Toddler waking up at 4 am...please help!

Krista - posted on 12/13/2010 ( 1 mom has responded )

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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!

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Louise - posted on 12/13/2010

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You have two choices here either cut the afternoon nap down to an hour or cut it out completley. A child at 2 needs 13 hours sleep in total roughly. If this has no affect on his getting up time then you are going to have to play hard ball with him and go in lie him down and ignore him no eye contact no speaking just lie him down and leave. He will cry so be prepared for that as he will not understand why you are not getting him up. Leave him to cry and then go back in and do the same again. I am afraid to say that this will take about 3 nights to sort out so make sure you have somebody there in the day so that you can get some sleep if needed. Your son has developed a habit of waking at this time so you have to expect a little time to be taken to break the habit. Stick at it, it does work and will be worth doing especially when the little one arrives. Hopefully he will get bored and stay asleep as he has nothing to be rewarded with when he wakes. Give it a go.

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