few days of that we stopped going in at all and he cried a bit but not much. After a few days of letting him ''cry it out'' he was sleeping through until the clock went off and we have now inched our way to 6:30. Now he loves the clock and wants to kiss it goodnight. I think he is reassured by the routine of it all and the fact that he knows mama and daddy will be in when the clock plays music and he will get up and have his milk. The only downfall to the solution is there is not room for him to ''sleep in'' as a few times he has been dead asleep when the clock went on and would have slept longer. We are still fine tuning that problem. If your clock or CD player had a remote maybe you could turn it on at whatever time you chose to from outside of the room. Anyway, it has worked for us and now we can depend on him sleeping until 6:30 instead of 5 - yeh! Good luck. amy

My little one sometimes does this, at 5 1/2 months, and I've read some advice that seemed excellent and best-suited to an older baby such as yours. Set a pouch/pocket at the side of the crib, and after the baby goes to sleep (or very early in the morning) leave a bottle with milk/juice and a toy or two. Leave the baby to figure out how to be entertained. You could start by not-responding for a shortish time and work up to longer. This strategy involves using ''props'' but really I think if it works, then it works. The only problem would be if the baby got to the bottle at night, since drinking milk/juice while falling asleep is bad for their teeth.

The version of this I employ with my young baby is to offer only one breast, then put him back down with his mobile on, a toy, and his lights (I have a string of twinkly white Christmas lights draped on his window). I don't get him ''up'' until about 7, but I sometimes resettle him. good luck! ana

Can you provide some activities that he can entertain himself with for a while? If he has a small snack and drink of water waiting on a ''bedside table'' (small shelf) that he can reach from his crib (if he's in one), along with some books and quiet toys, maybe he can entertain himself for a while before waking you. Wherever he is sleeping, be sure the space is safe for him to be in unsupervised. I've read that some families set up an ''alarm'' like a light or music on a timer as a signal to the child that it is an o.k. time to call for parents. Also - have you tried room darkening shades? He may be waking with the light. R.K.

This may sound counter-intuitive, but try making your child's bedtime earlier. I followed Weissbluth's Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. When my daughter was 18 mos old, we were putting her down at 6:30 pm and she'd wake up around 6 am. Good luck! Elaine

I wish I had an answer for you, but I just had to write to say that we are having the exact same problem -- 17 month old with 1-2 hour nap goes to bed between 7 and 7:30, and gets up between 5 and 6 -- usually closer to 5 than 6. For a while we didn't take him out of his room till 6, but after two weeks or so we decided that wasn't really helping and was making him start the day cranky.

We are still kind of transitioning from 2 to 1 naps and I think that may be part of the problem -- he's just gotten out of whack. I have heard the suggestion that early waking comes from overtiredness, and if you put them to bed super-early (like 5 or 6), that can help. That may be hard if your son (like ours) is in daycare till 5 or later, but that's what I'm going to try next. (Right now he's getting over an ear infection and has been waking at night too, so we are really out of whack this week.) At worst, this would mean an extra hour of time for you (and sleep for him) in the evening!

I do think they usually need more sleep at this age than 10 hrs. at night/1-2 hrs. in the day -- the Ferber book says the average for 18 mos. is 13 1/2 hours, and our kid certainly seems tired/cranky on his current schedule. Good luck! Tired again mama

I feel for you! I have an early riser too, and I'm sorry to say that I don't think there's much to do about it. Our son is 3.5 and started waking up by 5:30 at around age 2. For a long time it really bothered me. We got into a routine of snuggling in bed for a while in the morning, which helped me but still didn't let me go back to sleep. Finally, in the last 6 months, our son is old enough to get out of bed by himself and play with toys or look at books until I tell him it's time to get ready for the day. We also still do some snuggle time every morning, which has turned into a really special time for me and we both miss it if it doesn't happen.

Anyway - hang in there, it does get better. After a little longer your son may be old enough to recognize a signal (set a timer on a little night light to come on at a decent hour, or set an alarm clock or something).

I would definitely not give milk that early - your instinct on that is right on. Just say over and over that it's not time for milk yet, and he'll eventually get it. anon

I'm responding partly to the original post, and partly to the parent who responded that they had trained their 18 month old to not get up until their alarm clock plays music -- but that this has the problem that the child never sleeps in, because the audible alarm wakes them up.

The solution to this is to use a visual cue rather than an audible one. For example, you can use an alarm clock like the one shown here: http://www.bunnyclock.com/ which features a bunny rabbit whose eyes open at the time set by the parent. Obviously, if your child is still sleeping, they won't notice that bunny has his eyes open.

I also have an early riser (5 to 5:30am), and used a visual cue to train my son to stay in bed later. In his case, I didn't do this until he was 2.5 years old (I would have tried it sooner, but didn't know how). I got him a digital clock, covered the last two digits, and taught him to recognize a 6, and that he couldn't get out of bed till the first digit was a 6. Once he got that (it took a week or two of me gently but firmly putting him back to bed if he got up early), I adjusted his clock to be 15 minutes slow, so he doesn't get up till 6:15. Every once in a while he sleeps in -- this morning he didn't get up till 7am, which is pretty late for him.

Anyway, if you're going to train your early riser to stay in bed until they get a cue, I recommend choosing a visual cue, not an audible one. Good luck! Diane

17-month-old wakes up at 5:15am

Nov 2008

Does anyone have any suggestions regarding a 17 month old who now wakes up around 5:15am (with the new time change)? He first wakes up around 4:30 and I give him a bottle of milk, then he sleeps for another 45-60 minutes and then wakes up crying/yelling for me to get him out of his crib (and I usually nurse him at this point in hopes that he may fall back asleep). Please help- I need some sleep!! Meera

My 15 month old was doing this too for the past few weeks, and many friends with kids this age reported same. With the time change my baby was waking up at 4:30 and that was just too much. I started making sure he got to sleep by 7:30 at night and the next morning when he woke up at 4:30 I put him in his crib, went to the other room, put a pillow over my head and let him cry himself back to sleep--which he did within 20 minutes (I checked him once). Then he slept till almost 7 am. Woo- hoo! Ever since then he's been waking up no earlier than 6. It's wonderful. For us this coincided with transitioning from two to one naps a day, and it seemed to help to make sure he really only got one good nap (so no napping before noon). I hope something works for you. no lark

