Early Rising Kids, But You're Not? - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-21-2008, 06:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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For those of you who are NOT morning people, but have kids who are up at the crack of dawn.. what do you do?

My kids are up at 6am. My husband gets up, changes diapers, gets them drinks, and settles them on the couch to watch TV. They watch and play while he gets ready, and he wakes me up anywhere between 7:30am and 8am. If I'm really tired, I'll lie on the couch until about 9am, when the kids finally start to get hungry. On really good days (or days when we have something planned) I can get up and shower right at 8am.

I really don't like that the TV is on for at least 2.5, but sometimes a little over 3 hours each morning. They're not vegging out, most of the time they're running back and forth between the living room and playroom, doing their thing.. but still. I also feel like I'm wasting a lot of time when I could be up and cleaning or getting us ready and out of the house early.

I do go to bed relatively early.. usually around 10pm. We're done with the kids' bedtime around 8:30-9pm, and I like to have at least a *little* bit of time to spend with my husband.

So.. what do you do when your kids are up but you can barely open your eyes? How can I either a) wake myself up, or b) at least stop relying on the TV in the mornings?

Thanks!

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Old 02-21-2008, 06:20 PM
 
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My DD has an alarm clock in her room - until the alarm goes off she has to stay in her room and play quietly there!
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Old 02-21-2008, 06:29 PM
 
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I'd probably try to move their bedtime earlier by about 15 minutes a day or so. If you're getting done with bedtime at 8:30 or 9:00, that is only 9 1/2 to 10 hours of sleep a night (assuming they are actually asleep at 8:30 or 9:00). You may find that when they're getting to bed sooner, they sleep a bit later.
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Old 02-21-2008, 07:54 PM
 
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DS, 6 and DD 3 are early risers.. DD is the worst.. sometimes 5:45.. DS will play quietly in his room until 7:30. He has a digital clock and we started around age 3 1/2 to teach him what time it was and what time it had to be for him to come out of his room (unless it was an emergency etc.. just saying "I'm awake now" didn't count.. lol)
DD is just beginning to get the whole idea. She will usually stay in her room and play with her dolls or read a book. Getting her there is a slow process..

Changing bedtimes..sooner or later.. naps or no naps.. made no difference for my kids..
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Old 02-21-2008, 08:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, the kids both nap, though my 4 year old is in the process of dropping it. The little one usually naps for at least two hours, and on good days my oldest does, too.

We used to do bedtime around 7:00-7:30pm, but my husband has been coming home around 7:30pm at least 3 days a week lately.

Any of our plans have to be appropriate for my 2.5 year old as well, as they're pretty much inseperable. They share a room (no other choice) and they wake up within minutes of each other usually, even if the other is super quiet. I don't think my 2.5 year old would be able to just stay in their bedroom and play quietly.. especially since my 4 year old has a loft bed. The little one is pretty good about it, but I don't really like them to be in there unsupervised (or without me actually conscious ).

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Old 02-21-2008, 09:50 PM
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Have you been checked by a health care provider recently? It sounds like you're getting 10-11 hours of sleep a night, and it's unusual (although not unheard of) for a healthy adult to need that much sleep. Are you more tired now because of your pregnancy, so this is a temporary issue?

Would you be able to wake up earlier if you napped for an hour with the kids?

It sounds like this is the amount of sleep your kids need, so getting them to sleep in later would involve putting them to bed later...

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Old 02-21-2008, 10:16 PM
 
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well, i definately share that problem with u. No matter how late my girl goes to bed, she will still wake up around 7 or earlier. but my roomate has a daughter as well and so they just play in the mornings while i snooze. i feel bad not waking up with her, but i am a grumpy mama with out rest. I am also an insomniac and so it makes it hard to go to bed at night.
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Old 02-21-2008, 11:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Dar View Post
Have you been checked by a health care provider recently? It sounds like you're getting 10-11 hours of sleep a night, and it's unusual (although not unheard of) for a healthy adult to need that much sleep. Are you more tired now because of your pregnancy, so this is a temporary issue?

Would you be able to wake up earlier if you napped for an hour with the kids?

It sounds like this is the amount of sleep your kids need, so getting them to sleep in later would involve putting them to bed later...

dar
I think I'm getting just enough sleep. I get into bed at 10 (though there are nights like last night when it was midnight), and out of bed at 8, but because of taking time to actually fall asleep, all my night wakings (peeing, arms falling asleep, etc) and the fact that between 6am and 8am I'm only lightly dozing, I think I really only get about 8 hours of sleep. Before I got pregnant, I was going to sleep between midnight-1am and waking at the same time, but sleeping through.

