25 February 2009

[no title]

I was really angry this morning, for a long time. Hours. It's only 9:44 a.m. right now, and I've had many wakeful hours during which to be angry because Riley got up for the day at 4:45 a.m.

"I know I shouldn't be so angry with him," I said to CV as I staggered around the kitchen in an vengeful delirium. "It's not like he knows it's so early. He just knows he's awake and ready to get up."
"It's those things you can't control that are the hardest to deal with," remarked my wise housemate. So true, so true.

Riley has never been a great sleeper. I don't think he needs as much sleep as the average toddler, for starters; he certainly doesn't need as much sleep as Maddie. He also takes a long time to fall asleep and wakes up early. If Riley sleeps past 6:00 a.m., it's a very good day indeed.

But Riley's sleep issues aren't really the problem here. At issue is my inability to control the anger that his early wakings incite. I know that yelling at him to go back to sleep doesn't help, yet that's what I do because I don't know what else to do. Sometimes I take him into bed with me, but he just talks and pulls my hair and asks questions and as endearing as I want to find that, if it's anytime before 6:00 a.m., I just find it annoying. Eventually, his talking wakes up N and Maddie, and that's just not OK since both of them need more sleep than Riley. 

I'm planning to get a timer for a night-light and experiment with telling Riley that if the light has not come on yet, then it's not time to talk and wake others up, it's time to sleep. Hopefully that will help. Hopefully I will be able to control my anger; I hate carrying that feeling around all morning, and I hate the guilt I feel for having yelled at the little man for something that is not in his control. It's not like he bit another kid or deliberately broke something or did something "naughty." He's just listening to his body clock, which runs on a much different timer than the rest of our household's, and a much different timer than I'd like it to.

I know I can't control this. I can only control my reaction. I need to write that down though, see it transfer from my hand to the computer screen, and create a record of it, because just thinking it is clearly not enough. I can't control this, I can only control my reaction. I don't like the way I feel when I yell and get angry. Tomorrow morning, no matter how early, I will be calm, and explain to Riley that it's still night and that his talking is going to wake the other kids. Then I will ask him if he wants to snuggle with me. And even if his presence in my bed keeps me awake, I will think about our meditation from church last week. I don't remember the specific words, but it had to do with peace and accepting each moment in life for what it is.

I can change how I react. I want to change how I react. Writing about it here helps to make it all real.


64 comments:

Kim said...

I also have a little one that is on a much different timer than the rest of us. I also get very angry about being woken up when it is still dark out. And I have also lost my temper and yelled at him. It is extremely hard to deal with and I have a partner to trade off with. Hang in there and hopefully the night light will work.

Aimee said...

Have you asked your pediatrician about his early waking? They often have great suggestions.

I'm sorry things have been so crazy this past week. Good luck with the open house! Good luck with the settling in, too. Good vibes all around. :-)

Anonymous said...

What if you let him stay a little later than the other 2? That will give you some quality one on one time and hopefully he will get up when they do.

Legally Brunette said...

I really like this post, Snick. I just returned from mass for Ash Wednesday and have been thinking a lot about my goals for the Lenten season...and you've just crystallized for me what my mantra needs to be for the next 40 days of Lent and beyond - "Accepting each moment in life for what it is."

It is a simple thought but brilliant, and I'm counting on it to relieve a lot of the anxiety that I have going on.

Good luck with Riley - I think the nightlight timer idea is genius, and I'll say a prayer for both of you.

Jamie said...

I saw this on another blog awhile back and saved the link. It may be the type of thing you're looking for.

http://www.goodnitelite.com/index.php

I hope you are able to figure all of this out soon. :)

Anonymous said...

Here Snick, I googled this for you, it has a lot of tips/info on early rising toddlers and maybe it can be of help to you!

http://www.baby-place.com/tooearly.html

Good luck with the sleep thing!

Miriam's mommy said...

