Early waking 4 year old…at the end of our tether ! Help

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  • Early waking 4 year old…at the end of our tether ! Help
  • Our youngest has been waking up between 5 and 5.30 for at least 6 weeks now, we have tried putting him to bed later this makes no difference, changed for a warmer duvet no difference, tried talking to him, hes 4 so nothing sinks in !
    When he wakes all he wants to do is wake his brother and play (which he doesn’t want to be up at that time)

    School is not tiring him out either !

    Change his diet ? He lives on fruit/ veg and plain pasta toast and occasionally cheese ! Wont eat meat he also wont try new things which is purely down to being a stroppy 4 yr old !

    he is also totally unreasnobale (just like his mum 😉 ) so doing the clock thing with the eyes that open etc isn’t going to work !

    Hes full of energy…yesterday 4 mile walk and still bouncing !

    Any help would be great !

    Its beginning to effect our day to day lives as we are all so tired (apart from him)


    I had 6 years of that never mind 6 weeks

    you cannot make them sleep so deal with it the best way you can

    I did till midnight mother die 12-6 I did from 6 am onwards till work time

    It was tiring



    This isn’t necessarily going to be what you want to hear, but in my experience you’re not going to change him or his sleeping patterns.

    Our eldest is an early riser and always has been. What we ended up doing was getting quiet activities ready the night before so that when she woke she could entertain herself. This has worked well for the past four years or so and her art and craft work is no excellent and being sold for pocket money!!

    Sorry and good luck.

    Premier Icon theotherjonv

    Also probably not what you want to hear, but it’s a test of your parenting skills. You’re in charge, you make the rules, make him adhere to them. Tell him that he’s not allowed up before whatever time you decide, reward him for sticking to it. If he gets up earlier, put him back in bed and go back yourself. It’ll take a few days / couple of weeks but he’ll get the hang of it. If you prefer, as above give him some activities he can do until x o’clock but he’s not to make a noise / wake his brother / leave his room…..you set the rules.

    He probably could do with the sleep but at the moment he’s getting ‘rewarded’ for getting up early with attention and activities. Remove that, and he’ll probably decide being asleep is more enjoyable than being awake on his own.

    And if it’s a recent thing, it’ll probably pass again as suddenly as it started.


    We had one of these… up at 6 every morning without fail.

    We bought a Gro-clock and started it at 6:10 and then slowly moved the time forward to a more normal 7 o’clock. He now knows that he is not allowed to come wake mummy and daddy up until the sun comes up on his clock….

    Bit of perseverance, but worth it.

    Premier Icon cloudnine

    Silence is golden.. duct tape is silver.


    I’ve got 2 boys (6&9) the same… Trained them to sleep till 0630 or so now.
    They occasionally sleep till 0730 but usually the one who’s up first wakes the other…

    You get used to it (sort of)


    Silence is golden.. duct tape is silver.

    ha! love it.


    We have the same problem with our 4 year old. He’s up between 5 and 5.30 every morning. We brought a grow clock and it started to work, but now he has worked out how to unlock it and make the sun come up. He now has a CD player in his room with a story cd in it. We’ve taught him use that now so be listens to it until 6 when him jumps on our bed.

    Later nights don’t work either. He’s like a dog and needs lots of exercise every day.

    We’ve learnt to deal with it now but it’s hard as our 3 month old doesn’t wake until 7.30.

    During summer months it’s fine as we go out on his scooter or play in the garden, but at this time if year it’s hell !

    Good luck OP.

    thanks so far his brother who loves sleeping aged 6 is not amused either !
    forgot to say he doesn’t eat crisps sweets or chocolate so no e numbers effecting him
    argggghhhh gardening this afternoon he dig the out all the weeds !

    Premier Icon martinhutch

    Sadly, the only way you’ll be less tired is if you go to bed earlier so you’re ready for your 5am wakeup call.

    We did exactly the same as Dr Death ^^^
    Gro clock for the win. Ours was waking at 5 and it was a nightmare. Gradually moving the time the clock ‘wakes up’ changed the times he was up. Now wakes about 6.30 aged 3 3/4.


    Get a cabin bed and remove the steps?

    Premier Icon teethgrinder

    0500-0530 is an awfult time to be awake – still too early to be up, but not really enough time to get back to sleep.

    Have you tried putting him down earlier? I found with our two, that putting them to bed later just meant we had more time with them awake in the evening, and they still got up early.

