Toddler waking up at 4 am and staying awake!

Krista - posted on 12/13/2010 ( 5 moms have responded )




My two year old used to sleep until 6 or 6:30 every morning, but the past two weeks has been getting up at 4:30 or 4, and he will not go back to sleep no matter what we try. We've got another baby on the way and would love to have his old sleep schedule back before there's a newborn to contend with in 3 months! My son goes to bed around 8 every night and falls asleep right away. He naps at the babysitter's house, so I don't have much control over nap time. He usually naps from 12:30 to 2:30. I've tried changing him, giving him some milk and some cuddles in the morning, and then putting him back to bed (used to work, not anymore) and I've tried leaving him to cry for a while to see if he'll fall back asleep, but I just can't handle the screaming after a few minutes. Please help...we're exhausted!


Ashley - posted on 12/13/2010




He is preparing you for the baby!! I know it may sound weird! But I have a 3, 2, and a 11 month old. When I was pregnant with my youngest the other two would get up at weird times of the night which they were sleeping through the nite. The closer I got to the end of my pregnancy the more it happened! Then once I had the baby the baby would get up at those times during the nite that the older two had been. It didn't matter what time they wend to bed one of them was always up at midnight and 4 am. My youngest did the same thing as a newborn. I would put her to bed around 9 and she would wake up at midnight to eat and get changed and back to bed until 4. My youngest now goes to bed around 7 each night and is up by 4 for a cup and change and goes back to sleep until like 7. Your son knows there is something going on but not sure what it is. If you watch his actions he will tell you a lot about how the baby will act. If he wants to be held all the time then the baby will want the same thing. Bc my kids never wanted any extra attention when I was pregnant with my youngest and she doesn't want to be held ever! My middle child is the one that wants to be held and cuddled with and my oldest wouldn't go to sleep at night when I was pregnant without being held and thats how my middle child was a a baby. To this day wants to be held and cuddled all day long if you would let her. Good luck and grab a nap when you can.

This conversation has been closed to further comments


View replies by

Heather - posted on 11/14/2012




My daughter is doing this.I was hoping it was just a phase, but I am starting to think that I will never wake up and see anything later than 4 AM again.She used to sleep untill 6:30 and Im expecting a baby boy in march...Only difference is I'm the only one getting up with her,I am so tired every day.Going to work is even more exhausting when you've been up since 3 or 4.I look forward to nap time with my little girl at this point, we both snuggle up and sleep for about an hour.

I've tried not giving her naps, it ended in disaster, she gets really grouchy and just is inconsolable, I noticed it didn't really make a difference when it came to sleeping in either.

She goes to bed between 6:30 and 7, it's just when she gets tired.But even with a late bedtime, she is still up at the crack of dawn.

It seems like she just doesn't want to sleep later.

At times of desperation when I am just exhausted to no end, Ill try to take her back to bed with me,sometimes she falls back asleep...but I don't want to get her into the habit of sleeping in the bed with us either.

Jodi - posted on 12/13/2010




My daughter started doing the exact same thing about a month ago (she's 21 months). We eliminated daily naps and now she's back to sleeping in until 6 or 6:30. On the days that she's at Nana's house for a visit (I'm a SAHM, so this doens't happen often) and ends up taking a nap, she's up and at 'em bright and early around 4 or 4:30 just like yours.

You can ask your daycare provider to stop giving naps and just have a rest time where he can watch cartoons quietly, color, read books to himself, things like that and maybe that would help. I used to run a daycare and I understood that parent's have needs for their children and that I need to accomodate those needs as best I could. I had an area for the 2 children that didn't nap outside of the napping area where they could play quietly or watch cartoons...hopefully she will work with you on this as it helped us out tremendously!

Donna - posted on 12/13/2010




i know what its like to have your child get up extremely early..... both my children (7 and 2) get up by 5am and are up for the rest of the day.... at first it was a hassle especially when my 2 yr old was a newborn but my 7 yr old can put the tv on by himself and knows how to entertain himself...... thankfully my 2yr old has picked up the same trait...... giving him something quiet to do when he wakes up in the morning helps and when your new one is here you might find that he would be a help in the morning......
good luck and hopefully like most boys he will grow out of it.

[deleted account]

You are going to have to tell your day care provider that he needs a shorter nap. As a day care provider myself I know that it sucks to have to wake a child up earlier then the rest of the group, BUT I also realize that if the child has a shorter nap, sleeps better at night the child will be more receptive to learning and playing nicely and listen then when he is grumpy.
I would start by shortening nap to 1.5 hours for a week or so and if nothing changes try dropping it to an hour. We had to do this with our son recently too.
It's just the age.
Good luck!

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms