We live in Oregon and right now it is plenty light out by 5AM. DH and I are up about 5 so he can get to work on time. Our kids normally sleep until 7AM. But for the last 2+ months they have been getting up around 6AM and sometimes earlier. DD8 doesn't do it as much as DD6. They are soooo grumpy 'cause they are consistently not getting enough sleep. I always put them back in bed and tell them that it isn't time to get up. They have to stay there until 7. But I am constantly putting them back in bed until 7!! I do need to get a clock for their room so they'll know what time it is and hopefully stay put on their own until 7. Last night we hung black garbage bags over their window. DD8 did sleep until just after 7. But, DD6 was up at 6 again. I am ready to put her to bed right now. She has been fussing and grumping and yelling all day!! DH leaves the house at 6 for work and that hour between 6 and 7 is my quiet time for prayer and devotions and maybe a shower. It really kills my prayer/devotions when I am putting a child back in bed every 10 minutes. Any thoughts on how to keep her in bed and help her to sleep? I wondered for a bit if she was ready for a later bedtime. DD6 goes to bed at 7 and DD8 goes to bed at 7:30, but she is so grumpy. She acts just like they usually do when they've had too late of a night . . . it has just become everyday. Thanks. If nothing else, I got to vent.
How to keep them sleeping in the morning?(13 posts) (9 voices)
I could have written your post except it is DS7 and DDs 6 and 2. And we don't live in Oregon, but the sun is up plenty early here too. I was up at 5 today trying to get Quiet Time in before they got up. DD, 2 years old, is up at 5:30.
My DH is most often out by 5:30 or 6 as well, so it is me, myself and I.
It really affects our whole day if I don't get a bit of quiet time in to read my Bible and pray. I wish I had an answer. Oh and we've pulled the curtains, put up room darkening blinds, etc. It is like their clocks are stuck. Keeping them up late doesn't seem to work either.
We do put them in bed between 7:30 and 8 though. Still they need to sleep easily until 7, and the rare times they do, the day goes much better for all of us.
OTOH, I am having to ring the doorbell and such to get our older boys (well two of them) up by 8! They have alarm clocks and they sometimes don't even wake to those. So it is a season b/c I remember them waking EARLY too. Not anymore LOL!
If them sleeping in is important to you then I would definitely move bedtime later! It's light out so long at night here now (after 9pm) that mine don't go to bed until 9:15pm. Some of the seven are still up at 6:30am, but that's better than the 5am they were trying to do.
For getting her to stay in the bed until 7 - yes, get her a DIGITAL alarm clock and tape a little sign beside it or where she can see it with the "7" written. Make sure she knows that as soon at the first number is a 7 she can get up for the day. It should only take a teeny bit of practice for that to become a habit hopefully.
Oh, and they make 'blackout' curtains that are extra thick so they keep light out. We just use dark blue thick curtains, but did blackouts one year for my husband when he needed it.
Bless you wonderful ladies who are willing to wake up at 5am to try to beat the kids for quiet time! I just trained my children that if mommy is still praying or reading her Bible to find a book or their own Bibles if old enough and be quiet until I get up to head to the kitchen. I remember my children always rising with the sun as toddlers. My youngest at 4 still likes to get up earlier than everyone else but even if she beats me up she knows just to play quietly in her room with her dolls until I get up.
If they don't have an alarm clock just tell them you will come for them when they can get up. I have to go get my son most mornings for a different reason lol. He has outgrown that stage and likes to sleep now.
Also, if they keep getting up early make them lay down for a short nap after lunch. I did that today as we for in very late last night from something.
Another thing on putting them to bed later . . . my kids haven't gotten the memo on sleeping in. Whenever they do go to bed late they get up at the same time or earlier.
I have tried telling them that I will open their door at 7 when they can get up but they still come to ask if it is 7 yet. I put them back to bed and remind them again that I'll open the door at 7.
They used to wake up occasionally before 7 and if I put them right back in bed it only lasted a day or 2 but if I let them stay up it lasted a week or 2. But now it doesn't seem to matter.
I would just find a way to deal with it if they wouldn't be sooo grumpy!!!
Pangit, I would treat it as an obedience issue, personally. At 8 and 6, they really should obey and stay in their room until whatever time you decide or when you go to get them, whichever you determine. I'm in the midst of training my 2 yo that he must play quietly if he wakes earlier than his alarm clock. In a matter of a week or so, he's caught on quite well. He went through a wake up and scream for mama phase that is simply not going to fly.
Give them a cheap clock so it's very clear about the time, if you'd like. That helps with telling time and gives them control to know when they are allowed up.
Grumpy means automatic nap and early to bed here, though at our house it's only the two youngest (2 & 5) and then only rarely. I don't care if they sleep as I cannot control that, but I require that they lie still while keeping their head on the pillow. There's more of a chance of actually sleeping that way :)
All families are different. Here are our bedtimes.
2 yo & 5 yo - bed at 8 or 8:30 (dependent on naps) and wake 7 or 7:30
8 yo - bed at 8:30 or 8:45 and wakes at 6 or 6:30 (he just needs less sleep and loves mornings)
11yo - bed at 9:15 or 9:30 and wakes 6:45 - 7:30
Keep on trying. It's what we mamas do best, right?