17-month-old twins waking between 4 and 5

July 2005

Our 17 month old twins have always been early risers, but it is getting ridiculous! They now awake between 4.15 - 5 am each day (the girl sleeps through, and the boy is recently waking again twice per night). They are crabby and won't go back to sleep (even with nursing, although I have stopped doing that in the last week). Sometimes, we have let them cry for over 20 minutes. Occasionally this has worked, but they then only sleep for 20-30 more minutes. We try to keep them up until 9 - 9.30 and they then take a 3 hr nap (boy) and 1 1/2 hour nap (girl). I try to avoid an afternoon nap, but the girl might sleep in the car for 20 minutes. They go to sleep between 7 - 7.30 pm. We have tried putting them to bed later (for around a week) and this made no difference. What are we doing wrong??? I feel like they are SOO tired in the morning, all they want to do is watch TV (and I'm afraid we let them as we are so tired ourselves!). HELP! Millicent

I have been there myself! My boys are just about to turn two and we have had a lot of problems with them waking early. I remember a time not too long ago when they would wake at the same time that your twins are. We tried all of the same things that you wrote and it seemed like it just worked itself out. They just started waking later and later each day. They now wake at 6 am (still early, but manageable), and it seems like they wake then whether they fall asleep at 8 or 9:30. Just try and get through it (we also used TV so that we could doze) and know that it will probably change later on. good luck beth

i've read in many books, and found from experience with our 18 month old, that the better a child naps, the better they sleep at night and vice versa. so, not allowing your children their afternoon nap may actually not be helping. also, they may be at an age where they are ready for just one nap a day (or is that what they already do?). either way, make sure they nap, because that will affect how they sleep at night and how long they sleep. what i've found with our daughter is that putting her to bed too late actually doesn't help her sleep later into the morning - sometimes it actually makes her wake up earlier! the key is to get them to bed before they are overtired, after a good routine like dinner, bath, quiet time/books, bed. it's unfortunately not rocket science, though, so you never can know something will work or work forever. i think around 18 months is a period where they go through huge changes, including in sleep - lately our daughter has even started to occasionally wake up before 6, which is hard on all of us because she's also cranky when she does (and so am i!). i explain to her that there is no getting up before 6, and no watching elmo until at least 6:30! my pediatrician says they dream a lot at this age, and that wakes them up without their knowing why. hopefully they'll move through it - but whatever you do, make sure they nap regularly - routine seems to really help. good luck! Gal

I don't have twins, but I have a 2-year-old daughter that only recently (about 20 months?) began to sleep later than 5:30 a.m. Once in a blue moon she will sleep until 6:30 a.m. Once she even slept until 7 a.m.! For most of her life, she has gotten up between 4 and 5 a.m., no matter what we have done. (Fortunately, I have always been an early riser, but 4 a.m. is pushing it even for me.) We did sleep training at 9 months. At that point, she was getting up every 1-3 hours at night. After sleep training, the night time waking pretty much ended, but nothing -- I mean nothing! -- we did helped the early morning waking. I truly believe she is just an early riser. Here's what we tried: (1) Later bedtime (9 p.m. -10 p.m.). This made things worse. She got up the same time or earlier, and was even more tired. (2) Earlier bedtime. Better, but still not great. (3) Letting her cry until 5 a.m. For weeks, I tried not going into her room, no matter what, until 5 a.m. This often meant she would cry for 45 minutes to an hour. Didn't work. (4) Nursing her and putting her back down. Occasionally worked, but mostly not. Not only would she wake up at these ungodly hours, but she would nurse briefly then be ready and raring to PLAY NOW! By the time she was a year old, she had given up her morning nap and only took an afternoon nap, which was excruciating because she had such a hard time staying up until lunch. All I can say is that now things are better. She hasn't gotten up before 5 a.m. in months and usually sleeps until abuot 5:47. Believe me, those 47 minutes have changed my life. About TV: I found that with her, TV-watching bred more TV-watching, grumpiness and restlessness. Things got better when I started strictly limiting TV. So, to sum it all up, I think she's just an early riser. Also, I am still nursing, so when I consulted Meg Zweiback, she thought that her early rising was related to her knowing that the boob was waiting for her. Who knows? Things are gradually getting better. Good luck! Tired Mama

2 year old waking 2 hours earlier, wants in our bed

Nov 2006

Our 2 year old, who sleeps in her own room and is still in a crib, has been waking very early for the past month, crying, and then wanting to come into our bed to sleep for the rest of the morning until her ''normal'' waking time. Our pattern has always been to bring her into our bed when she wakes for family snuggles and her cup of milk (no sleeping), but she is now waking 2 hours earlier than usual and she wants to sleep with us. We have chosen not to co-sleep and I prefer not to start now. I know life and developmental changes can affect sleep, but am not familiar with what a typical 2 year sleep pattern should be. The only big change in her life (and it is a big one) was her move to a new daycare/preschool, however this happened 2 weeks AFTER her waking pattern changed. Does anyone have suggestions on how to handle this? I have read about setting up an alarm clock and could try that, but I am concerned about how to handle her crying and calling for us in the meantime (assuming the alarm clock eventually works). Thanks so much tired mamma (aren't we all?)

Our daughter experienced a change in her sleeping pattern around 2 also. We took it as a sign that she needed to move to big-girl bed. We felt it was her way of saying, I'm done with the crib. So we bought her a twin-bed, complete with new bedding and comforter, and she transitioned to it that night. We had no further issues. That's not to say that she never wakes up and calls for us, because she does, but once we check on her/give her what she's requesting (usually water) she's back to bed until her normal time, 7:45-ish A

When I was pregnant with our second child, my older son started coming back into our bed at around 4 or 5 am and sleeping with us until my husband got up at 6. When I got too big for this, I decided I didn't want him coming in anymore. So the next time he came in, I brought him back to his bed and stayed in his room, singing and rubbing his back until he fell back to sleep. The second night, I brought him back and he fell asleep quickly. The third night, when he came in, I told him to go back to bed or to play in his room (it was about 5:30am), and he did. After that, he stopped coming in until after he heard my husband running the shower.Mostly, he stays in his bed now (6 months later). If he starts coming in again, we'll do it again. Consistently preventing him from sleeping with us eventually deters him, although he tests it occasionally Andrea

