Waking early

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Waking early

Postby Mumto2boys » Fri 17 Dec, 2010 10:00 am

Hi there. I have a 2year old and he is waking so early at the moment. Often it is 5am or even earlier. Help! It is too early to start the day!
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Re: Waking early

Postby NgalaOnline » Thu 20 Jan, 2011 11:41 am

Thank you for your question. Early waking at this age can be a common issue for parents and 5 am or earlier is certainly too early to start the day. Children at this age are developing enormously as they strive to develop their independence; however this process requires periods of closeness to their parent that will often be emphasised during sleep, possibly in your case early waking. From what is known about development and sleep, you might want to consider:

-Reducing possibility of child being overtired as this can interfere with night sleep, see http://www.ngala.com.au/You-and-Your-Family re Toddlers Sleep and Tip sheets on average sleep patterns, also Sleep and Settling 0-5 years. 2year olds can still need up to 2.5 hours sleep in the day and settling in evening around 7pm

- Exposure to indirect sunlight in the afternoon to enhance circadian (day/night) rhythm. Even active and calming periods in the day can enhance a relaxing daytime rhythm in a very active 2 year olds life to promote longer relaxing sleep at night.

- Ensure your child is eating and drinking well in the day to reduce possible hunger or thirst in the early morning time.

-Relaxing bedtime routine encouraging child to settle and soothe themself with teddy/comforter to enhance their ability to self settle when they wake over night

- Environmental factors e.g., level of light in room, keep night light dim (can be scared of the dark at this age), keep possible noise from a parent getting up for work to a minimum, keep stimulation to a minimum when trying to re settle child if he is distressed when waking.

- At this age they don't know the time, often thinking it is time to get up. Could try teaching child to '' wait for alarm clock to 'ring' before you get up'' practice during day sleep to help child develop this as a cue to get up from his sleeps.

See http://www.ngala.com.au/You-and-Your-Family for details about Parent Education sessions on sleep and guiding children’s behaviour, if you are in the Perth area. See Ngala website re Secrets of Good Sleepers booklet.

The http://raisingchildren.net.au website is also useful re sleep/development/behaviour at this age.

For a more detailed response we would need more specific information which you can give us in reply to this forum post.
This information is general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for the personalized assistance that can be received from the Ngala Helpline by telephone.

For families residing in Western Australia you can also contact the
Ngala Helpline
Telephone 9368 9368 or 1800 111 546 for country access
Available 7 days a week, 8am to 8pm
or request a callback online http://www.ngala.com.au/Ngala-and-You/Ngala-Helpline/Contact-Ngala-Helpline-Online

For helplines in other Australian states please follow this link
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