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Guest 

What are techniques to stop kids waking up SO DAMN EARLY? So far have tried go-clock, bribes, reward charts, shouting, ignoring and a few other tricks...

TOP RESPONSE
SleepFairyDee 
I have a tried and tested method of resetting body clocks that I have developed over the last 8 years. It's pretty tough as it involves getting your child totally overtired for three days. But it works. If your baby is between 12 months and 3 years, the best way to reset their body clock is to reduce daytime naps by 75% and put them to bed 30-60 minutes later than usual for 3 days. They may need an additional 10 minute catnap to get them through the afternoon and this is fine but keep it to 10 minutes. (Do not attempt this method if they are under the weather, coming down with a cold or already miserable with teething.) During these three days your angelic baby will become very over-tired and grumpy and it is unlikely that they will sleep any later on the first two mornings. Do not despair because by the third night they will be so exhausted that they will sleep later in the morning. On the fourth day bring bedtime back to your desired time, but please be realistic about how many hours your baby can sleep in one night, usually 11-12 is the maximum. You can then gradually bring the naps back 15 minutes per day by adding 5 minutes to the shorter nap and 10 minutes to the longer nap if they have 2 or 10 minutes per day if they only have one. I have slightly different (and longer) method for older children on my blog http://sleepfairyparentrescue.co.uk/blog/2013/05/20/hello-world/
ALL RESPONSES
Mike Tantrum 
I'm curious what the 'other tricks' are! Are they waking and staying in their room or being noisy and running around? Could it be that they are getting too much light when the sun comes up (e.g. curtains too thin/open bedroom door/etc.)?
Guest 
They are coming into our room and standing looking over us in an ominous way. It seems some children will go back to sleep but this little person won't. It's usually around 5.30am...
Anonymous 
I completely empathise - ours is the same! Definitely worse now that the mornings are getting lighter. We finally cracked the 7am barrier in darkest winter, but now we are back to pre 6am. Ours is still in a cot, so she can't escape but screams the house down. We are investing in black out curtains and trying to make sure she is as full as possible before she goes down. Any other suggestions?
SofarSofood 
Ooooh I hope someone has some solutions to this. We have a blind, a black out blind and curtains on the window. Short of bricking it up we can't make the room darker. Our little boy is still in a cot too but I think we're only a few weeks from him climbing out of it 😫
Vanessa Christie (IBCLC, HV, RN) 
There's not always a particularly positive answer to this unfortunately as if they're waking up early and remain fairly energetic throughout the day, eating well etc, then it is probably that they simply don't need to sleep longer at this phase and any number of stickers and bribes won't make a difference! Setting bedtime back by 30 mins may possibly help (but not if they're over-tired as this just tends to lead to more wakeful nights). Blackout blinds are fab particularly at this time of year. If your little one is needing a nap (I don't know how old they are so difficult to judge properly) a few hours after waking up, or is otherwise grizzly in the day, then the early wake-up should be counted as a night-time wake-up ie even if they don't go back to sleep then keep lights off, tv off etc and then when it is 'morning' (say 6.30am) make a big deal of opening the curtains, playing/chatting etc to clearly signal that this is the beginning of the day and not before. Do you ever bring them into bed with you? This isn't a solution for some but if you are happy to have a morning snuggle, then it can commonly help get little ones (and you!) to have an extra hours dozing. Are they hungry soon after they wake? If so, it might be worth having a look at what's being eaten in the day. Hard to say too much more without knowing details but don't feel alone in those early hours - it doesn't make it any more palatable but knowing that there are millions of parents awake with you might at least help you know you're not doing anything wrong!
SleepFairyDee 
I have a tried and tested method of resetting body clocks that I have developed over the last 8 years. It's pretty tough as it involves getting your child totally overtired for three days. But it works. If your baby is between 12 months and 3 years, the best way to reset their body clock is to reduce daytime naps by 75% and put them to bed 30-60 minutes later than usual for 3 days. They may need an additional 10 minute catnap to get them through the afternoon and this is fine but keep it to 10 minutes. (Do not attempt this method if they are under the weather, coming down with a cold or already miserable with teething.) During these three days your angelic baby will become very over-tired and grumpy and it is unlikely that they will sleep any later on the first two mornings. Do not despair because by the third night they will be so exhausted that they will sleep later in the morning. On the fourth day bring bedtime back to your desired time, but please be realistic about how many hours your baby can sleep in one night, usually 11-12 is the maximum. You can then gradually bring the naps back 15 minutes per day by adding 5 minutes to the shorter nap and 10 minutes to the longer nap if they have 2 or 10 minutes per day if they only have one. I have slightly different (and longer) method for older children on my blog http://sleepfairyparentrescue.co.uk/blog/2013/05/20/hello-world/
SleepFairyDee 
The link is the better method for older children. Even though it says it's for the autumn time change, it can be done at any time of year to stop early rising.
Guest 
Thanks- I need to try this out! :)

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