I'm not really looking for them to sleep later, I'm looking more for ideas to help me be able to wake up and get moving earlier, or advice on how to reduce the TV use in the morning.

-Rachel
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Old 02-22-2008, 12:49 AM
 
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I've got four early risers in my house and the solution that I came up with was they have to go to bed earlier so I can go to bed earlier. If I can get in bed by 9 PM, then I am totally o.k. getting up and starting the day at 6.

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Old 02-22-2008, 12:51 AM
 
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We do something similar. I used to be a very early riser pre-DC, I got up for years at 4:30am to go to work, *shudder*, and DD1 has always been an early riser. I dealt with it when she was a baby/toddler, but now that she is 5, I don't so well. Years of insomnia and frequent nightwakings have taken their toll. DD2 sleeps in to between 7-8am, and so do I, I get up when she gets up. DD1 and DH sleep in another room from DD2 and I. They wake up around 6am, DD1 watches TV until I wake up. I do get moving right away, only because I rely on a very large pot of coffee that I set the timer for the night before, so all I have to do is stumble downstairs. Once I've ingested a cup then I can function and work on getting the TV off. Some days that is easier said then done.


I've been trying to get DH NOT to turn on the TV, after all DD1 doesn't watch TV while I get ready, she sits in the bathroom/bedroom with me and we talk. Dh doesn't quite get how he is supposed to get ready and take care of DD1 without the aid of TV.

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Old 02-22-2008, 12:52 AM
 
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is it the actual waking up part or the getting moving part?

For the wake up, a very loud alarm clock, or bed shaker alarm designed for Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

If you know someone who wakes early and is willing to keep calling you on the phone until they know you are up and about. (my hubby does this for me... he complains alot and tells me I really need to start getting up on my own, he does it though and I'm really grateful)

for the getting up and going part, shower or bathe 1st thing, rub body vigorously with towel to get the skin stimulated, brush teeth don't wait until a little later. Get dressed, and not in sweats either, make it something that's not real comfortable to lounge around in.

TV reduction... I'll be honest I don't really know how to get rid of that one, I let the boys turn it on 1st thing until I'm ready to function as a member of society and actually talk instead of grunting.
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Old 02-22-2008, 09:31 PM
 
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My daughter (age 3) often wakes up before the sun, or right as dawn breaks. She can now turn on the light in the living room (we bought an extender) so I tell her to go in the living room, turn on the light and play. Whenever dh gets up (or ds and I) she has breakfast. We don't turn on the tv until at least dh has gone for the day (unless there is snow, and then to check the road conditions.)

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Old 02-22-2008, 09:46 PM
 
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Both my younger girls 4 and 2, get up around 5am every day. They go to bed at 7pm so that can't get any earlier, and extending it later doesn't change it either and makes the day really hard as they don't nap anymore.

I'm not sure how others can go to sleep after their little ones are up. maybe my kiddos are just different, but I could never fall back to sleep after they are awake. They just aren't safe if I'm sleeping.

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Old 02-23-2008, 09:10 PM
 
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My daughter is also an early riser and I most definitely am not. During the week we do all get up at the same times since we have to get ready for school but weekends are a different story.

I like to sleep later on the weekends than she does so she's free to get up and do her own thing. I put out a snack tray with breakfasty things and a cup for her to get her own water (we have a dispenser) so that she won't be hungry.
I also lay out a craft project that she can work on as she's very art/craft inclined and she doesn't watch TV.

She gets up, goes to the bathroom, gets dressed, snacks and makes things until we get up.

I can't help with getting up earlier as I don't do that myself! Could you lay out things for them to do the night before?
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Old 02-23-2008, 09:15 PM
 
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I'm not sure how others can go to sleep after their little ones are up. maybe my kiddos are just different, but I could never fall back to sleep after they are awake. They just aren't safe if I'm sleeping.
Maybe it has to do with the layout of our house, but I trust dd not to do something dangerous. Of course our bedroom does open up onto the living room and we share a wall with the kitchen. She really enjoys playing with her Little People and cars so she usually just plays quietly making up stories with them.