Do they have something they can do quietly in their rooms? I know my kids wouldn't just lay there, and they wouldn't go back to sleep. They will, however, read in bed or quietly play.
Of course, right now I'm having exactly the opposite problem. My kids won't go to sleep at night, and then they sleep in far past the time when I want them to be up and getting going. We're even further north than you, so the sun doesn't set until after 10pm. My poor DS(5) especially is having the worst trouble getting to sleep. They do sleep in, fortunately, but it throws the whole morning routine off. I can't wake them up earlier, though, because they are already grumpy enough from not getting to sleep.
Oh, the joys of summer. I'm trying not to complain, because the alternative is far worse.
While I agree to a point on the habit training I have 4 children who knew hunger and deprivaiton. They often wake up hungry especially 6YO DD and if I allow her to get too hungry, she experiences PTSD symptoms so that is not always an option for children who've come from different backgrounds (4 of mine were adopted so I'll leave it at that).
To the OP, I totally agree that keeping them up late does not always work. We've tried it for long runs at a time to no avail with certain ones. I think sometimes the internal clock is deeply set for some people.
I do have digital clocks and our 7 and 6YOs know to wait until 7 and they do OK with that if they don't awaken until 6:30 or so, but if they awaken in the 5 range, they just can't wait. It really stresses them out, especially when the hunger pains start coming on. Just takes them back in their minds and hearts to harder times.
I would say just keep trying and maybe use a chart system. I do use these as needed with our littles and they work wonders. Just take a piece of paper and mark off squares. 20, 30, whatever works. Maybe just start with one week! If they sleep in or stay in bed until you get them up, they get a checkmark in the box. If they don't, they get an X on the chart which must then be covered over with a sticker (the next day if they achieve the goal). Once a row is filled or the entire chart (you decide), then they get the agreed upon reward.
Now I know it sounds a whole lot like bribery but I like to call it motivation. And honestly, we use things like a "walk around the neighborhood with just you and Mommy or Daddy" or "Daddy will wake you up one day EARLY to get to eat breakfast with him."
They love it and it usually does help a lot and takes the pressure off of me and gives them control and also motivates. I know one reason our two littles wake so early is they want to see Daddy before he leaves, and they know he leaves usually before they wake up. When they do awaken early enough for him to still be here, he always makes their breakfast and they enjoy a special time with him. But anyway, these are just my thoughts.
As someone else said, ever family and situation is different.
I cannot speak to a child with special needs like LDImom mentions. I have no experience with SN or adopted children. I'm only speaking from my experience of what has worked in our family.
I agree with jmac17 re. Giving them books or something quiet to play with in the morning. If mine wake early they wouldn't lie there either. My 11 & 8 year olds wake and start their days with devotions and their schoolwork. The 5 & 2 year olds have books and one or two quiet toys in their rooms. The 5yo knows to do her chores before playing, but she occ forgets so we're working on that.
My comment re. requiring them to lie still with heads on pillows referred to going to bed and nap time. I should say with the youngest it has required me to sit there a few times, but it's working.
I guess I should feel blessed that my kids regularly sleep until 8:30 or 9....but some days it feels like a curse since our day starts so late! Our "secret" is to wear them out during the day with lots of physical and mental activity and then put them to bed around 10 (which we're REALLY trying to work on).
One of my friends had an early waking child that would wake the whole house. She bought a clock that had a light which glowed green if he could leave the room and yellow (or red?) if it was not time to leave. You can set it to whatever time you want. He had a basket of books and/or small toys next to the bed (so he didn't have to physically get off the bed) which he could play with until the light turned green. Black-out or heavy curtains help too.
I am smiling because when they get to be teenagers, getting them out of bed is more of the issue lol....habit training works well with the littles though and I think being consistent is important too. My girls in their early mid teens had a hard time getting up even though they had a reasonable bedtime, but our pediatrician said they need extra sleep so we allowed them a little extra; now they are often up at 5 or 6am ready to start their day, so it all works out in the end...seasons of life and all that. When they were little, I just did the same thing day in and day out, and they learned pretty quickly that there were times they needed to stay in their rooms, rest, play quietly but not bug me until I said it was ok - I too had to sit with them when they were younger for a few days or so, but they twigged on and then it was no problem.
I'm in the same camp as Joanne and crazy4boys. My kids stay up too late and then sleep in too long. However, I usually end up going to bed the same time they do, so if they stay up really late playing (or talking--my girls share a room), then I just fall asleep before they do so I can get up earlier. I like having that quiet time for what I need to do in the morning. There's nothing worse than sweetly talking with the Lord and having to stop in mid-thought and yell, "GET BACK IN YOUR ROOM! MOM'S PRAYING!!!"
I'm going to have to work on getting them back in the habit of early to bed and early to rise once we're approaching the new school year. But for now, we are just enjoying the treat of summertime activities. One thing we've done a couple of times that kept us out later is a late visit to our favorite playground. It's in a park on the lake, so it's a great place to end the evening. The playground has a huge wooden structure for climbing and sliding that looks like a big ship, and there's also an 8-foot rock climbing wall and a castle tower. My kids like to play hide-and-seek in the dark, and I get to sit on a park bench or glider and relax. However, that usually means we don't get to bed until after 10 p.m., so they don't get up until after 9 a.m.
Oh, well, as was previously said, the joys of summer!
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