    Put them down 1730-1800, and they would get up earlier, but still very dark and quiet so they would just go back to sleep.


    My little bastard is 22 months and has only slept in later than 5am on a handful of occasions..
    We put him down between 1830-1900

    My oldest is four and would happily sleep til 0800-0830 so as a consequence of this early rising he’s generally a bit pissed off..
    According to my old dear, the early riser gets it from me as I was always ready for the day and in no mood to argue the toss from about 4am.. until I got to secondary school of course when all the kings horses and all the kings men could not drag me from my pit to get on the bus in the morning..

    Me and the wife have just gotten used to it and adapted to a pattern of irritable somnambulant bickering interspersed with unexpected and violent screaming fits.. the kids aren’t much better either

    Premier Icon senor j

    My little bastardo , 15 months , also wakes between
    0505&0535 every bloody day . 🙁
    He’s slept through from ~1900 since he was one.
    That was some relief as I thought I was going mad with sleep deprivation !
    Interesting ideas up there .
    if I had my way I’d leave the calpol in the cot ,ha.

    Premier Icon bruneep

    My big bastid is 17yrs old can’t wake him.


    6 weeks, our eldest is 3 just and the one coming up 2 started getting up at 5 just as the big one finished!

    My advice, earlier to bed for you!

    thank you for all advice

    went out this afternoon and purchased a glo clock he seemed pretty excited…time will tell ! (ha thats funny )


    Premier Icon dannybgoode

    Try one of these:


    I feel your pain – babybgoode goes through stages of this and I am sure we have plenty more to come.

    Bear in mind 6 weeks ties in with the clocks going back 0 can’t really explain the concept of daylight saving to a 4 year old…

    Embrace it, mine wakes up at 5:30 most days, on work days it means we get 2 hours of fun before i go to work, at weekends it means we get loads done – its ace!


    After spending some time in the USA with friends of ours who run a church in Las Vegas (yeah I know, tough call!) they offered some comparisons with the UK as they lived here for a year. They said its odd to them that kids go to bed so early and they reckon it must be a NHS/government thing which everyone accepts as they don’t send their kid to bed at 7pm (he’s 5). He stays up with them and they all go to bed together (pretty much, school nights a little earlier). We were even going out for a meal then watching the fountains at the Bellagio at 11pm with their kid and he was fine.

    And he stayed in bed the same length they did – nice nights sleep.

    I suppose we don’t have to copy them but its interesting to me how other countries do things which seem to work for them but we may think is odd.

    Premier Icon Trekster

    trekster jnr was the same till he went to school aged 5, still the same now @ 33. His sleep was disturbed a lot by his asthma till it was diagnosed. His eldest daughter now 8 is the same as he was/is and survives on minimal sleep 🙄

    Daughter can drop off anywhere, anytime as do both of her kids 😆 just like their mum 😐

    Premier Icon tenfoot

    We had two years of it. We just went to bed earlier and made sure we each had a lay in at the weekend. I remember feeling so tired all of the time, but it did eventually get better. Both of mine now leave us until 8am, playing quietly in their rooms until then.

    Premier Icon iainc

    Ours, aged 7 and 10 are still awake, just, at 940, but will be grumpy at 730 when woken for school. They do a heap of sport and go to bed maybe later than we would like – 9 on a weeknight, 10 ish weekend. Saturday is early up for footie and swimming. Sunday I am off on the bike and its rare for either of the boys or the Boss to waken before 930.

    They do eat a reasonable amount of crisps, sweets and maccyd’s too 🙂

    Doesn’t eat sweets or chocolate?!?!?!?

    child of satan obviously,…fetch the priest quick! 🙂


    Ah memories 🙂 Luckily I’ve always had to be up that time or earlier anyway.
    Good luck

    Got two boys just same, 5am isn’t as common as it was but 06.10am on the dot, 7 days a week.

    They’ve got a clock and don’t come out before then but you can here them talking earlier; even at grandparents without a clock it’s still ten past six.

    As has been said, you need to adapt as body clocks are body clocks, I’m writing this in bed on my ipad, lights out at 10pm.


    He lives on fruit/ veg and plain pasta toast and occasionally cheese ! Wont eat meat he also wont try new things which is purely down to being a stroppy 4 yr old !

    Hmm I’d be looking into making him have less sugar filled fruit and more meat and protein. Does he wolf his breakie?

    Fill him up before bed every night for a week and see if there is any difference.

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