2 yo STILL waking up too early

Oct 2006

I am desperately seeking new advice on the whole early riser thing. My now 2yo is still waking up between 5 and 5:45 on most days. He has never slept beyond 7 in his life and rarely has he slept past 6. We have tried everything. Put him to bed earlier, which seems to be the better than putting him to bed later which always ends up in a 5 am wake-up call, but even if we achieve some success for a short period of time he always seems to resort back to 5ish in the end. We usually put him to bed around 7 or 7:30 He naps well (like 2-3 hours) during the day and we are starting to think that may be the culprit at this point but he is so tired that by 9a.m if I drive anywhere more than 10 min away he falls asleep in the car. I always try to avoid that and have him sleep at a more ''normal'' nap time 12:30 or 1 because it typically ends up in a fifteen minute car nap and a battle for the ''real'' nap later. Maybe I need to not worry so mauch about the ''real'' nap anymore - I just don't know. I do notice that when he has been really active during the day or has a shorter nap he tends to sleep more soundly and sometimes a bit later (maybe until 5:50 or 6:10). My husband and I are not early risers - we have tried going to bed earlier but I work late several nights a week and am not even home until 9:30 or 10 so by the time we wind down it is 11 before we are asleep and getting up at 5 is just not enough sleep. If it were every other day maybe but it is constant and has been going on for a year now since daylight savings last year. We are fearful for the time change this year and am wondering if we can fix this before his 5 a.m. call becomes 4 a.m.!! It is especially painful when we have the lights on in our house and are looking out at neighbors with kids and their houses are pitch dark because their kids sleep until 8 or even 9! Any suggestions anyone has besides the norm - put him to bed later or earlier would be greatly appreciated. Still Sleepless in Oakland

To Sleepless in Oakland, It sounds to me like you might need to put your son to bed a bit later. The neighbors you mention whose lights are off until 8 or 9 am because their kids are still sleeping, may very well put their kids to bed at 8 or 9 pm or even later! Seriously, I know very few two year olds who go to bed at 7 or 7:30! Also, childrens' napping needs do change. My very active daughter abruptly gave up her nap at 3 years old, after taking 2 hour naps each day. You've been one very lucky mama to have a son who naps for 2 to 3 hours a day -- and sleeps for 12 hours a night. As your son gets older, he'll need to sleep less during the day. It is just what happens. No need to worry anon

I could have written your message a year ago (I think I might have actually) - My now almost 3 yr old spent from age 1-2 waking up between 4 and 5:30 am every day. Absolutely hell. Same nap thing - hard to keep him up past 9. We usually settled on a 10 or 11am nap. Then 2 hrs. Bed at 7pm every night. Didn't work to put him down later. We finally let him cry - (we did the cry at night sleep training thing to get him to sleep all night the first time - at age 14 mo). So he woke at 4: 30, we left him to cry until 6. After two nights I think he stayed asleap until 6 or later. When he was about 2 and 3 months we figured out that putting his favorite music on an alarm clock CD - set for 6am worked well. If he woke up earlier, we'd shout (for the first couple of times) ''Wait for hello!'' - the song on the CD - eventually we inched the time closer to 6:30. Now he still wakes up early but reads in his bed - still in a crib, has a light he can switch on by himself - until the music comes on. He's a light sleeper, maybe naturally an early riser, and yes, it's definitely the hardest part of motherhood - but at least now we can communicate a little better and most of the time he sleeps until 6:30 which now feels wonderfully late. Good luck! have been sleepless in Oakland too

Been there, done that. 4:30am wake up calls are the worst! I can relate to your frusteration. After much trial and error, we have foudn the solution. Hopefully it will help you. So, my daughter loves stickers. I went out and bought her a bunch of stickers like Elmo, Big Bird, Dora, Mickey Mouse, etc. Each night when I put her to bed, I tell her that she needs to be patient in the morning and play in her crib quietly (she has a few small books and her Sesame Street stuffed animals in her crib with her) until mommy comes in ''when it is sunny out''. During our bedtime routine , I literally repeat myself probably 3-4 times saying ''You need to be patient and wait for it to be sunny out and then momy will come in and give you a special sticker''. So, she waits. At 6:00am on the dot, I burst into her room, excited and cheering for her that she was patient and waiting for me to come it. I give her a sticker and she sticks it in the side of her crib. She has TONS of stickers all over her crib, but it has really worked for us. To be fair to her, I won't keep her waiting past 6am, especially on days when she wakes at 5am and has played quietly in her crib for an hour. I also put her to bed early. She is in her crib asleep by 6pm each night. So, if you try this tactic, be patient. It might not work right away, but keep trying. Good luck! Stephanie

2-year-old wakes up waaaaay too early

Dec 2005

Hi, I have a 27-month old who wakes up waaaaay too early. I'm talkin' 4:30-5am every morning! it's a rare luxurious treat to sleep in until 5:45-6am. Seriously, I mean that. I've tried putting him to bed early, I've tried putting him to bed late. I've tried letting him stay in his crib, but we have a teeny house and he makes noise and calls out so we don't actually end up getting any more sleep. We've tried bringing him into bed with us. That doesn't work either. he lays there for about 10 minutes and then starts in with ''light on, read book, play mama...'' you get the idea. It's so bad that we often look forward to his getting a cold - then we can give him benedryl to help him sleep. I'm only half kidding, which means I'm half serious and seriously in need of some serious sleep. So, does this sound like your child? if so, is this a phase? Do you have a tip for me? I'm really into fixing this, so any help is appreciated. Jen

This sounds just like my kid! Except that now mine is 3. It took a while for us to figure out how to deal with it. After a few months of us saying ''Too early!!!'' he figured out how to play in his room by himself with his trains or legos, or to ''read'' a few books before coming to get in bed. If he came in too early, we would say so and he would go back and play. Lately we took a trip back east, and then he got on East coast time and it got much worse. He would be done with playing by himself by about 4:30 or 5:00 and then would just want to have me wake up. I think we're back to the normal schedule now, but for a while I was doing research about how to fix the situation. I think we're going to get a little nightlight on a timer, and set the timer for 6:00, when it's okay for him to come wake us up. Then it will just be a matter of teaching him about the light. Sleepy, too.

