Morning struggles - need advice - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 17 Old 02-10-2010, 01:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This morning was an absolute nightmare trying to get our 4yo DS to get up and get ready for the day. Nearly every morning he does take a few minutes to get up but this morning, I had to literally pick him up and place him on the floor. He was fighting me non stop. Finally, I had to walk out to cool off and asked him to start getting dressed himself.

He goes to be around 9:30pm each night. He has some warm milk, watches a bit of the Sprout channel, story time and then lights out. Should we knock out the TV before bedtime altogether? Move back his bedtime a bit? Any other suggestions you might have?

The thing is, when he 'sleeps in' (the days that DH takes him to school during the week), it's only until 7am which is another 30 mins past the time that I need for him to get up and start getting ready. Should I start waking him up earlier than 6:30am so that we both don't feel so rushed and things go smoother?

I would rather not have the fighting and aggrivation in the morning and enjoy our time together before we both head off to school and work. He apologized later for acting the way he did and I apologized for getting upset but explained why he made Mommy upset and seemed to understand.

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#2 of 17 Old 02-10-2010, 01:51 PM
 
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A typical "how much sleep do kids need?" schedule would say he needs more than that. Most kids I know who are even 5-6 years old, if they are getting up at 6:30 go to sleep between 7:30 and 8. I know some kids need less. Is he also napping well each day? That seems to be the only way he'd get his approx. 11 hours.

I do generally think if you are waking a child, he is not getting his needed sleep.
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#3 of 17 Old 02-10-2010, 01:51 PM
 
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I would move his bedtime up to 7:30 if he needs to get up by 6:30. I think a 4 year old is supposed to be getting 11 hours of sleep a night. You will need to do it gradually. I am not at all sure that will solve your a.m. troubles though. We have lots of a.m. troubles at our house too, and we go to bed at 7 pm every night! However, it might help because he won't be so tired. Good luck!
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#4 of 17 Old 02-10-2010, 02:23 PM
 
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Sleep is tricky because a person who is chronically not getting enough sleep has more trouble sleeping, can't fall asleep or wakes up before fully rested. So it is very easy for it to seem like a person is getting enough sleep because they can't fall asleep earlier or they wake up on their own. If your ds is not napping a couple hours in addition to the 9 hours at night I'd either try to have him nap or get more sleep at night. Give it time because he won't necessarily be able to just start sleeping more until he has been sleeping more. Tricky business...

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#5 of 17 Old 02-10-2010, 02:26 PM
 
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Is he napping? If not, his bedtime should probably be earlier.

I'd try an earlier bedtime and then gradually waking him up earlier. And when I'm doing drop offs, I get myself and everything else completely ready before I wake the kids so I can focus on them.
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#6 of 17 Old 02-10-2010, 02:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The general sleep rule for a 4yo (that I've heard) is 10 to 11 hours per day. He sleep from 9:30 to 6:30 - that's 9 hours and then he takes an hour to a two hour nap at preschool each day - so overall, he's getting the right amount of sleep that he needs for his age. He still takes naps on the weekends, too. And during that time, we let him stay up a little later and he always sleeps in until 8 - so again, he's still getting the right amount of sleep...

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#7 of 17 Old 02-10-2010, 02:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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[QUOTE=Alyantavid;15052384]Is he napping? If not, his bedtime should probably be earlier.

I'd try an earlier bedtime and then gradually waking him up earlier. And when I'm doing drop offs, I get myself and everything else completely ready before I wake the kids so I can focus on them.[/QUOTE]

I do the same thing. I get up at 6am and by the time 6:30 rolls around, I'm showered, dressed, make up - the only thing that needs to be done is drying my hair and I take care of that while DS is having breakfast.

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#8 of 17 Old 02-10-2010, 03:14 PM
 
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I'd try moving his bedtime back an hour and see what happens. The "average" sleep needed for a 4 year old is 10-11 hours, yes. DD still at 5.5 yrs old requires *exactly* 10 hours of sleep. She simply won't sleep more than that, no matter what time she's been put down, how tired she is, etc. and has been this way for at least 2 years. DS on the other hand is our sleep child. Until he was partway through 6 yrs, his ideal schedule was 11 to 12 hrs of sleep at night and a 1 hour nap during the day. Granted he wakes often at night which may contribute to that, but if you look at adults it's the same concept. I know some people who simply must have 8 hrs sleep to function, others who can comfortably skate by on 6 or less. Thinking back, when I was kid at least until 4th or 5th grade my bedtime was 8pm and I got up at 6:30. I'd try moving his bedtime back for a week and see if it makes a difference.
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#9 of 17 Old 02-10-2010, 04:14 PM
 
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While he may be getting the right quantity of sleep, he may not be getting the best quality of sleep. Uninterrupted sleep before 12 am is of better quality than that after 12 am. Can't remember the source of that off hand.

I WOH, so, I'm pressed to get my 4 year old daughter to bed by 7:30pm if I've only arrived home at 6:30 and 9 times out of 10 my SAHD husband has not prepared dinner. In fact, it's pretty much impossible for me. We're able to be a bit lax, though, so, we generally do not wake her in the morning and she just arrives to school late most days. Once we discovered that this would not disrupt the classroom, I was open to letting her sleep in. We still have struggles some days, though.

I would take out the pre-bedtime TV. If he's going to bed at 9:30 - he's not asleep at 9:30, but some time after that. So, he's actually getting a bit less sleep than 9 hours every night - give or take, for sure. TV may indeed ramp him up a bit, with the flashing screen and all, and delay him actually falling asleep. My daughter does see some TV, but not during the evenings generally (unless papi is watching This Old House). I would keep his nighttime routine as relaxing as possible to promote restfullness. Also, watching TV before bed can promote a less restful sleep for our little ones. When my daughter has seen a movie in the afternoon or evening, she has often had dreams that she has awakened from.

