Toddler waking up earlier than usual?

Emily - posted on 10/18/2011 ( 2 moms have responded )

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My almost 20mo has been waking up approx. 2 hours earlier (she used to wake up at 6 in her crib and is now waking around 4 in her toddler bed) and sometimes wakes once in the night. We moved her to a toddler bed about a month ago (I'm pregnant with our second due in Feb. also, and need the crib) and her wake time has gotten progressively earlier since then. At first she started her wake time an hour earlier at 5am and now it's pushed to 4am. I don't know what to do. It is killing me. Some people that have experienced this (even when their child was in a crib) have told me that it's just a phase but I want to know if I somebody has gone through this and had an success? She has always been an early riser and I'm fine with that but 4am really?! She gets tired and fussy by 8am but won't go down till her scheduled nap time around 11. I think I might try to extend her bed time later (It's currently at 7pm) till about 8:30 since she is only sleeping about 9 hrs at night. Thoughts? (Side note: She usually naps from 11-1:30pm)

2 Comments

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Jenna - posted on 10/18/2011

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Encourage a later wake up time by putting room darkening shades in her windows and keeping the lights off. Does she come to you or does she cry and you go to her? Kids who do this have developed a night waking habit because their wakeup time is reinforced by parents who get up with them.

Or maybe she's hungry at that hour? I myself get hungry in those hours and sometimes a small snack is all I need to go back to sleep.

I guess the big thing is to figure out what is causing it--has she slept enough (probably not--9 hours is not usually enough for a 20-month old, they should still be getting 11-12 hours at night). Is she hungry? Does she always have a wet/poopy diaper at that time? Is it light where you live and is the light causing her to wake up? Sometimes you can stop an early waking problem by keeping her bedroom door locked and ignoring her in the a.m. and she will go back to sleep. Twenty months isn't unreasonable to move to a toddler bed, but for some kids it is too soon and encourages too much freedom. My oldest was in a crib until he was 2-1/2 while his baby brother slept in a port-a-crib until he was 14 months (they are 17 months apart and the oldest was in no way ready to transition to a toddler bed). On the other hand, I had another child, my third, who was 16 months when he moved to a toddler bed, but he was clearly ready and we never had a problem with him staying in bed. I only say this because confining them to a crib can help them go back to sleep when they wake up too early because they aren't able to get up and get going. Also taking any toys out of her bedroom can help keep her bored enough to go back to sleep.

Cynthia - posted on 10/18/2011

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your lucky getting 9 hours. i would keep her up longer, maybe she will sleep her same 9 hours but to bed later and hopefully up later too. for my son he is up at the same time regardless of when he goes to bed.

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