I have a 30 month old that has been waking up between 4:30- 6:00am since he was about 23 months old. I tried everything you mentioned (later bed time, earlier bed time, waking him up after 2 hour nap) but nothing worked. My Mom mentioned that maybe he is at a point where he has finally adjusted to the sleep that he actually needs/wants and that he is one of those people who don't require that much night sleep. He goes down at 8pm (falls asleep fairly quickly) and wakes up at 6am. That is 10 hours. He takes a 3 hour nap every afternoon (eagerly). Once I realized that this was true, I was suddenly alright with the whole thing. I try to go to bed earlier than before and I sleep in one morning of the weekend. It seems to have worked mentally for me. Not saying that I like it, I'm a 10 hour girl myself!! Not much advise, just sympathy for someone who is in your shoes. DiAnn

Jen, I empathize with your situation. Our 19 month year old wakes up between 4:30-5. And we, like you, have tried nearly everything. To make matters worse, he shares a room with his sister (age 5) and often wakes her. I guess the one piece of advice I have is to be consistent. With my son, I've been going in when he wakes up, giving him a small bottle of milk, and telling him it is too early to wake up. He cries and complains and says he wants to ''get out'' of his crib, etc., but we've been ignoring his wishes. Each day, I try to leave him in bed a little longer, hoping he'll finally ''get it.'' Today, I kept him in his crib until 5:45. He tends to be quiet for a few minutes and then start calling my husband or me. On a rare morning, he'll actually fall asleep again until 6. He's not a great sleeper, and never has been. He's been down to one nap a day for well over a year. And, honestly, between my daughter and my son, my husband and I have not slept past 6 for! over 5 years. I guess some kids Anon

I understand your frustration. My daughter, who is now 6, awoke anytime between 4:30 - 5:30 am from age 18 mos through age 3 or so. I thought I would never survive. We tried everything, but basically finally just resigned ourselves and took turns getting up with her so the other one of us could sleep a little later. We'd read and play quietly until a more humane hour. She now sleeps until 7:30 every morning, but it happened over time -- for a long time we were thrilled when she slept until 6 a.m. This is very common -- we have lots of friends whose kids did the same thing. One friend's daughter still wakes at 5:30 am every morning and she's 7! I'd just try to survive it the best you can -- go to sleep earlier yourself, take turns with your spouse, etc. It won't last forever. anon

usually kids that wake that early have been doing it for a long time. has he always woken up early? try keeping him up later to say 10:00 pm. he should sleep longer. adventually. you'll need patience to re-train him. a couple months really. and you'll have no time to your self while your doing it. which really sucks. my girl is 27 months as well and we let her stay up pretty late on the weekends so we'll sleep in. it's nice. we get up at 9:00 am! she is happy and refreshed too. good luck. anon

Yes, these were my kids. With my 1st child I learned that the ONLY way to stop this is to limit the nap. So, if your child ususally sleeps for 2 1/2 hours for a nap: limit it to 2 hours for several days in a row. You have to do this for a few days to see if it works. If after 3 days of a 2 hour nap he is still waking too early, limit the nap another 30 minutes, again for several days. I know it's a bummer to limit the break you get with the nap and it's a bummer to wake them but you NEED to sleep at night. I'm sure this will work. It has with both of my kids! Currently doing this with my 26 month old. If I let him go ove 2 hours, I suffer the following morning! good luck been there, done that

2.5-y-o waking as early as 4am

Nov 2005

My 2.5 year old son is waking up earlier and earlier these days. Sometimes as early as 4 am he'll get up, crawl into bed with me (which is ok) and then lay there and sing, clap his hands, kick his feet, etc. He just won't go back to sleep!! It's getting so exhausting for both me and my husband, and our son is obviously not rested enough either. I've tried asking him to wait until the sun is in the sky, but that doesn't seem to work. And now it's getting harder and harder to stay calm with him at that time of day. Has anyone dealt with a similar issue? It's just too early!!! ready for some sleep

Is he still napping? If so, you may want to try cutting back on naptime to get longer sleep at night. I didn't have your problem, but between 2 and 2.5, my daughter started having trouble falling asleep at night if she took a nap (i.e., she was up until 10 and 11). Naptime had to go. Erin

My son is about the same age, and whenever he starts waking too early in the morning we know we need to start putting him to bed earlier. In the winter he generally goes down between 6:30 and 7pm and is up about 12 hrs. later. We've had great success w/the earlier bedtimes. Also, make sure you're getting him down early enough for his afternoon nap. That's about 12:30pm w/our son. Good luck! Caroline

I could have written your post 2 weeks ago- I was in the same exact position! We thought that maybe our son needed less overall sleep than previously (which is common as they get older), and so he was cutting off the time by waking up early. What we decided to do was cut his nap short. He was previously sleeping about 2.5 hours/day on most days. Now we wake him up after 1.5 hours of sleep. I was reluctant to do this, because I love those long naps! But I also love the early bedtime and the later wake-up and I had to cut somewhere. Anyway, it seems to be working thus far (knock on wood!). He went from waking up between 5:15-5:45 to between 6:30-7:15. This may not apply to you but give it a try if it does. Good luck. martha

Of course the little ones can't read a clock - how to indicate when it's okay to wake us?

Each day our children (then 2+ and nearly 4 years) would come in earlier to seek our morning company, and finally, at 4:30 AM, I picked up my pillow to retreat. But the thought of being driven from my own bed motivated a pretty darned successful (not air-tight, but reliable) solution.

This has worked very well for us, and then for my sister's family for ~ 2 years: We bought a cheap-ish plug-in timer switch from a hardware store, and set an unbreakable light (Ikea) to go on outside our room at an early, but marginally acceptable time. Children can't read, but the light tells them that it's time for morning cuddle.

We drew a picture of us and taped it to our door, child-height: two panels, one of us sleeping by a darkened light, and one with us joyfully smiling by a bright light. Then we explained the plan, clearly, slowly, and made sure they understood as well as they might.

When they'd come in before the light, we'd groan, and ask ''is the light on?; is it important?; oh, honeys, we need sleep, but will be so happy when you come in after the light...'' But when they come in cheering that ''the LIGHT is ONNNN!'', we give them a big ''Yaaaay!'', no matter how tired we are, and then we cuddle joyfully.

- Then we adjusted the timer toward a more decent time, little- by-little. (Oh, and eventually the kids learned to tweak the timer, so we encased it in clear, flexible plastic from some other product's packaging.) David and Karl

Try limiting naps. If he usually naps for 2 hours reduce it by 30 minutes (wake him after 90 minutes) for 3 or 4 days to see if that helps. If not, reduce it to a one hour nap for 3 or 4 days and hopefully that works. If not, you may have to stand him taking no nap. Good luck been there done that

Alarm clock that tells toddler when it's OK to get up?

