Feeding Toddler Asleep and waking early
I feed my 2 and half year old to sleep. I don't have any problem in this because I feel that when he is ready and developed enough to sleep on his own, he will.
The only issue he is waking up at 5.30am ish most mornings. I have read because he does not fall asleep on his own that he is waking at this time and is not able to fall back to sleep because he has had enough sleep. I am happy for him to be awake but I was wondering if anybody had any tips to help him fall back to sleep or play on his own after I have given him a feed. So I can get a little more sleep or rest.
He still has an afternoon sleep. I have tried to reduce/ remove it but it just makes him so cranky and then he struggles to go to sleep. He normally goes to sleep well at about 9pm and sleeps through.
Any suggestions greatly received.
Or do I just need to suck it up and realize this is what I have signed up to by not night weaning him. I think even hearing other people stories might help because I feel a bit alone and that I have done this sleep thing all wrong. I never wanted to do the cry it out method and still don't.
Thanks for any advice. http://forums.llli.org/images/smilies/love.gif
Re: Feeding Toddler Asleep and waking early
I have a friend with a 2.5 year-old toddler. He was completely weaned at 10 months, and he hasn't napped since he was 2. The other day, he woke up at 5:30 a.m. demanding juice, water, and milk (in a sippy cup) and he had absolutely no interest in going back to sleep. My point being that what your toddler is doing is normal, regardless of whether he's weaned or takes a nap.
When your LO wakes at 5:30, is he ready to be up for the day, or does he still seem sleepy? Some kids are just early birds, and there's not a lot you can do about it. It's just their biological clocks at work.
Have you tried putting your LO to bed earlier than 9 p.m.?
Re: Feeding Toddler Asleep and waking early
Hi Kitty! As a mother of an early bird (DS) - I FEEL YOUR PAIN! I don't think you're doing anything wrong, but I'm hopeful I can offer some suggestions for you to make your life a little easier. But first, Mommal is right - some kids are just early birds, no matter what. Also -at his age, I would definately recommend a bedtime earlier than 9pm. My DS wakes up between 5:30am and 6am - no matter what. So he goes to bed at 7pm. And at 3.5 years of age he does still take a nap (usually about 45 minutes or 1 hour nowadays). I have found that if he goes to bed too late, he wakes up even earlier, because he is overtired. So I am strict about that early bedtime. He needs the sleep, and if he's not going to sleep late in the mornings, that sleep has got to come from somewhere.
Now, on to how to start the day. Is your son in a crib still or a bed? There may be some ways you can encourage some independent quiet time in the mornings when he wakes up. I'll tell you what worked for us. I started this back when DS was still in his crib (in his own room, we never coslept):
1) I got a very small lamp for his bookshelf. I got a timer for that lamp. I set it to have the lamp come on just a few minutes after he normally woke up, and told him that it's not morning until his lamp came on. I snuck in his room at night before I went to bed and put books in his crib. He fussed a bit the first few days when he woke up, but as soon as the lamp came on I would rush in his room and cheerfully say "Good morning!"
2) Once he got used to this, I gradually lengthened the amount of time that I would wait before going in his room after the light came on. He was fine looking at his books until I got there.
3) I also gradually pushed back the time that the lamp came on. The bulb in the lamp is dim enough that he could see, but wouldn't wake him up in the (unlikely) event he'd still be sleeping when the lamp came on.
He's 3.5 years old now and in a bed, and we still do this. He wakes up around 6am (or earlier) WITHOUT FAIL, but his lamp doesn't come on until about 6:20. I come in his room around 6:45. He's totally fine with this. He RARELY falls back to sleep, but our routine ensures that he knows when it's time to sleep and when it's time to wake up (since he can't tell time by a clock yet). After his light comes on he usually either just lounges around on his bed or gets some books to read, plays with his stuffed animals, etc. It's worked like a charm for us. Perhaps you could impelement a similar routine? At his age it might take a while and it would require a lot of consistenly on your part, but I'm sure it would work for you!