We are at our wits end. No, not because we have a newborn who doesn’t sleep more than 2-3 hours at a time… Believe me, I can handle that.
What I can’t handle is this: Our 2-year-old gets up at 5 am. Every. Day. And lately? The Girl has been getting up at 4 am.
The other day, she woke up at 3:45 ready to start the day.
5 am wake up calls are beginning to look good.
It all began last fall around Daylight Savings Time. Her usual get-up time of 7 am began creeping backward. Television would usually entertain her until we were ready to join her amongst the awake.
7 am became 6 am, and 6 am soon became 5 am. We were confused. What could be waking her up? Was it the change in time? Was it a neighbor’s car? Were we putting her to sleep too early?
Yes, that must be it. We started putting her to bed later, and still, nothing changed. At 5 am she was awake. No snuggling in our bed for more sleep, or playing quietly in her room. She was awake. Up. Wanting attention.
I thought it would change back when we Sprang Forward in the Spring. It didn’t. We began to take more action.
We put in two sets of room-darkening shades and a white noise machine. Still up at 5 am.
You might be thinking, “Well, E, maybe that is all the sleep she needs.” And I would agree with you if not for the fact she has a meltdown by 7 am and falls asleep in the car to daycare by 8 am.
The girl is tired.
And so are we.
And we feel so alone, like no one else we know has this problem.
So, I am asking for advice.
How can we get our toddler to sleep past 5 am?
We’ve begun putting her to bed by 7pm. We’ve tried melatonin (not working). We’ve tried the, “You can’t get out of bed until the sun is out” routine (doesn’t work). And we try (without success) every morning to crawl in bed with her until she falls back asleep.
Please don’t tell me to put her to bed later. Please don’t tell me to try the “Sleep Lady Shuffle.” We’ve tried all of these before. And frankly? Nothing seems to work.
Please don’t tell me it’s “just the way she is” because her falling asleep at 8 am is not normal.
Please tell me you’ve been there before with your kids. Please tell me she will outgrow this. Please tell me what worked for you.