How to get my 4-year-old dd to wake up later in the morning - Mothering Forums
Co-sleeping and the Family Bed > How to get my 4-year-old dd to wake up later in the morning
gigima's Avatar gigima 09:12 PM 09-13-2011

My dd is turning 4 end of sept and her wake up time has started moving earlier since almost 2 months ago. I can't think of any reason for the change as her sleep routine stays the same. Her bedtime routine starts around 7.45pm and she would usually fall asleep by 8.30pm. She used to wake up around 7.30am which is just right for us to prepare her to pre-school. But for the past 2 months she wakes up at 6.30am and can't go back to sleep. This is not good for our family as she can't keep quiet once she's awake and she will wake her 1-year-old sister up. She sleeps on her own bed in our bedroom next to our bed so I can't sleep when she's awake and I'll be tired the whole day from waking up early. She stopped taking naps since June and she gets cranky in the late afternoons (around 4-5pm) because she's tired and dinner time is more difficult as well. I need advice on how to get her back to wake up later in the morning. Thanks.

Mom31's Avatar Mom31 08:10 AM 09-14-2011

I think possibly giving her a half hour later bed time? Or making it a rule she can not get out of bed until 7:30 and must be quiet like a mouse till then and maybe she can fall back to sleep. You could put a digital clock up by her bed and teach her the ok time to wake up and explain to her why. Than when she sees the time is not right go back to sleep. You could make it like a game.But unfortunately this may just be one of those phases that will pass and will tire you out during.


reezley's Avatar reezley 08:22 AM 09-14-2011

Sleeping 8:30 - 6:30 for an almost-4yo is not unreasonable, depending on the kid.  They do tend to need a little less sleep as they get older. My older ds (6yo) has been on about that schedule for the past couple years.  Or, your dd may just be in a less-sleep phase, and then maybe during a growth spurt or something she'll need some more sleep again. 


In your situation, to encourage sleeping in as much as possible, I would make the room as dark as you can, maybe add some white noise in case there are morning sounds that wake her (or you).  Also, less water before bedtime could help, if having to pee in the morning is waking her up.  A later bedtime might not work if you have the kind of kid (my ds1!) who wakes up early no matter what time he goes to bed.   Anyway, I wouldn't really count on sleeping in -  I would just have a quiet activity and morning snack set up so she could get up and out of the room quietly and wait for others to wake up.  In our house usually the quiet activity is TV in the living room....  but a nice array of new library books has also done the trick when I've set that up.  


gigima's Avatar gigima 09:32 PM 09-19-2011

A later bedtime won't help as she tends to wake up about the same time no matter what time she goes to bed. Once she's awake she wants to checkout the kitchen and fridge to find herself a snack and make herself a warm drink. That's when I have to wake up and help her and stop her from messing around in the kitchen. It's also hard to get her to play quietly without disturbing others unless I turn on the TV.  I let her watch TV on weekend mornings but I don't think it's a good idea when she needs to get ready for preschool. How can I encourage her to read books/draw or do something quietly by herself? She always come to me for help after a few minutes and it's driving us crazy!

berry987's Avatar berry987 07:07 AM 09-20-2011

Sorry, no advice. My 6yo used to wake up around 7am and for over two years has gotten up at 6am, sometimes 5:45am. His 4yo brother wakes about 7:30 every morning. And his 2yo brother, well, he wakes whenever the heck he wants (anytime between 5am-7am). I think it's very normal for kids to fluctuate and I'm not sure there is much to be done about it, besides go to bed earlier ourselves so we are rested for whatever time they wake. My 6yo is old enough now that he doesn't wake us when he gets up on the weekends - he goes downstairs, pours himself some milk, and turns on cartoons. But that has only happened in the past 6 months or so. Over the summer we gave him a clock and told him to stay in his bed and look through books until 7am, but his 2yo brother was usually up anyway, so that didn't last long.