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4yr old DS waking too early, cranky all day

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hi wise mamas. I could sure use some suggestions. DS is 4.75 and shares a room with his 6yo sister. They both go to sleep around 8.30., and she sleeps through the night almost every night. He usually wakes up between 1am and 6am and climbs into our bed. We have no issues with this except sometimes he tosses and turns and doesn't actually go back to sleep, and keeps us awake too. On a good day he wakes at 7.15 or 7.30 after sleeping all night in his own bed, and is a generally happy child.. Most nights, though, he has been waking up between 5.20 and 6.30 and therefore not getting enough sleep, especially compounded over several weeks. This makes for a challenging day, as he starts to get very upset over small things that on a normal day he would be able to handle. Transitions, even with lots of warning, are near impossible, so it is very difficult to go anywhere, like pick up Dd from school, or bring him to preschool, etc, or get him to brush teeth, change clothes, etc. It gets very frustrating.

I thought for sure it was the sunshine coming into his room early in the morning and last week put up black out fabric over both our and the kids' bedroom windows. It seemed to work well for about 4 days, but this morning he woke up at 5.20. He came into our bed and tried to fall asleep, but tossed and turned until about 6.30 when he asked to get up. It's not a hunger issue because he generally doesn't eat until about 7.30 or even 8am.

Any suggestions? Not sure what to do. I suppose trying for an earlier bedtime is an option? However, I don't want him to start waking up for the day at 4am!
post #2 of 4

I was going to suggest black-out drapes, but I see you tried that.


What about a later bedtime? Is he sleepy at 8:30pm or could he stay up a bit longer? 

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thanks. I sit in their room and wait for them to fall asleep. It generally takes 2-5 min, so I'm assuming it's not too early. Also, I'm figuring he needs 10.5-11 hours of sleep, and putting him to bed later would mean getting less than that. . . He would need to get up at 8 at the very latest to get ready for preschool/get his sister to school.
post #4 of 4

I would suggest making the bedtime earlier by 20 minutes and if he falls asleep well and doesn't get up any earlier than usual try making 20 minutes earlier again. Keep doing this until he can't fall asleep easily or starts getting up earlier. The other thing to try is a 'rest hour' in the middle of the day. We do this with DS and although he doesn't sleep he seems to really need it. We get long stories on CD from the library for him to listen to. Can't help on the night wakings. DS does the same thing but usually goes back to sleep OK in our bed. If he gets really restless DH usually goes and sleeps in DS's bed which gives everyone a bit more room. Not really a long term solution though. Good luck

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Mothering › Mothering Forums › Baby › Co-sleeping and the Family Bed › 4yr old DS waking too early, cranky all day