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#10 of 17 Old 02-10-2010, 04:21 PM
 
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My kids stay up pretty late, but if they had to be up at 6:30 am, I would make sure they went to bed no later than 8 pm. I don't know, I guess it just sounds super early, that I imagine regardless of how early one went to bed it mght be difficult to get up then (I'm a night owl, though, so anything before 9 am is hard on me).

He could just need 11-12 hours in a row. I would probably cut out the tv watching to see if it helps, and then try to ge him in bed earlier (I know, easier said than done).

Good luck!

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#11 of 17 Old 02-11-2010, 08:36 AM
 
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When we have to be somewhere very early, I either have them sleep in their clothes (if something comfy is appropriate to wear the next day) or pack the clothes in the car. I put shoes and no-mess breakfast food in the car -- string cheese, water, a fairly neat fruit. I then just carry them downstairs and put them in the car and go. They can chew dental gum and brush hair when we get there.
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#12 of 17 Old 02-11-2010, 11:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, we tried the earlier bedtime last night and that seemed to work a little bit. He got in to bed around 8:20 or so, watched one show and then the TV was turned off and I read him a story. He didn't fuss that the TV was being turned off and enjoyed the story. No fighting to get up this morning, but it still took several requests for him to get up and get ready - but NOTHING like yesterday morning!

Thanks for all of the suggestions and advice. MUCH appreciated!

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#13 of 17 Old 02-11-2010, 01:58 PM
 
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Glad this morning was quite a bit better.

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#14 of 17 Old 02-11-2010, 09:53 PM
 
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Definitely more sleep. I would put him to bed as early as you need to so you don't have to wake him in the morning (so he is waking naturally/on his own with enough time for you/him to get ready).

My DS (6.5) goes to bed by 7:30pm, and wakes on his own btwn 6-6:30am.
DD (4) still takes a nap some days and goes to bed between 7-8pm typically, and wakes at 6:30-7am. On days that she naps for 1-2 hours in the afternoon, bedtime is still no later than 8:30pm.
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#15 of 17 Old 02-12-2010, 11:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by MAMom View Post
Definitely more sleep. I would put him to bed as early as you need to so you don't have to wake him in the morning (so he is waking naturally/on his own with enough time for you/him to get ready).

My DS (6.5) goes to bed by 7:30pm, and wakes on his own btwn 6-6:30am.
DD (4) still takes a nap some days and goes to bed between 7-8pm typically, and wakes at 6:30-7am. On days that she naps for 1-2 hours in the afternoon, bedtime is still no later than 8:30pm.
Putting him to be any earlier than 8pm leaves almost no time for us to spend together one-on-one or family. I don't get home with him from pre-school until 6:15 sometimes 6:30. Then it's dinner (family time), bathtime and then that would leave very little play time. I'm a full time, WOHM, so my time alone with him is precious. Sure, there are the weekends, but we all know how those fly by.

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#16 of 17 Old 02-12-2010, 02:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by busymama77 View Post
Putting him to be any earlier than 8pm leaves almost no time for us to spend together one-on-one or family. I don't get home with him from pre-school until 6:15 sometimes 6:30. Then it's dinner (family time), bathtime and then that would leave very little play time. I'm a full time, WOHM, so my time alone with him is precious. Sure, there are the weekends, but we all know how those fly by.
Yes, but that is the price we have to pay to have a happy family. Unfortunately a child's sleep does trump family time. I truly do understand where you are coming from.

My schedule has been that same - at home by 6:30, 2 kids, need to get dinner, and then bed by (goal) 7:30, reality is more like 8-8:30. And I do it by myself because DH is at work. At least when I had that schedule there were only 3 days a week that were that late. But it is stressful and stinks to not have time with your kids. Dinner on those nights was always a reheat of leftovers - whatever I could warm up quickly. Some nights I let them have cereal if that is what they really wanted. And we did not do baths every night. There was just no time.

Right now, my work schedule is different, and I tell you they days I am home by 5 with the kids is like a dream compared to the days I was getting home at 6:30. I still feel that I don't have time with them, but at least the evening is usually (but not always) less stressful.

The almost 6 year old goes to bed first, then the 2 year old plays for a bit while I clean up the kitchen and dining room. Then about an hour later, she is ready for bed. The 2 year old still takes naps at school. On days she is home, there is no napping, and she usually goes to bed shortly after dd1 rather than an hour or hour and a half later. If she was home, she probably would no longer nap. But I cannot handle an earlier bed time for her on days she is in school (M-F), so I'd rather her nap and have a later bed time if that means she is happy in the evening, rather than being tired, and having even less time in the evening due to needing an even earlier bedtime.
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#17 of 17 Old 02-12-2010, 02:31 PM
 
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I understand wanting the family time. I briefly took a job once and was so upset that my son was going to bed at 6 pm instead of 8 pm because he needed that much more sleep.

The kicker, I wasn't getting off until 6 pm, and having to wake him up, feed him dinner and put him right back to bed. It lasted a week... BUT... I agree, with that hour earlier in bed, sounds like he needs more sleep.

You can encorperate the "family time" and turn it in to the bedtime routine.

Dinner, bathing, brushing etc. Then sit together, calmy and comfortably as a family and read together. Go ahead and cut out the tv (it can make the brain "wake up" a lot more than you think), I bet in a few days you'll see even more improvement.

My husband gets home at 8. My kids go to bed at 9. Which is an improvement over when we sent DS to school. Often times, the kids would be in bed around 7:30, and not even see their dad at night. Sometimes ds wouldn't see dh all week because ds left before dh got up, and then went to sleep before dh got home. It SUCKED, but it was either that, or daily arguments.

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