Feb 2007

Our 2 1/2 year old boy is an early riser. We have tried lots of tactics to get him to sleep longer. I have seen on the internet two special alarm clocks that have a picture of a bunny who is sleeping, and when you set the alarm, the bunny ''wakes up'' to tell the child its ok to get out of bed. However, these seem to only be available in England and are quite expensive. Does anyone have experience with these, know a US retailer, or have other ideas for an inexpensive alarm clock that would visually tell a child when its ok to get up? I have looked at dawn-light simluator alarm clocks but these are usually over $100. Would rather spend less for this experiment.... Anon

When our child was doing this, we bought a lamp for his room and put it on a timer. You can get a timer at the hardware store (like Pastime) - go for the digital timers because you will want the precision. We got him a lamp from that store on Solano that sells all sorts of interesting lamps - like animals, planes, trains, etc. - but any old light will do. Our kid has just always been an early riser, so I don't know if he got more sleep with this approach, but we tried to teach him that he couldn't come in to mommy and daddy's room until the light came on. Good luck. Mom of early riser

I too had an early riser for a long time. He has just now started sleeping until 7 on most days (he is 2 and a half)thank goodness because those early morning wake-up calls are really awful, so I feel for you. I have the bunny clock - my friend brought it back to me from Switzerland. It is yours if you want it. I only have one complaint about it. It is rather cheaply made for such an expensive clock and the silent setting isn't so silent. When the ears pop up it is quite a loud sort of ''ka- ching'' therefore only a few times did my son sleep past the time the bunny ''woke up''. With that said it does work to teach them what time is an O.K. time to get up - so my son would just play in his crib until the bunny woke up. Feel free to contact me if you would like to have the clock. We are moving out of the state in about a week and a half so contact me as soon as possible. Good Luck. amy

We use a night light on a timer. We have the timer set to go off at 7:00 am. The kids know they are allowed to get up and come in our room when the light goes off. It has worked well for us. Emily

We've used a regular clock-radio for our kids for years. The radio is set to a classical station, and at 7am the music comes on. They are not to get out of bed until that music comes on. It's worked generally well, and as they've gotten older the lighted digital display was really easy for them to read even in a dark room. Mike

We have a friend who just got a digital alarm clock with large numbers, and taped a piece of construction paper with the number 7 over the minute side. Her daughter was supposed to wait until the hour number matched the paper number to get up.

Hi, I totally sympathize with the early riser issue. I don't think either of my children has ever in their lives slept past 7 am. 6 am is the norm.

For my older one, at 2.5, I put a post-it note next to a regular alarm clock and blocked out the last 2 numbers on the clock. We told her if the 1st number matched the post-it note, she could come get us. We used 6 am, but often ''adjusted'' her clock so that 6 came a bit later than reality.

For the younger one, we got an alarm clock/CD player that you can set. We set it for 6:30 am and told her that if the music was on, she could come get us. If the music is not on, you need to stay in your bed.

Hope that helps! Hardin

We use a night light plugged in to an electric timer; if our son wakes up before the light turns on, we tell him it is still nighttime. I got the idea from an old BPN posting, and it has worked very well! Saw the Light

You don't need a special clock. Just get a cheap digital clock at Long's, and tell your son he can play in his bed until the first number is a 6 (or a 7, whatever works for you). Then he can get up. Works like a charm. 6 is the magic number

When my son was that age - also too young to tell time - I bought a timer at Home Depot and attached it to a small bedside lamp in his room. Essentially, the lamp plugged into the timer, which was plugged into the wall. At the appropriate time (6:15am in our house), the light would go on, telling my son that it was OK to get up. The light stayed on for an hour, so there was a lengthy window of time; that way, I didn't get midnight calls of ''did the light already go on? I think I missed it . . . '' The timer cost $10 or $15, as I recall, and worked beautifully. There was no sound, and the light itself was comparatively small, so it didn't wake anyone. It was just a signal that morning had officially arrived. Kathleen

An inexpensive option that yields the same result is plugging a night light into a light timer. Light timers ($10-$30) can be found at hardware or lighting stores (get a digital one, the manual ones are hard to set at small incriments). They are usually used for turning lights on and off when you are on vacation so it looks like you are home, but you can set them to turn the night light on at a specific time in the morning for your kid. Our daughter knows that she can't come out of her room until her light goes on (at 6:30 a.m. mind you, but believe me it's an improvement!) It took a while to make this adjustment, we did it by initially setting the light to go on 5-10 minutes after the time she was normally waking up to get her used to waiting, then gradually moved it later. Good luck! Laura

just get a simple digital clock. cover up the minutes. then choose a time to ''wake up,'' say 7. then teach your child to recognize 7 and/or draw a 7 that looks like a digital 7 on the paper covering the minutes. Then teach your child that when the clock shows 7 it's ok to go out of the room but until then, play quietly in the room. Depending on your child you will probably also want to use a reinforcer like a sticker for every day they follow the rule, 5 stickers gets a little prize... Now my problem is waking my teens up in the morning! best wishes

Our 20 mo. old is also an early riser. We've used a night light with a timer (any hardware store carries them), telling her that ''no light, no get up,'' and it worked quite well. You do, however, need to paint the bulb a dark color, so that it is not too bright in the room. Good luck. anon

You can get these timers that you plug a regular lamp into and set what time the lamp should come on. My Grandmother had one that she'd set when she'd be out of the house over night so potential burglers would think someone is home as the light would come on at night. Anyway, I have friends who have used them in their kids rooms, telling them they can get up when the light turns on by itself. anon

Search on Ebay. Type in: Bunny clock. They have a few of them on there right now, but keep checking. anon

Our 3 year old kept coming in to ''snuggle'' in the morning, but it kept getting earlier and earlier until we found him ready to start snuggling at 2 am! We love to see him in the morning, but not the middle of the night. To let him know when it was ok to come in our room, we bought a small white vinyl globe face-type looking lamp night light from the children's section of IKEA, and put it on a timer that I bought at Target. I think the night light was $10, and the timer was $3. I like the IKEA face light thing, as it glows a wonderful happy green when it comes on at 6 am, and some mornings, he sleeps longer than this because it has no noise to wake him. The lamps also come in different shapes and colors, red and blue, too, but you could hook any type of night light or lamp to the timer. Our son calls the green guy the ''snuggle man'' and we all look forward to our reunion in the morning when the snuggle man starts glowing. Wish all kid problems were this easy to solve

