Posted in Sleep, Multiple Children, Toddlers

Waking too early


My 22 month old is waking up entirely too early. We finally got him sleeping through the night a few weeks ago using the cry it out method. He shares a room with his brother who has been camping out in our room on an air mattress while we tried to get him to sleep through the night. The issue has now changed to waking up too early. This morning it was 4:45 AM. I woke up to hear him talking and playing in his crib. He didn’t start crying until about 515 which is when I went in and got him. I have tried just about everything I could think of to try to keep him sleeping longer but nothing has helped. I have tried putting him to sleep earlier in case he was just over tired I’ve tried putting him to sleep later in case I was putting him to bed too early, but that hasn’t worked either. I feel like 6:00 AM isn’t asking too much. Should I let him cry? Any suggestions? or should I just accept my fate?

  • PK
    Jan 16

    Get an ok to wake clock. We got the dog one holding a ball that turns from red to green. It took my son about a week to finally get it but it works so well. We also have a baby cam that we can talk through. He wanted us to come into the room so we would talk to him through the camera and remind him that we wouldn’t come in until the light was green. He was doing the same thing, waking up super early. Eventually he started to sleep longer. Some times he still gets up early but he just lays there and watches the clock. Or I guess at some point he gets out and grabs a few toys to play with in bed.

  • Anonymous
    Jan 18

    Thanks PK! I thought about one of those but wasn’t sure if he would understand at 2 years old. I’ll definitely be trying that!

  • Amanda
    Jan 18

    I’ve known several 2-yr-olds who have been successful with the “okay to wake” clocks. It’s definitely worth a try!

  • Karen M.
    check_circleChild Care Provider Feb 05

    Hi! For what you mention it seems to me like he has tried different routines but haven’t sticked to one? Toddlers ages 1-3 have to sleep 12-14 hours a day. So lets say you want him to sleep from 8pm-6am, those are nice 10 hours and he might nap once for two ours during the day. So we got the minimum, which is 12 hours. Now we just have to figure out when to do the nap. So let’s say he is doing this routine, he wakes up at 6am, has breakfast, play and might need to go down for a nap before lunch. So around 11am. That’s 5 hours of awake time which he might spend playing a lot. Let’s remember sleeping is very important for them to absorb all learning happened during the time they where awake, if there was lots of learning he might be real tired and sleep through those hours. So then he will be awake for the rest of the day with extra energy to keep on until night time. That sounds good. Now, how do we actually get kiddo to sleep? What I like to do is lay down with them in their bed or on the floor at a point where they can see my face and I tell them “it’s nap time, sleep tight!” And I close my eyes and pretend to be asleep. I’m a preschool director and had been sitting kids for the past 6 years and this always works, even with multiple kids. As long as they can see your face clearly and your eyes closed they will realize that this is for real and there is nowhere else to go or anyone to play with. So pretend you are asleep and if you start hearing them making lots of noise (that sounds more like playing than trying to get comfy) wait a few minutes to see how long does it lasts. Sometimes they need to unwind before they actually start “calming/relaxing mode”. If you waited few minutes and they are actually engaging more in their activity (which should definitely be something they are doing laying on their backs in their bed), please tell them “love, is nap time, please close your eyes, let’s sleep together”. They usually stop like “oh no! I woke her up!” Or “oops she caught me!” Hahaha and they will try to relax. Very gentle, waiting a few minutes and kiddo will fall asleep. It does requires some patience but is better than letting them cry it out which makes them feel hopeless and alone and can affect they self stem as “I’m calling, no one answers, I’m not worthy of acknowledgement “. And this stuff is real! Try to just lay down with them and quietly leave when they are in REM. It will do better for their self stem and they will alway sleep in their beds. And of course, creating the routine, making it happen everyday will give the kid a “what to expect” feeling and keeps them less stressed about the day and their activities. It’s funny how much we adults hate routines, they are specially important for young ones ;) Oh and if kiddo sleep in crib let him have some toys and books he loves to play with for wake up time. It’s nice when their beds are near the floor so the can go down and play with whatever they want in their room (hoping is baby proofed right?) haha. Thanks for reading 💚

  • Anonymous
    Feb 06

    Thank you! We tried these methods for several weeks at a time trying to give come adjustment periods. Unfortunately I don’t have control over choosing nap during the week as he goes to daycare Monday through Friday that has structured times for everything. Thanks for you’re input!