Moms, Can You Offer Any Advice For A Sleep Deprived Mom?

Lounge By KeltoKel Updated 2 Jun 2008 , 2:12am by Wesha

KeltoKel Posted 25 May 2008 , 10:22am
post #1 of 18

My 18 month old son has been waking up earlier each week and I am just so frustrated. He used to sleep until 7 a.m. or so, but the past 3 weeks he has been getting up at 6 a.m. Well, for the past two days, it is 5:30 a.m. We just don't know what to do.

What is even worse, he also doesn't nap for long in the afternoon! We had him outside playing the entire morning yesterday, and he only napped for an hour! Because he doesn't nap long, he goes to bed around 7-7:15 p.m. (this has always been his bed time) and now he is waking soooo early.

His room is dark, we use a white noise CD, etc., but he just won't sleep anymore. Leaving him in his crib to play doesn't work b/c now he climbs out of his crib too! I am not getting him a toddler bed b/c he would be up all the time.

Please tell me this is a phase! I am SO TIRED! I do most of my decorating at night and getting up at 5:30 a.m. is too early!

17 replies
peg818 Posted 25 May 2008 , 3:36pm
post #2 of 18

will he watch a video first thing in the am. I used to put a video on for my oldest who wouldn't sleep past 4am, and i would dose off and on while he sat nicely with my arm around him, watching the movie. Here it used to be 101 dalmatians every morning.

Other things you can try to do, is push his bedtime back till he starts sleeping later in the day. Really if he is sleeping from 7pm till 5:30am, i'm thinking you are doing quite well. Maybe you need to go to bed earlier, nothing wrong with hitting the hay early a couple of times a week.

mkolmar Posted 25 May 2008 , 5:22pm
post #3 of 18

He's getting roughly around 10 hours of sleep at night. That's actually pretty darn good. I would try bumping his bed time back some and give it a good week or 2 of doing so to see if it will make a difference. All of my kids did the same thing with their sleep schedule and I had to make adjustments at different times as they got older and their sleep needs changed. Each kid is different so you need to remember that when it comes to their sleeping times also as well as napping. *I have 4, I've known many a sleepless day and night* icon_wink.gif

Amia Posted 25 May 2008 , 5:38pm
post #4 of 18

My son goes to bed around 8:30-9:00 p.m. and sleeps until 9-10 a.m. We tried earlier bedtimes, but he'd get up way too early! Keep him up for an extra hour and see how that helps!

My son can also climb out of a crib, so we bought him a toddler race car bed and put a gate over his door, so he can't escape. I also made sure the only things he can reach are his toys. So when he gets up and I'm busy with the baby, he can keep himself occupied for a little while. When he won't nap, I just put him in there for some downtime (downtime for me, that is icon_lol.gif ). And now that the baby sleeps through the night, I'm slowly catching up on my sleep! Woo-hoo!

KeltoKel Posted 25 May 2008 , 11:15pm
post #5 of 18

We have done the later bed time and it just doesn't work. Every book I have read has said you need to do an earlier bed time for children who don't sleep well. We used to have an 8 p.m. bed time but he was waking at 4-5 a.m. For the past 6 months he has been going to bed at 7-7:30 p.m. and sleeping very well. It is more recently that he no longer wants to sleep. He is so active, you would think he would be dead tired.

Our problem with putting him to bed later is that he doesn't nap either so he is DEAD tired at 7 p.m. I don't know how I could possibly get him to bed any later. He hits the sack without a whimper.

I am hoping this is one of the many sleep stages.... icon_rolleyes.gif

Like I said, I work at night so going to bed earlier is easier said than done.

mbelgard Posted 25 May 2008 , 11:27pm
post #6 of 18

How many days in a row have you tried the later bedtime? It will take a couple weeks for him to adjust, he might wake up at his normal time for a while until he gets used to the schedule. The first few days might be rough but you'll need to stick it out.

It really sounds like your son is a good sleeper if he's getting ten hours a night, his schedule just isn't what your family needs.

As for the naps some kids quit taking them all together when they're two or so while others nap in kindergarten.

itsmylife Posted 26 May 2008 , 4:46am
post #7 of 18

Pushing the bedtime might work.

When he wakes up, what happens? Does he start screaming, or does he come out of his room into your room, etc?

When my boys (they are 3 and 5 now) were at the age of being able to get out of their crib (which is when we put them in 'big boy' beds), I put those plastic doorknob covers on the inside of their rooms. The first few nights they would try the knobs, and realize they couldn't open them, and then get back into bed. We watched them on the video monitor, and every time they got out of bed, we would open the door and tell them to get back in bed, it's bedtime, etc.... Took a few days on that... but we just kept on them, and they learned.