Does your son know a few numbers? MIne is a bit younger and only really knows 1, 2, 3 and sometimes 4 which are not very helpful in getting up at a reasonable hour. But if yours knows 6 or 7 you could get a digital clock and cover up the last two numbers and tell him to wait until it says 6 or 7. You could also just set the alarm and tell him to wait for the beep, or even the music if you got a clock radio. clocky

Here's something I do to get myself up (I can sleep through ANY alarm clock). I use one of those little plug-in timers (made by Intermatic, the kind you use to turn your lights on and off when you're away) on a big, bright floor lamp in my room, and I set it to turn the lamp on 30 minutes before I need to get up. In my case the effect is to wake me up enough to hear my alarm. For your son, you could put a timer on a lamp in his room set to go on when it's ok to get up. Cece

My sister is in the process of developing a product very similar to the one you are describing. Contact Diana at dianamckee [at] comcast.net. Carrie

Yes -- simple, and cheap! We did this... Get a nightlight (a special one if need be) and one of those plug-in ''timer'' deals that you use to turn lights on/off when you go on vacation. Both can be purchased at Longs, Target, wherever you like... Total of maybe $25. Then, set the ''on'' part of the timer for when you want your child to get up, and the ''off'' for sometime later in the morning (when everyone's already awake). When the light is off, it's time for sleep. When the light is on, your child can get up. Karen

When I didn't want my daughter to nurse until a reasonable hour in the morning (you know, say 5:30 am...), I put a timer on a lamp, and told her that if she woke up and the light was on then she could nurse, but if the light was out, she needed to wait. This was amazingly effective (after all, it was the light telling her, not me). The timer cost less than $10.00. Alysson

We have an eraly riser too. It's maddening! Anyway, we decided to try a clock too, but decided against an alarm clock, because he periodically sleeps late and we didn't want him to wake up at 6am if he was intent on sleeping.

Still, most mornings he's up by 5:30, more likely 5 or 5:15 and while he knows he's supposed to stay in bed until we say it's okay to get up, we have a small house and he just yells to us asking us what time it is every 5 minutes or so, so we don't end up getting anymore sleep than if we just got up.

So, I went to Target and got a small clock for $10.00 that had a large button on top that lights up the face of the clock when you press it. So, we taught him how to push the button and what 6:00 looked like on the clock (he was about 3 when we started this), and that he couldn't get out of bed until it say 6:00. And that he didn't have to yell out asking us the time.

So, did it work? more or less, although now he tells us what the time is. We're not necessarily getting more sleep. So now we've just started to try the you can get up but you must play quietly in your room until 6:00. We'll see if it works. Good luck with your experiment. Jen

I have the bunny clock you mentioned in your post. Yes, I spend about $70 for it, with shipping, and I only found it online and in the UK. It worked for a good amount of time--until our son started arguing that the bunny was awake even though it wasn't (''Oh, it looked awake, Mom. Sorry. Well, I'll get up now anyway!''). He also started climbing out of bed and ''waking'' the bunny himself and then arguing that he hadn't done that. Argh. So, I'm not sure if I'd recommend the bunny clock. I did put dark curtains in his room, and they helped. Getting him to bed earlier and on a regular schedule seems to have had the best results, but he still wakes too early, yawning. It is so frustrating. Mom

Here's a trick - worked great for us. Put a light on an electrical timer - cheap timer from a hardware store - somewhere between your child's door and yours. Set the timer for the earliest you can stand, to start out, earlier than you'd eventually like it to be - certainly not too long after your child will naturally awaken, maybe even before. This will allow the first mornings to demonstrate it works, not to challenge.

Now prepare your child: put a picture on the outside of your door, child-height, drawn with parents sleeping next to the unlit light - and a picture of parents awake, huge smiles, with the light lit brightly (yellow crayon, highlighter). After bedtime, put some comforting toys near the light.

Explain that when the light turns on, you'll be so very happy to see your child, and that before the light goes on, you'll be too tired to be cheerful, and will need to go right back to sleep. When s/he wakes you up on the first morning, if the light is not on, you should yawn, squint, and explain sluggishly that you're not ready yet until the light is on, lead the child to toys, and stagger exaggeratedly back to bed. Ask your child to be *sure* to let you know *as soon as the light comes on*. When the light does go on, and your child lets you know, act VERY cheerful, and welcome your child into your bed to cuddle. Give lots of congratulations.

Reinforce this daily. Even if you've been in bed, talking for an hour, if the light isn't on, feign extreme sleepiness, and let your child know you'll be very happy to see him/her when the light is on. And when it does go on, you just be so very glad. And little by little, you move the timer to a time that you can actually live with sustainably.

Sooner or later you'll have to figure out how to secure the timer so it can't be altered by clever little fingers. And eventually, your child will learn to tell time.

I will never forget the joy that greeted us with their happy call as they came into the room: The LIIIGHT IS ON!!!! David P.

2.5-y-o wakes at 5 to pee, stays awake

Nov 2008

We are struggling with sleep for our 2.5 year old son. He currently goes to bed between 7:30 and 8pm, takes a 1-1.5 hour nap during the day, and wakes up between 5 and 5:30am. My husband used to cuddle with our son at that time until he woke up around 6-6:30am. However our son began to wake earlier and earlier in the night to sleep with Daddy, and began to wake up later and later in the morning (thus affecting my husband's ability to get up for work). We currently keep putting him back in his bed until 6am (when his nightlight turns off), but he cries and screams the whole time and once the light is off he wants to cuddle with daddy and often falls back asleep (sometimes until as late as 7:30). Obviously he needs the sleep, otherwise he wouldn't fall back asleep with his dad.

There are a couple of things that complicate the situation and make it different from past posts that I've read: Our son is now potty trained, and hates peeing in a diaper at night. He now wears cloth pullups and we take him potty before we go to sleep. But, he wakes at 5-5:30 to use the potty (which is fine) and then won't lay back in his bed. His crying and screaming wakes up his younger sister (9 months) as they share a room. We are feeling frustrated and exhausted. We really do not want our son to wake up before 6am. We would like him to get all his necessary sleep in his own bed as we are trying to create an earlier morning routine for my husband so he can come home earlier in the evening. Any advice would be great! Tired Mama

My son was potty trained at night around 2 1/2. I've found that if I sit him on the potty around 3 or 4 in the morning, he will sleep longer because the he doesn't have to pee. He sleeps through going potty, and I just tell him a couple of times that he's on the potty and it's okay to go pee. Then he will go. Maybe this will help? It means getting up for me, but I don't mind it if I get a little more sleep in the morning! Anon

2.5-y-o: alarm clock to keep him in bed after 6am?

