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Early rising toddler

18 replies 4.4K views
Good morning all
We have an 18 month old DS who is currently waking up at about 5:30am. not excessively early but still a little painful. To be fair to him he is now sleeping through the night after going down at about 8:00 so an improved situation from where we have been.  
Does anyone have any tips on how to get them to entertain themselves at this age when awake at this time? I'm currently up with him and we play, watch some nursery rhymes etc so he's not being ignored. Some people have mentioned that we should think about training him to be less dependent when he wakes and plays until we are awake. I'm not convinced on this as he is still in a cot so can't get out himself and he is still only 18 months old so don't want to put him under too much pressure. 
I have read enough articles and seen comments from people about early riser children so I'm kind of alright to accept it on that level as well but not sure if i'm being lenient on behaviour that should be worked on.
We have a DD who is 3 months old and is in our room so i tend to try to keep him out so that she and Mum can rest as the night feeding is in full swing! 
Many thanks :)


  • DevilsAdvocate1DevilsAdvocate1 Forumite
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    Probably won't suit you but I put my kids down at 10pm so that they would sleep till 7:30am - 8am.  Same length of sleep that you're little one is getting just moved the times.  Suited us because I'm not a natural morning riser.
  • edited 24 February at 10:45AM
    TwoUpTwoDownTwoUpTwoDown Forumite
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    edited 24 February at 10:45AM
    He did  go to bed later in the past but it's slowly got earlier. I'm not the most natural early riser either. We just found that by 6:30/7 he was wanting to go upstairs and get ready for bed. 
    I am fine with it really to be honest - it gives me a chance to spend some time with him as i work during the week. 
    It's more around the behavioural side - just not wanting to make a rod for my own back in the coming months ;)
  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
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    I feel that any behavioural issues can be sorted out at the appropriate age. While he's in a cot. there's not a lot to be done: you COULD leave a book for him to look at, or you could leave a story cassette player, but it's very easy for him to be frustrated on his own, and that way mischief / escape attempts lie ... 

    Once our eldest was in a bed, we could delay his exit from the bedroom by leaving broken jigsaw puzzles on the way to the door. He couldn't leave a puzzle undone. Unfortunately they didn't delay him for long ... 

    All of mine learned that Mummy wasn't a particularly friendly playful person before 7 am, but not while they were still in a cot. 
    Still knitting!
    Completed: TWO adult cardigans, 3 baby jumpers, 3 shawls, 1 sweat band, 3 pairs baby bootees, 2 sets of handwarmers, 1 Wise Man Knitivity figure + 1 sheep, 2 pairs socks, 3 balaclavas, multiple hats and poppies, 3 peony flowers, 4 butterflies ...
    Current projects: pink balaclava (for myself), seaman's hat, about to start another cardigan!
  • sherambersheramber Forumite
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    My grandson wakened at 5.30 am no matter what time he went to bed. A late night meant he was grumpy the next day as he was tired. 
     He is now 7 and still wakens between 5.30 and 6.30.
      Once he was   older my son bought him  a clock  that shows the sun when it is time to get up and a moon when it is bedtime,  You set the time when the sun  is to appear.  He did wait until then but would shout to his parents that" the sun was taking too long."
  • rach_krach_k Forumite
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    We used a Groclock from around that age, so that the kids knew when it was okay to get up for the day.  It worked well.  Obviously you have to let them know that they should wake you if they need you (and they need to be able to understand that so it may vary by child), but otherwise they can play quietly in their room.  Ours moved to toddler beds at around 17/18 months though, so they weren't stuck in a cot and could play in their room.  Is that something you could do?  Or a single bed with a rail?  We do have a 'books and teddies only' rule for bedrooms so it was still a fairly quiet time until they were allowed to get up properly at 6.30am.  It was quite common to go through and find them snuggled up in bed 'reading' to their teddies.  
  • mamanmaman Forumite
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    Do you have blackout blinds/curtains? Just checking as that  can make a difference if it feels like day.
  • TwoUpTwoDownTwoUpTwoDown Forumite
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    Thanks everyone for your responses.
    Savvy_Sue, yes he is still in his cot so difficult for him to stay entertained, especially in the winter as he does have a blackout blind to your point maman which has helped with his sleep for sure. He does like to go between lots of things so having freedom in the room would be best.

    I think the idea of a groclock or similar may work on the basis that even if he did have the freedom to get out of bed, it would be dark in his room so he needs the light. My nephew had a clock that showed the sun and moon on it which worked. I think he is too young to understand this concept at the moment but if we have one then as he gets older he will learn it ;)

    Sheramber, i think it will be the same for us - just accept that he is an early riser and look forward to the early bedtimes for the time being so that i can function! ;)
  • sherambersheramber Forumite
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    My son and DIL take turns at  the weekend as to who gets  up with him  and sometimes the early riser goes for a  lie down during the day.

    During the  week both work so they are  both getting up anyway.
  • FireflyawayFireflyaway Forumite
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    My son did this from around 18 months to about 3. Nothing would get him back to sleep so we sat on the sofa me dozing whilst he watched loads of postman pat / peppa pig etc! I just wasn't awake enough to do any else and still had to hold down  a full time job. It was hard. I think he is probably too young to occupy himself. 
  • edited 24 February at 10:40PM
    oystercatcheroystercatcher Forumite
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    edited 24 February at 10:40PM
    I had three little ones under 3 years at one time. They used to wake early at 5.30 or 6 ish I would get up and make them milk (or hubby would bring it upstairs if I was lucky) then we would all sit in our big bed drink milk /feed baby and read stories and look at books until 8 am or whenever I felt was a reasonable time to get up and have proper breakfast, so it was at least quiet and relaxing and not rushing around being noisy. I used to keep all the library books in the bedroom so there were always new books to look at and talk about.
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