There were a few screaming episodes, but for the most part, we stuck to the routine, and they do great now. I would say that it took about a week to get them used to it. If they wake up before us in the morning, they will just sit quietly in their rooms and play with one of their toys.

My 5 year old was finally able to 'defeat' the knob cover, so we took it off his door, but he's old enough now to understand the rules... you stay in your room until mommy or daddy comes to get you. My 3 year old still has the knob cover on his door, and he usually wakes up before me and my husband in the morning, but again, he will just sit on his bed and play with his trucks until we come in there.

A friend of mine told me I was a mean mommy for doing this. My contention was that I didn't want the kids wandering around in the house if I was still sleeping. At least I knew that they were safe in their rooms. She gets no sleep because her kids (8 &6 yo) both wake up several times a night, and sleep in her bed constantly.

I'm know there are other ways, and every kid responds differently... but this is just what worked for us.

HTH!
Denise

Texas_Rose Posted 26 May 2008 , 5:25am
post #8 of 18

How light is it in his bedroom? Does he have a window facing east? My daughter will sleep late in my bedroom with our blackout curtains, but in her room she's up when the sun comes up. I'm going to get thicker curtains for her room so we can sleep in all summer long icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

Once they can climb out of the crib, the crib becomes dangerous to them...so even if it's an inconvenience to you, it's time to switch to a toddler bed. I had to switch my oldest daughter to a toddler bed at 11 months because she climbs like a monkey. I used the doorknob covers, and it worked well. She defeated it when she was about 3 (and flushed part of it down the toilet and clogged it up). Just be sure everything is safe in his room, and that there are a few things for him to play with. It won't be long until you pottytrain him, and then you'll be glad he's already in a toddler bed.

TheDomesticDiva Posted 26 May 2008 , 4:37pm
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas_Rose

How light is it in his bedroom? Does he have a window facing east? My daughter will sleep late in my bedroom with our blackout curtains, but in her room she's up when the sun comes up. I'm going to get thicker curtains for her room so we can sleep in all summer long icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif




That's TOTALLY my 3 year old. For instance, I know that the sun comes up at 5:20 AM. How do I know this?? Because the second it does, I hear "MAMA! It's not dark anymore!!!!" To which I respond, "GO BACK TO BED!" icon_biggrin.gif

What worked for us (and I know this sounds strange because it did to me the first time I heard it, but it has worked for us)... Make sure the room is safe, nothing they can get into that can hurt them, just keep toys in reach and nothing else. Then you take their doorknob off, turn it around so that the lock is on the outside. You lock it from the outside when they go to bed. That way, they can't lock themselves in, and you KNOW they can't get out and (in our case, why we did it) fall down the stairs half-asleep. The only thing I recommend is keeping one of those skeleton key things in their closet or somewhere they can't get to it, just in case you get locked in. icon_smile.gif ....My nephew locked himself in his room when he was 2 and had NO idea what to do because he was so little he totally didnt get the concept of "turn what you just turned again". They ended up having to take the door off the frame to get to him. He was panicked and so was his mom. And we didnt want that to happen. And like I said before, all our bedrooms are right at the top of the stairs and I didnt want to chance them waking up in the middle of the night and falling right down.

sweetiemama Posted 26 May 2008 , 7:23pm
post #10 of 18

I have four kids who have done it all as far as sleep patterns go. It sounds like he is actually getting a good nights sleep. My twins went to bed about eight at night at that age and woke up about six, and at 18 months, they are typically down to one nap or so. We had the same situation, no matter what time they went to bed, they woke up at the same time.

He may be a very active boy compared to other children too. It is funny because one of the twins in particular NEVER wanted to sleep. At school she is now called the energizer bunny because she runs so fast. Look at the bright side, he will most likely be very healthy. Trust me, I know how tiring it is. Everyone has given you good things to try, but it could just be the phase! icon_wink.gif
Hang in there!

KeltoKel Posted 27 May 2008 , 2:37am
post #11 of 18

It very well could be the little sun light coming through. Like I said, he was sleeping great til 7 am. or so, and the 5:30 a.m. waking is new. We have thick blinds that let very little light through but maybe we need to get thick curtains.

