What do you do at 4am? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 02-12-2005, 11:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Or 5am or 5:30am when your dc wakes up and wants to stay awake. Our dd use to do this only rarely and then one of us would get up with her for 30min or an hour (she usual would want to eat) and then she would come right back to bed with us. Lately, in the last month or so, dd gets up consistently between 4-5am and is awake for the day. She does take a 40 min nap or so between 6-7am so I know she needs more sleep, but she just can't seem to do it between 4-6am. No amount of nursing gets her back to sleep. Walking in the dark only makes her scream (she wants to walk, play with the cat, read books). She wakes up happy, ready to start her day -- we want sleep! We really can't move her bedtime -- she goes to bed at 8pm. She is exhausted by then; Her bedtime routine is great and I would hate to mess with it. I just need some advice on how to get her back to sleep. Our preference would be for her to sleep until 6am, but right now I'd settle for 5:30am.
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#2 of 12 Old 02-13-2005, 12:25 AM
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So far, ds has only woken up fully in the middle of the night a few times and if we just lay there and (wishfully) pretend to be asleep, he will eventually fall back asleep, after some tossing and turning and crawling around.
He definitely awakens in response to light, so if the room is totally dark, he will re=settle. If there's some light, he wants to go exploring, so I am not looking forward to summer when the sun rises really early! Time to get those totally light-proof blinds...

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#3 of 12 Old 02-13-2005, 02:34 AM
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I totally feel your pain, Alicia!!! I feel like I could have written this post! Its 6:30 a.m. Swedish time and I've been up for an hour and a half already! I wish I knew what to do to keep ds sleeping longer, but somewhere between 5 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. seems to be his wake up time (oh how I long for the 8 a.m. wake up he used to have during his first 4 months!!!!). He usually goes to bed between 6 and 7 pm. There is no way I can get him to go later.... If I do, he gets overtired and then we have the banshee baby!!

I have a feeling that this is just the time he wakes up and that's all there is to it. He does wake up very grumpy, tho, which makes me think he could sleep more, but nothing I do can soothe him back to sleep. So, I just sing him happy songs until he smiles. What's a mom to do?
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#4 of 12 Old 02-13-2005, 08:33 AM
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Wow - I'm sitting here at 6:30 AM, having been awake with my ds since 5 AM b/c that is when he thinks his day needs to start! I've been doing what you do, which is play (quietly and gently) with him for a half hour or so, and then I can get him to go back down for a bit. Right now I'm happy with the 5 am wake-up, as a few times it has been even earlier - like 3 or 4 am. Yikes! I have found that I need to work at his afternoon naptime. If he doesn't get a good afternoon nap, then he will go to bed too early in the evening. BUT - he hates to nap in the day, especially the afternoon, so I've been having issues with this. Since he is so young - only 4 months - I'm still trying to just go with the flow...

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#5 of 12 Old 02-16-2005, 12:29 AM
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I would try putting your dc to bed *earlier,* not later. Often babies and children will sleep longer if their bedtime is earlier, but that does frequently apply to older babies/toddlers.
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#6 of 12 Old 02-16-2005, 07:19 AM
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No suggestions, just sympathy. 4:15 a.m. and we've been up for 45 minutes. This is earlier than usual. She normally wakes up between 5-6:30. I find no matter how I tweak bedtime or naps, DD (6 months) wakes up when she's ready. I just go with the flow and figure I eventually get enough sleep through naps and an early bedtime. But now she's letting me know she's ready for more sleep, so we're off to the rocker!
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#7 of 12 Old 02-19-2005, 07:17 AM
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funny you should ask... i am washing wool now at 4:16 am. ben decided its time to be up. but i think he may fade quickly.......
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#8 of 12 Old 02-20-2005, 12:58 AM
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My bedroom is childproof. I have 3 kids, two of whom not only nightwake but keep one another up. When they're up to stay, I turn on a soft light and let them play while I doze. Not sleep, because they're climbing on me and giggling, but I'm not so resentful when I am not out of bed. Often they'll fall back to sleep after a bit. Then my husband gets home from work at 8am and comes in and says, "Wow, it's great that the kids let you sleep in today!"

My 3yo used to wake every night from 2-5am, and I worked third shift a few nights a week. I literally couldn't stay awake. You're not even supposed to cosleep when you're as tired as I was, but crib sleeping never worked for us, so I started the let baby play routine then, sans light.

I have a hard time falling asleep, but I'm gradually moving my bedtime earlier, because I know that by the time summer comes, I'm just going to have to get up with them at dawn. I can't wait til they're old enough to get up and play by themselves!

I would also add, I have in the past been known to set the tv to PBS at bedtime and put out dry cereal and sippy cups of water so that in the morning I can stumble into the living room and collapse on the couch, esp. if I'm sick and the kids are sick, teething, or otherwise up most of the night. Not the best solution, but it works for us occasionally.
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#9 of 12 Old 02-21-2005, 05:30 PM
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Charlie likes to wake up between 4 and 5 am. If we are lucky he will make it to 5:30 am. He's been that way since birth.

The only thing we do is take turns every other morning on who gets up with him and who gets to sleep in.

Sometimes he just needs a new diaper and a bottle (after already having 2 or 3 during the night, this kid can eat!) the it's back off to sleep in our arms. But, most of the time he's up for the morning and he either wants to play or snuggle.

Not the best answer but it's working. If you do find a way to get them to sleep in I'm VERY interested in hearing about it.
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#10 of 12 Old 02-21-2005, 05:35 PM
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usually I ask DH to get up with him.. if that doesn't work (it has once or twice) I get up and put bryce in a sling and walk around.. usually he goes back to sleep pretty quickly..
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#11 of 12 Old 02-21-2005, 09:39 PM
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My son has always been an early riser, we are usually up for the day by 5:30am and he's 27 months old. If he gets up before 5:30, I usually lay him down and tell him it's still night night time and *usually* he'll settle down or just play in the bed. Now that he's older, I'll let him get up and play on his own, but he rarely gets up before 5:30am now.

I know how tough it is to adjust to those early morning hours ... but I honestly never found anything to "solve" it. Like I thought maybe if I moved his bedtime back a little bit that would make him sleep later ... nope. No matter what time he goes to bed, he's up at the same time.

Guess I didn't help much. :LOL I never did find a solution ... boy, some days I'd love to sleep till 6am. Maybe someday soon ... a girl can hope. :LOL

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#12 of 12 Old 02-22-2005, 12:26 AM
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I go running/walking with DS in the stroller. Actually, DS would probably naturally get up between 5a and 6a but I like to go running while DH goes swimming. We try to get up and out by 5am. My DS also needs an early morning nap. He usually naps around 7a or 8a. I still wish he would sleep in on weekends but he only ever sleeps untill about 5:30 since he's used to getting up at 4:45-5a. I try to go to bed around 8p or with DS around 7p. I think its hard to change those internal clocks, but if you really want her to sleep later you might have to keep her up later than usual, which will probably make a grumpy DC for a couple of days and even then there's no guarantee.
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