Aug 2005

Hello, I've got a 2-1/2 year old who is a very early riser. He wakes up anytime between 6:00-6:30 a.m. I have a newborn and when my toddler gets up, he often wakes the baby. I was wondering if anyone knows of an alarm clock that lights up. I just want to train him to stay in bed or play quietly in his room until the light comes on. I'd like a clock where I can actually turn off the ringer. I would appreciate any suggestions. Thanks

I have a wonderful lamp with a built in light alarm that gradually gets brighter. It also has a selection of natural sounds (seashore, forest, stream, etc.) that you can set to gradually get louder. You can use the light, the sounds, both, or just the buzzer. I love this thing., and have recommended it to many friends who have loved it. It is not cheap, but great for people who have trouble waking up in winter. (though I know that is not your need.) You can also use it in reverse at bedtime: have the light and/or sounds fade over a half hour. Your child might really like that. I bought it at Real Goods (you can find them online.) anne

I just saw one of these in leaps and bounds catalog: leapsandboundscatalog.com. Not sure whether you can turn off the beeper. Best of luck meg

We use a timer (timex electronic I got at Target) with a night light plugged into it and set it to go on at 7am when she can get out of bed. It's worked wonders for us (and it was cheap!). Catherine

Our child (almost 2 1/2) is also an early riser. Although we have no second baby to worry about, we have been trying to ''train'' him that 7:00 is an acceptable time to wake up. We have an alarm clock in his room that plays CDs, and it is set for 7am. When he wakes, we'll tell him that he can play quietly or look at books until the music starts. He will do this by himself for a little while, until he really wants to interact with us. While my husband or I will still usually go in between 6:30 and 7:00, this is a HUGE improvement over 5:45!!! We're getting there... As for the light-up alarm clocks, I have seen them at Real Goods (www.realgoods.com) in the past. Good luck! Also Early

Wow, 6:00, you lucky dog! It's 5:30 or earlier for us. I know they sell alarm clocks that just light up - try Brookstone or Sharper Image, or some place like that. The light gently gets brighter and brighter - it's supposed to ease you out of sleep. Jen

We had a similar situation with teaching our child that he couldn't come in to our bedroom before a certain time in the morning. What worked for us was to use a night light on one of those timer plugs . The night light was dim enough that it wouldn't wake him if he was still asleep, and the timer plug made it come on for a short period of time in the morning (rather than just come on and then go off again, or flash, or make noise, or whatever...). He now loves his ''bear light.'' Karen

What you want is a dawn simulator. There are various brands out there, and they can be easily found with a Google search. ic

3-year-old wakes up too early!!

May 2009

Our son has always been an early riser, but the 5 am wake up calls are getting ridiculous. He's never seemed to need a lot of sleep - less than the averages. He no longer naps though we have ''quiet time'' after lunch. He is in a twin bed. He gets up at 5 am and comes to us in our bed; one of us escorts him back to his bed, but we then hear him talking to his stuffed animals, getting up to play, walking back to our room...eventually wanting to go into the family room. We cannot lock him in his bed or room and cannot force him to go back to sleep. With the days being longer, it's harder to get him in bed early, but he's usually in bed about 7:30 and asleep by 8. He's a highly sensitive and perceptive child - not sure if he's going thru a transition or experiencing some ''stress''. He used to wake up about 6 or 6:30, which we can certainly handle. Thanks. at a loss

Well, you are not alone. I have two boys, five and 2.5, and their sleep habits are night and day. Both are very sound sleepers, thankfully, but the five year old just doesn't need as much sleep, never has, whereas the younger one would snooze all morning if his brother wasn't rustling around making noise. Like your son, our five year old often gets up at 5am. Sometimes 6:00-6:30am, but that's on a good day. It drives me nuts, but I've found there really isn't a lot that can be done. My older son is also perceptive and sensitive, like yours, so maybe they just need more time to absorb their day. As my son recently said when I asked him why he needed to get up so early, ''I'm an early riser mom, and it gives me more time to play!'' Not sure I can argue with that. And if we force him to stay in his room, he'll just wake up his brother and it would be double trouble. So we set up a routine with my son where he can get himself some yogurt/milk, listen to a cd, read, color or do some kind of activity right outside our bedroom door, but he needs to be quiet and keep to himself until the alarm goes off. We have him set up his am activity the night before, so he isn't rummaging around asking for us to find things in the early morning. By around the age of four (maybe even three?) they can usually catch on to this. My guess is once they start school, they'll need a bit more sleep. And keep on with the early bedtime, we still aim for 7:30pm because we figure he needs the sleep, and he's usually out within minutes. Good luck! Mom to an Early Bird

3-year-old and baby waking at 5:30am

Aug 2005

My 9 month old and now my 3 year old are waking up at 5:30 a.m. and we cannot get them back to sleep. Any ideas??? The 9 month old goes to sleep at 7 and the older one by 8. THANKS! Needing More Sleep

Our two-year-old recently started waking up earlier, so we made a decision we've been fighting for a while: We decided to keep him up later. It was becoming obvious to us that as he's gotten older that he simply needs about an hour less sleep (articles at babycenter.com corroborate this developmentally), especially since he still takes a solid, two-hour nap each day. He's always had a strict 8 p.m. bedtime, but lately, he's just been playing in his crib till 9 anyway.

So, we reluctantly gave up that hour of adult evening time and moved back bedtime. Guess what: it's working! Also, we were surprised that we're really enjoying the extra evening time with him. We both work, so it gives us more time to hang out/play/take a walk before dinner, and allows us to always all sit down for dinner together, rather than rushing early mac and cheese for just our son. Maybe something to consider for your older child... anon

Try putting to sleep at 8 or 8:30 and see if that works. Our kid would wake up like that when we started the 7pm bedding. We switched it to later and he usually wakes up between 6 and 7am. I don't think every baby has to be in bed at 7pm. But, they say they should have about 10 hours sleep each night. You also might want to make sure you have room darkening shades on the window. Some kids are like chickens and wake up with the first sign of daylight. anon

Here's something I successfully did with my 3 year old son, who was also waking up at 5:30am, or sometimes earlier. After reading about other parents who tried this with kids the same age (maybe in the BPN archives?), I got my son a digital clock, and put a piece of tape over the last two digits, leaving only the hour showing. I then taught him to recognize a ''6'', and told him he was not allowed to get up before then. When he did get up earlier, I would just firmly and gently put him back to bed. If he didn't stay, I put him back again. Generally, once I put him back once or twice, he would stay, though he didn't usually fall back to sleep, and sometimes would cry and complain. I decided that 6am had to be my ''line in the sand'' for the sake of my own rest and sanity. It didn't take long for him to learn to recognize a 6 (it was a bit difficult because on a digital clock a 5 and a 6 look very similar). Now, he pretty much never gets out of bed before then, even though he sometimes wakes before then. Instead, he comes bounding into my room at 6:01am (tolerable to me -- though I have thought about setting his clock a little slower every day), happy that he knows he's ''allowed'' to be up. I've heard of parents teaching their kids to wait till 7am, but that's so far away from my son's natural waking up time (which has been 5:30am plus or minus half an hour since he was 3 months old) that I figured getting him to wait till 6am was the best I could do.

