4 am start to the day

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susie
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Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2012 2:11 pm
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by susie on Thu Jul 09, 2020 12:54 pm

4 am start to the day

My 3 year old has started waking between 4-5am and been ready to start the day....

I can't do anything to keep him in bed (especially as it's now light so early)! He insists that I get up with him and as both of us are then so tired the afternoons are becoming hard to get through and I'm then asleep on the sofa in the evening not letting me have any quality time with my husband.

I'm exhausted - what can I do? Thank you.....

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Vicki Dawson
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:48 am
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by Vicki Dawson on Thu Jul 09, 2020 5:40 pm

Re: 4 am start to the day

Hi Susie,

You must be exhausted! Firstly we need to explore why this may be happening and there are a number of things you need to consider. You can firstly use a sleep diary to try to work out how many hours sleep he is currently getting and whether his bedtime needs to be a little later. Consider whether he could be waking due to hunger too, if so you may pop into his bedtime routine a healthy snack. You also mentioned the light and this could be an important factor. Blackout blinds/curtains can help to stop sunlight creeping in and disturbing sleep patterns in the summer months.

You may also consider how you respond to him when he does wake early to ensure that his early rising isn't being rewarded. One to one time with you may be quite appealing even at that time of the day!

You need to find a way to indicate to him what time it is when he wakes and whether it is appropriate to get up or not. Some families use a timer switch connected to fairy lights, they teach their child that if the lights are on it is wake up time but if the lights are off it is still sleep time. Others use a sleep training clock that show a picture to represent the day time and a different picture to represent the night time. The aim will then be to get him to stay in bed until this indicates it is time to get up, you can set the clock for around 10 minutes before his average wake time. You need to be patient with this and give him lots of encouragement and rewards. You can then start to gradually move the wake up time later and later until you get it to a more acceptable hour. Give him lots of praise along the way too!

I hope that helps,
Vicki
Vicki Dawson
CEO and Founder of The Children's Sleep Charity

http://www.talkhealthpartnership.com/on ... dawson.php

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