Toddler waking extra early? — The Bump
D.C. Area Babies

Toddler waking extra early?

Ladies, I need your input! My DD is 20 months old and in the last two weeks, she has started waking up at 5:45 a.m. EVERY morning. She won't go back to sleep and any attempt to lay her back down in her crib is met with a screaming fit. She's up, she's awake and she's ready to start the day!

Background: she goes to bed around 7:30p every night and before two weeks ago, she'd sleep until 6:30-7a each morning. Then, all of a sudden, BAM, we're up with the chickens. She has room-darkening curtains in her room (it faces east) so I don't think it's the light that's waking her up. I've tried to keep her up a little later but #1, she gets really fussy because she's tired, and #2, she still wakes up at the same time.

Thoughts? Is this just a phase or should I plan to be up with the sun every morning from here on out? Crying


Re: Toddler waking extra early?

  • DD is same age and same issue, she gets about 10-10.5 hrs a night and just won't sleep longer. She has NEVER slept 12hrs, 11 is most we've ever been able to get out of her. I have no solution :(
  • Maggie has gone through phases of early wake ups.  However she is mostly content to play in her crib for a set period of time - anywhere from 30-45 min.  I also agree that changing bedtimes to later has never resulted in sleeping later for us. For a long time 6:30AM was normal wake up time for us, which didn't bother me so much since that is when I have to get up for work and then we had a newborn so I was pretty much on a 24 hr schedule again.  By the time Molly was on a better schedule Maggie had gone back to sleeping until 7-7:30.

     Are you trying to get her to sleep more because you are worried she isn't sleeping enough or would you just like her to occupy herself for a little while so that you don't have to get up so early?  If it is the latter could she have a small toy in her crib or something that hangs on the crib to play with?

  • DS started getting up 1-1.5 hours earlier than normal back when he was 20-21 months old and it hasn't let up yet.  I do know that they need less sleep as they age, so maybe that's part of it?  If it's a phase, then it's a long one, b/c it has been 6ish months now.


  • We're also going through the same thing...we tried moving his bedtime from 7 to 7:30 p.m., but that didn't help at all.  He used to sleep until 7 am, but lately he's up between 5:45 and 6:00.

    Putting a book or small toy in his crib has been buying us about 45 mintues more in the morning. He's pretty funny, because I'll go in, hand him a book and he'll wave goodbye to me...I think he enjoys his morning "alone" time.

  • I just bring BabyCrown back to bed with me if he wakes up more than 30 minutes early.  He'll usually fall back asleep with me.  If it's less than 30 minutes early, or he's talking (ie: wide awake) then I just get up.  Which sucks.  I used to just go back to sleep in his room on the floor, too.  But I don't know how many people that would work for (I'd turn on his closet light and he'd play in there, but it's a huge, walk-in closet).
  • we are recently having the same issue. we first thought it was the light in her room (her room faces east), but even after buying curtains, no change. she usually wakes up around 7, but lately its 6am-6:30. Not as bad as PP, but still annoying because I am pregnant and tired and also, cant get ready for work if shes hanging out in the bathroom with us. Soooo, she just plays by herself in her crib for however long she has been awake. Unfortunatley, she isnt the type for us to go in, say hi, and hand her a toy. She would want out. So we dont bother. Occasionally DH will bring her into bed with us and i will snuggle with her for a bit (if she has been crying). But, she doesnt go back to sleep. Pushing her bedtime back did not work. so, we dont bother with that. Looking for a solution and hoping she outgrows it.
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  • It must be contagious ;).  DS is STILL waking way earlier.  Ask Moxie did have a post on this very issue the other day which sort of made me feel better that he might outgrow it (and that it's not likely something I'm doing wrong):

    I'm trying to get to bed earlier,but it is so hard to stop doing what needs to be done at night.

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