My daughter, a few months younger than M&R, also needs very little sleep and, like Riley, sleeping until 6 is "sleeping in." It's very, very hard.

She's also trying to give up her naps and I admit to yelling at her more than a few times when she was refusing to go to sleep. I told her that *I* wasn't done napping. Didn't work.

Let us know how the nightlight thing works -- that's one thing I've been meaning to try.

Anonymous said...

I want to second what someone else mentioned... why not have him stay up later than the other children. Maybe late to bed, late to rise?? I have two daughters, each with different sleep needs so they have different bedtimes.

The nightlight is a great idea - I know a lot of people put a clock in the child's bedroom and tell the child you can't get up until there is a '6' on the clock or the big/little hand is pointed a certain way.

Your reaction to Riley's waking and Riley's waking are both very normal. I would be angry too! I think between a later bedtime and a nightlight or clock in the room, you can nip this problem in the bud and get a good nights rest!

Tammy

Anonymous said...

i have a son who used to wake up at 4:45 am like clockwork. it drove me nuts and i was always dragging and moody during the day because of it.
i started putting him to bed at 8:30-9pm instead of 7pm and now he gets up at a more civilized time of 7:30. yes it does make the nights longer for me but because i'm not exhausted like before it's more tolerable. hope that helps.

Snickollet said...

Thanks to all for the tips.

Re: a later bedtime, unfortunately, Riley is one of those kids who gets up EARLIER when he goes to bed later. Counterintuitive, but true, alas.

Susan said...

Poor Riley....this is typical of toddlers. AND, with him in a room with 2 other toddlers your choices are very limited. I agree with some of the other posts in that maybe give him special time after the other 2 are in bed and keep him up a little longer. OR, have a cot or something that he will have to lay on in your room if he gets up too early. That way he won't wake the other two. This will pass and you will barely remember it when you look back :) Hang in there.

Mijk said...

asvice from an alarm light veteran! Set the timer on an incredible early hour 4.45 or something. He needs succes, like we all do to learn. He can't wait 90 minutes to see the light come on. get him in your bed and congratualte him and have riley tim. change the clock 10 minutes the next morning and build it up. Because if it works that timer clock will be your friend for years and years!!!

word verification droma which sounds as phentic dutch for droom maar. Which means Go, dream

Pam said...

Snick,
I understand. I have a VERY early riser too. Last Saturday and Sunday he was up at 5:30 AM. Since I get up at 5AM during the week, I would like to stay in bed until 7AM or so on the weekends. I was quite grouchy and angry with him too. Actually until about a year ago, he NEVER EVER slept through the night.
Carter is much like Riley, if he isn't in bed at 8PM sharp, he will get up even earlier.
Hey one day they will be teenagers and will sleep all day! Right? Yea, that doesn't make me feel better either. Hang in there Snick, you are not alone.

Melissa said...

How about putting a port-a-crib in your room with some toys so when he wakes up you can get him out of the room with the girls still sleeping and he can play quietly while you still rest/nap.

Giovanna Diaries said...

[no advice] sorry.
I think I mentioned it in a comment the other day how it took forever to get Riley to fall asleep that one time. But he did eventually fall asleep. Maybe munchkins will help :)

Mommy, Esq. said...

I think every twin mom has this issue. I know I do. I love my kids. I just love them more after 6 am.

Also, don't let him stay up later - it won't make a difference in his wakeup time. And you need them to go to bed at the same time each night for your sanity.

Penny does wake Ned up in the AM so if she is being noisy I take her out of the room (luckily mine can't walk yet). For a while I put her in a swing and she fell back asleep but I know you can't do that with Riley.

My husband's mom let him in her room but only if he brought his blanket and slept on the floor. He did that every morning for years.

Single Parent Dad said...

I had a similar issue with Max between 2 and 3, and this may seems a little ridiculous, but have you considered putting him to bed earlier? I know, I know. But if he gets up at the same time anyway, it just means that he will get used to sleeping for longer, and you can then creep his bed time back to improve the early morning wake up. It worked for us anyway.