I'm afraid I don't have any advice on getting your 9 month old to sleep later. After trying nearly everything I could think of with my son at that age (putting him down earlier, putting him down later, getting blackout curtains) I simply shifted my own bedtime earlier and got up at 5:30am. Diane

4-year-old twins waking too early

Nov 2007

I have twin boys that are 4 years old. I switched rooms and put them in big boy beds six months ago. Probably not a wise idea, one of the boys does not sleep. He still wakes at 4AM ready for the day. They go to sleep about 7:30PM (exhausted at this point)...sleeping in for them is 5:45AM. I've tried putting them to bed later, still up at 4:45AM. I've tried exhausting them...out all the day at the park...still wake up early. I really thought that the ''sleep'' thing would be over although I've heard from many friends that their kids did not sleep until they were around 7...is this true? What am I doing wrong? Too much activity? Does this ever end?? Sleep Deprived

My oldest is 2, so I'm utterly unqualified to answer your question.... but I did want to mention there is a group called Twins by the Bay, for parents of multiples. It has a listserv for members, and might be a good place to post your question for any twin-specific advice. Otherwise, how about teaching your boys what 6:00am looks like on the clock, and telling them they have to play in their own room until that time? -mom of 3 under 3

I would try putting them to bed a lot earlier than 7:30. You could read ''Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child'' by Marc Weissbluth - it's a very helpful book for sleep problems. anon

I have 3 year old twins in beds, so I can relate to the sleep issues you face. It's impossible/hard to force sleep on a kid - but you can ask that they stay in their room until an appropriate hour (of your choice). My kids know this sort of time as ''quiet time.'' I do need to make sure that toys in their room are of the quiet sort.

One friend suggested getting a digital clock and teaching them to identify a specific time in the morning, say 6:30, when they can come out of their room. If they wake up before then, they can play quietly. Kids don't seem to get mad at a clock - it's a neutral party. Good Luck! Twin Mom

Both kids wake too early!

May 2009

I have a 7 year old son and a 2.5 year old daughter. Both are very early risers, often waking as early as 5:30 on a regular basis. Both kids are quite sensitive to all sorts of stimuli, and very light sleepers. I thought my son would grow out of the early wake-ups, but he hasn't very much. We've tried everything over the years- earlier bedtime, later bedtime, more exercise, black out curtains, noise machines, etc. The hard days are when one or both kids are clearly too tired (as am I!)and needed to sleep more, but couldn't. Also tough is missing lots of evening events as a family, because both tire early, and wake earlier when they stay up later for a one-time event. Soon we are moving, and they will be sleeping in the same room, so I'm even more anxious that one will wake the other. If you have any experience with early risers, both how to get them to sleep later if possible, or what to do with them in the early morning, please share! Thanks! - Tired Mama! fj

I have one early waker (now 4) and one I am not sure about (1 yr old). What we do is much of what you have tried - black out shades with stips of cloth on the sides where light can get in, white noise machine, reasonable bedtime -- not too early (as that seems to make it worse) but definately not too late - we go wtih 8pm which works pretty well. For our kids if we need to stretch them to 8pm we read more stories (ie, we get them in the bath early since meltdowns are less like post bath even when super tired). I also don't go in before 6:00. I may get one of those clocks for my older child but right now he has been asleep most days until 6 or later.

Now, the two kids in one room is way, way hard. Doing it and yes they do wake each other up. Unfortunately I think some kids are better at room sharing than others (ie, they are kids that sleep thru stuff). My oldest is doing way better than I ever thought (likes having his sibling in the room) but some days they do wake each other up. For us, 3 bedrooms is currently out of the question....some day perhaps. good luck

This too will pass. I had an early waker for years; then the wake-up time got later and later; by 11 it would be 8:00 or 8:30 if it wasn't necessary to get up earlier for school.

Some children are just more sensitive to the sun than others -- mine had a very seasonal natural cycle.

Take advantage of the early mornings -- you can get into Betty's without a line; the marina is beautiful early in the morning; there is easy parking at museums and hiking trails. In the evening, you have more of a chance to have an adult life than someone with a child who keeps later hours.

If you want to change it, you might try having the children out in bright sunlight in the late afternoon, to try to reset their clocks (a trick for jetlag as well). miss the early mornings

Kids' early morning noise

Oct 2008

My kids share a room and have taken to getting up anywhere between 5:30 and 6:15am every day. They know not to come into our room but they are SO LOUD! They are usually happily playing but in our small house all I hear are doors slamming, kids jumping, talking very loud or screaming. Part of me thinks we just have to deal and get up when they're up. On the other hand I wonder why they can't learn a little respect and quiet down. We've tried verbal reminders and consequences to no avail. What do other people do when their kids get up so early? AS

I keep the tv always tuned to a channel they will watch and have two cups of milk already poured waiting for them in the refrigerator. They only can watch tv before I get out of bed. When I get up the tv goes off. They are amazingly quiet. My kids get up around 6:45. I get up on weekdays at 7 and on weekends I sleep really late...okay, 8 or even 9 (maybe I am up and soaking in the tub reading, but they don't need to know that) !!!!! If your kids are not coming into your room, they are already being respectful. They have no clue re: the noise. -anon

We either wake up as early as the kids or we deal with the noise. Be grateful they are not asking you to make them breakfast at 5:30am. I guess the respectful issue depends on how old your kids are. If they are under 6, wow - just use earplugs and sleep. We regularly have to get up by 6am to give one or both of them a banana or something. not a big issue