How do I get an early riser to sleep in?

Kerry - posted on 02/24/2009 ( 8 moms have responded )




My 4 year old gets up at 5AM a lot of mornings. My baby sleeps in until 8AM, which is when I prefer to get up. I really need the 4 Year-old to sleep in. If he gets up at 5Am, he's an unbearable grouch by about 5PM when I'm trying to get supper going. Making him stay up later thewn his usual 7PM, just tends to make him more grouchy the next day. I can't sleep in and let him get up, because he does all the things he knows he's not allowed to do, including some things that are very dangerous.

How can I get him to adapt to mine and the baby's schedule??


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Anna - posted on 02/27/2009




There is a great book, good night, sleep tight by Kim West. She addresses "early birds" and ways to push back their morning wake up time. Also if he is not napping and melting down around 5pm, I would try to do quiet time in the late afternoon or right before you are starting to prepare dinner. This can be anything from coloring to quietly playing in his room or maybe even include him in dinner preparations as your big boy helper. As far as keeping him safe in the morning I would definetly buy a good gate and put it in his doorway so he can not get out of his room and into things that are unsafe. At least then he will probably starting yelling for you to get up and let you know he is awake and ready to come out of his room. My son's room is at the top of the stairs and we have a gate at his doorway and at the top of the stairs. This prevents him from getting into any trouble and from getting hurt. Thankfully he sleeps from 7pm- 8am. Hope this helps a little. Good Luck to you!

Kerry - posted on 02/27/2009




My biggest problem is not just the time he gets up, it's that he doesn't wake ME up! He sneaks down the stairs and destroys the house. Getting into everything he shouldn't. He has always neede more sleep than others his age, and is usually extremely grumpy between about 4:30PM and his bedtime at 7PM. He's just not getting ENOUGH sleep. It's as dark as I can get it in there, because we also can't hang curtains, or he wrecks them. You can't do time-outs when it's already bedtime, and I don't know what else to do to teach him it's not okay to pull out the curtains. Also, for safety reasons, our 19 month-old sleeps in our bedroom, because Leo is too rough with him if they share a room.

Angie - posted on 02/24/2009




Some of us are just early risers and there really is no way to adjust that. My girls and I get up between 5am and 5:30 every day - even on the weekends. I have tried my whole life to sleep late but I just can't do it! Sorry................

[deleted account]

Make sure he doesn't take a nap during the day and make his room very dark so that no light comes in the windows. If your son goes to bed at 7PM and wakes up at 5AM then he is getting 10 hours of sleep and that may be all that his body needs. Try putting him to bed at a later time. It may take several cranky days but he should adjust to the new schedule. If you put him to bed at 8:00 or 8:30 and he still tries waking up early tell him no it's not time to wake up and keep putting him back to bed until he learns the new routine. On another note, do you think hunger is waking him up? I had to start feeding my son a large snack before bedtime because he was waking up between 4 and 5AM hungry.

Jennifer - posted on 02/24/2009




I have a 4 year old that recently has been going to bed at 8 and getting up at 6:30 ready to play and talk and if we're not careful, wake up his little brother who shares a room with him. We've been in a temporary living situation while my husband does military training so it has been even worse lately. Unfortunately for us, no matter what time he goes to bed at night, his internal alarm goes off at 6:30 and he's raring to go, sometimes more grumpy if we keep him up at night. I have two suggestions - one worked for my girlfriend, and one works for us.

1) Start moving bedtime back by 10 minutes every 3 nights. The body usually won't notice a 10 minute difference and by moving bedtime to 7:10 for 3 nights, then 7:20 for 3 nights, you're acclamating him to staying up later a little at time. When bedtime it where you want it to be, he should have not only adjusted to going to bed 10 mintues later at a time, but hopefully getting up 10 minutes later at a time. It won't get you to 8 AM, but it could at least get you to 6.

2) For us, and when we're at our REAL house, the best thing we've done is put a TV in our bedroom. When my son wanders in at 6:30, he gets to lay by me in bed and watch a cartoon on Playhouse Disney or PBS until 7 when I can at least function. Sometimes he'll fall back asleep for an hour or so, sometimes he only sits still through Curious George and we both have to get up. Either way, he gets a little quality one-on-one time and I get a little extra shut eye.

Kerry - posted on 02/24/2009




The doctors tell me he should nap cuz he's too old and cuz it'll affect his quality of sleep, and stuff like that.

Mostly he doesn't get a nap cuz he has pre-school Tues to Fri afternoons.

Becky - posted on 02/24/2009




Does he nap at all during the day? Maybe a nap in the afternoon would help him to stay up later at night so he would sleep in the next morning. Although my daughter is only 14 months, I've noticed that if I can keep her up until 9:30 or so she will sleep until about 9 the next morning. Sorry I can't help more!

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