And good on you for sharing, and wanted to address this. But, please, pretty please, stop being so hard on yourself.

Dianne said...

Oh, definitely try the light!! We did, and it totally worked. Our son was about 3 1/4, and was doing the same thing. It definitely did not work to put him to bed later, then he was just more cranky. We did not buy anything fancy, just a nightlight plugged into a timer. The first day, we set it for 6 AM and kept it that way for a week, slowly increasing the time until we settled at 6:30. Our son is now 4, and this still works.

I would bet Riley actually does need more sleep, but something about some kids just gets them up earlier than they should Our son is 4, and sleeps from 8:30-6:30 and takes a 1.5 hour nap almost every day.

Do it now, before it starts to get light very early in the AM. Good luck!!

Oh and I am with you on the anger, it is really infuriating!!

django's mommy said...

I have an early waker, and often feel the same way about the pre-6am wakeups. I have implemented a 'morning light' (light on a timer) that has worked pretty well. It only took N a few days to figure it out. Stickers helped too.

In the meantime, good luck w/changing your reaction. It's hard, I know.

MLB said...

We've all been there - I have one of those. Our middle son has ALWAYS woken super early and changes in schedule, routine, whatever trigger it. So you are not alone. And my kid is the same way with going to bed later. And my husband called him an a**hole the other morning at an ungodly hour (out of his hearing) and I fully understood why. Hopefully the nightlight will work. And it will get better - when he gets older you can use rewards for staying quietly in bed until the son comes up.

This might amuse you the next time R does it. My son sings loudly when he wakes up. And he's not Pavarotti. So we get loud off-key jingle bell rock in April. And he wakes up his baby brother. No wonder his older sister is so happy we moved him out of her room.

beyond said...

maybe riley could have toys to play with until his morning light comes on. special quiet toys that are only for his alone time in the morning, something that keeps him engrossed for a while (although i know kids that age hardly become engrossed with anything) and that he can easily reach from where he sleeps.

Melissa in Grafton said...

Snick, you can only be so patient when you're totally exhausted in the pre-dawn hours. Every parent has had those moments -- some of us have had many, many of those moments. Good laaahhhd, that's why sleep deprivation is such an effective means of torture! :)

In the book "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" by Mark Weissbluth, MD, he says that later bedtimes usually mean EARLIER risings, as you've noted with Riley. Dr. W says that this phenomenon is "not logical -- it's biological." Early risings may actually be a sign of being overtired, ironically... I recommend that book; it helped me to understand so much about kids and sleep.

My son is a year older than your twins, but since he turned 3 we've been able to enforce something we call the "8:00 rule" using a special clock: http://www.coolstuffexpress.com/store/p/498-Teach-Me-Time-Talking-Alarm-Clock.html He can wake up before 8:00, but he must play quietly in his room until the clock glows green and it's okay to call for us. This may be especially important in your case, since there are 3 kids sharing the room and they're not necessarily all on the same sleep schedule.

It might be an absolute livesaver. You can't force a child to sleep, obviously, but I think if you start putting some rules into place now, eventually, you'll reap the rewards.

Hugs,
m

Parisienne Mais Presque said...

Here in France I've seen cute alarm clocks for kids with a lighted image that changes from a rabbit in bed in a dark room to a rabbit out of bed with the sun shining. You can program it to change from one image to the other at some set time to provide a visual reminder of when it is okay to get up. This may be what previous posters have linked to, but if not and you want me to find more information, e-mail me from my blog -- heck, if you think it might change your life dramatically, I'd track one down and send it to you.

And this may be stretching it, but is there any chance putting a pile of books or something within his reach might amuse him for a little bit? Even enough for just 15 minutes of extra sleep for you? Or am I hopelessly naive?

Hang in there! Oh, so I know how hard to be a calm and loving parent when you're dragged out of bed at some thoroughly unreasonable hour. It isn't you, it is universal.