We have put my son to bed at 8-8:30 p.m. several times and it didn't work. We found he started sleeping great with the earlier bed time. When children are over tired, they do not sleep as well. We found he was over tired with the later bedtime. It is just out of the blue he is waking an hour and a half earlier. Little stinker

Thanks for the advice everyone.

jen1977 Posted 27 May 2008 , 2:37pm
post #12 of 18

It is really hard to get a child to sleep when they are overtired. If he is ready for bed at 7, then he should go to bed at 7. Can you let him lay in your bed with you after he wakes up, and maybe he'll go back to sleep? My 5 year old typically wakes between 5:30-6:15, and he'll climb in bed wit hme when he wakes, and doze in and out until my alarm goes off at 6:40.

AJsGirl Posted 27 May 2008 , 6:29pm
post #13 of 18

I can't give you any better advice than what is already here, but I validate you. Being exhausted all the time is NOT what being a mom should be about! What worked for me was pushing the bedtime back (even 30 minutes) and "baby-gating" them in their rooms with toys we knew they couldn't get hurt on.

Take a deep breath, this too shall pass!

mbelgard Posted 27 May 2008 , 7:04pm
post #14 of 18

Have you tried moving his bedtime back 10 minutes every couple days? A sudden shift might not work well for him, my mother did that several times when we moved across time zones with any really little kids she had.

How long are his naps in the afternoon? Here's an article talking about how much sleep toddlers need and it sounds like your son is in the normal range even without a nap: http://life.familyeducation.com/sleep/toddler/52584.html

Changes in light can affect kids too of course. Mine normally sleep in during the summer because we're outside until dark.

michellenj Posted 27 May 2008 , 9:44pm
post #15 of 18

I feel your pain. My ds is 3 1/2 and has never been a sleeper. He stays up until around 11 PM nearly every single night, rarely naps, and is up at the crack of dawn. I've tried everything to change his behavior and nothing has helped, so I just rev up my coffee maker and get myself jacked on caffeine!

ziggytarheel Posted 28 May 2008 , 12:58pm
post #16 of 18

It does sound like your son is getting plenty of sleep. I think you have two choices...change his bedtime or change yours. In the past few years, I've become an early riser, so his wake up time doesn't sound bad to me at all!

I wouldn't worry about changing his bedtime. We do it twice a year with daylight savings time anyway, you know? Most people make a pretty abrupt change then and suffer for about a week or so.

If I were you (and this is just ME), I would make his new bedtime 7:30 for a week and then I would make it 8 p.m. Or I would just make a more abrupt change. It may take him a while to get his body regulated, but he will. And I would certainly invest in some type of a blackout curtain, if he sleeps in total darkness.

My son was always an early riser. He woke up very happy as a baby, so I didn't really mind. I liked waking up and accomplishing some things early in the morning!

KeltoKel Posted 31 May 2008 , 11:15am
post #17 of 18

Well, I am glad to hear other people are also going through this. Not happy for you, just a bit relieved that I am not the only one! We were out last night and my son didn't fall asleep until close to 9 p.m. He was still up at 5:30 a.m. The thing is, he still looks tired when he wakes. Even after his hour naps, he wakes sooooo cranky, but he will not go back to sleep. On some rare days, he naps for 2 hours. He is so active, yet, he seems to need less and less sleep - and I need more!

All my friends (and I mean everyone I know) have children who sleep 12 hours a night and then take 2-3 hour naps.

I have to admit, I have no plans of having a second child soon. 18 months of sleep deprivation (I didn't even mention the occasional night wakings) is just too much for me.

Wesha Posted 2 Jun 2008 , 2:12am
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by KeltoKel

My 18 month old son has been waking up earlier each week and I am just so frustrated. He used to sleep until 7 a.m. or so, but the past 3 weeks he has been getting up at 6 a.m. Well, for the past two days, it is 5:30 a.m. We just don't know what to do.

What is even worse, he also doesn't nap for long in the afternoon! We had him outside playing the entire morning yesterday, and he only napped for an hour! Because he doesn't nap long, he goes to bed around 7-7:15 p.m. (this has always been his bed time) and now he is waking soooo early.

His room is dark, we use a white noise CD, etc., but he just won't sleep anymore. Leaving him in his crib to play doesn't work b/c now he climbs out of his crib too! I am not getting him a toddler bed b/c he would be up all the time.

Hi,

I have a son that is 19 months old. He goes to daycare. He has outside play and other inside activities to keep him busy. He takes a 2 hour nap each day and he goes to bed at 9 pm and sleeps til 7am the next morning. I say try moving his bedtime back 45 mins or an hour and see if that helps.
Please tell me this is a phase! I am SO TIRED! I do most of my decorating at night and getting up at 5:30 a.m. is too early!


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