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Old 02-23-2008, 09:45 PM
 
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My Dh co sleeps and wakes up with my 3.5 year old anywhere from 5-7. while me and my 2 year old sleep till 8-9. Dh also puts a movie on for her while he gets ready in the morning and has a coffee. I feel like a ton of bricks and get a headache if I do have to wake up early, but a coffee and glass of water somewhat do the trick
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Old 02-24-2008, 12:54 AM
 
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For those of you who are NOT morning people, but have kids who are up at the crack of dawn.. what do you do?
Suffer. And drink lots of coffee! That's how I cope. I should go back and see what other people do.
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Old 02-24-2008, 03:10 AM
 
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Actually, I did something very similar to what you're doing. When my kids were early-rising toddlers I kept them in my kid-safe bedroom while I snoozed and they played until I was ready to get up for the day. As my kids got older I either asked them to stay in their room and play quietly until I was ready to get up, or allowed them to get up and get breakfast and start their day with out me.

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Old 02-24-2008, 03:21 AM
 
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Well, I have to get up early on weekdays for work. So that's not an issue. But I would love to sleep in a bit on weekends. I have convinced ds to snuggle in bed with me when he wakes up. He usually gets up a little before 6:00 and climbs into bed with me. He snuggles with me until it starts to get light out. The he sits up, asks, "Is it daytime?" and when I say "yes" he bounds out of bed and I reluctantly follow. I'm not looking forward to longer days and it getting lighter earlier!

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Old 02-24-2008, 02:37 PM
 
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I am glad I am not the only one who needs a lot of sleep. I have roughly the same hours and I was worried that something is wrong with me.
In the morning I usually lay on the couch while she plays or I hold a doll and make it talk a little while she does most of the talking with her doll. I find that I can relax enough while pretending to sip stuff that she pretends to make because the process takes so long that I am usually only sipping something every five minutes or so. Clay, water color paints, legos, and k-nex are all really nice activities that keep her very involved so I can actually dose off a little.
On days when I have to be up early to I have to sit and drink a cup of coffee over about a ten or fifteen minute time period and then I can function. If you don't drink coffee you might try drinking a cup of tea or something else slowly, I find it is like a trigger for my body to get up even if it doesn't wake me up totally.
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Old 02-28-2008, 03:04 AM
 
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Embarassed to admit it, but my son has been able to get himself (and now his sister) breakfast since he was 3. It didn't happen as often then as it seems to now -- guess now that he's so competent and his sister is almost 4 I feel like I can chill out more.

Yogurt/milk/soymilk and cereal most days he found himself hungry before either one of us were up, but yogurt easily acquired from the fridge, his set of china is in a low drawer, silverware drawer in reach, and cereal a short climbing adventure easily accomplished. Once he was older (and taller) toast with butter and jam was added to his/their list of options. or we'd bake cornbread to go with chili for dinner, double the recipe, and have muffins for breakfast.

At this point, he makes us breakfast sometimes (he's 7). he sets the table nicely, puts the syrup in the pitcher and warms it in the microwave, and has "pretend soup" so he could "read" his own recipe even though he couldn't read. Now he saves waffle recipes offline and puts them into a binder. He has been making oatmeal for himself for a couple of years now (although only recently without me in the room all the time).

He's made pancakes, and come to think of it dinner too -- he makes awesome roasted potatoes! but I digress-- enough with me that he's competent around the stove, tho we've talked and agreed that he can only use the stove after waking me and letting me know, so I'm awake and available if there's trouble. So far, so good.

These days, hubby helps out or supervises the breakfast process, but on days he can't and I'm not up, ds is more than capable. As I said, 95% of the time, it's cereal or toast.

One thing I'd recommend is set them up with an audiobook. Libraries have lots -- especially if you visit more than the one in your town to expand your options. My kids have listened to things like My Father's Dragon, Wind and the willows, wizard of oz, dr. doolittle, pippi longstocking, etc. and sometimes I get ed emberly drawing books, or other "Draw woodland creatures" type books and put them with their colored pencils, etc so they can draw while they listen. the other morning they were playing trouble. Maybe put out play dough with tools for them on the table the night before. or rotate through some craft or art supplies -- watercolors clean up pretty easily and is a good unsupervised craft.

My kids don't seem to sleep in even if they were up late unless it's been days of being up late. otherwise they're up between 7 and 8 (usually by 7:30). Hubby leaves for work by 8:30 and I'm usually up by 9, tho lately staying in bed til 9:30 or 10. but that's my fault because I can't seem to sleep these days and am up til 3, 4, 5 am. ugh!

Anyway, good luck!

Siouxbee
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