L. said...

I would be equally cranky if I were woken up that early. My guy gets up between 6 and 6:30, usually, and that's hard enough for me. I find myself in just the sort of nasty mood you describe, though, when he fails to nap. (He falls asleep in the car on a hair-trigger and then the nap is shot half the time.) And I have the same response of guilt and shame afterwards. Sleep deprivation is a terrible thing.

If the earlier-bedtime thing doesn't work, do you think it's just time to cut out his afternoon nap? Although I don't know how that works at daycare, if all the other kids are still napping. But at his age I suspect some are drifting towards dropping it.

Maybe he's ready to cut out his nap already

Allison said...

Delurking to say: I have two children (one is nearly 5.5, one is 2), and am 35 weeks along with my third, and your posts mentioning your anger resonate so strongly with me. I too feel helpless anger over my kids' behavior (especially the 2-year-old's tantrums/irrational dictums). I too yell at my kids and then feel lousy over my loss of control.

(And I have nowhere NEAR the excuses you have! I have a husband who can relieve me when I *really* go off the deep end. Sometimes it's the lack of excuses for my anger that bothers me the most.)

Anyway, I hope it comforts you to know that there are other moms who really get mad, too.

Also, as the fellow mom of an early riser (the 2-year-old), I do the thing where I let him get in bed with me and I tell him, "It's time for sleeping." Then, no matter what happens, I do NOT get up. I find it helps him to know that even if he's awake, he can't expect everyone else to wake up when it's "time for sleeping."

Usually he will chatter to himself and play with my hair for that hour or half-hour, and even if I can't go back to sleep I'm at least lying down with my eyes closed. See, I just can't face getting up before six, and it's that mental boost of getting out of bed after six that helps me deal with the early waking.

L. said...

(Whoops! A revised line got shunted to the bottom of my comment.)

Anonymous said...

Hmm. Not much advice here either, I"m sorry to say. I have a toddler the same age as Maddie and Riley, and sometimes when she doesn't want to sleep I can convince her that it's still "quiet time"--time to read a book to herself, play with a toy quietly, something like that, and she will cooperate--maybe even in the cot like someone else suggested. But I'm nto dealing with three little onesin the same room. Good luck, Snick. You're doing a great job.

Anonymous said...

I cant add much to this discussion that hasnt been said, but dont feel alone. My son who is the same age as the twins also has a habit of waking early. I put him in my bed, if he isnt already there from an earlier hour, Then I give him some TREASURES to play with from my bedside drawer(necklaces, watch etc which he can only play with at that aweful hour) then I lie with my eyes closed even if it is just for 10 Min. It doesnt fix the fact that I would much rather be sleeping but at least it gives me time to work through the irritation, then I get up and make myself a very strong cup of coffee!

It is my one pet hate of parenting.. I dont mind waking up half the night, so long as I dont have to get up before 6am!!!!!

Good luck and take lots of deep breaths

Single Mum from South Africa

Julia said...

When Monkey was little and woke up way earlier than we wanted to be getting up, we kept a DVD in the player in our bedroom, and we'd let her watch it while she sat on our bed (between the two of us, so we knew she'd be safe... but Ri-man is older, he should be ok even with just you). Meanwhile we snoozed some more. Ah, the memories...

(Also? I cried in the middle of the night today cause the Cub woke up AGAIN, and JD wasn't waking up to help, and I was exhausted from staying up way late to get work done... So you know, I hear you. I so hear you.)

Anonymous said...

That doctor is crazy unless your kids don't get adequate other sleep. All of my friends who put their kids down at 7:00 and 8:00 PM complain that their kids wake up at 4:30 to 5:00 AM. My kids have always gone down between 9:00 and 10:00 PM and they wake up around 9:00 AM. They also took (until recently) a two to three hour nap in the afternoon. My kids get more than average sleep. The lateness is not the issue. They need to be in bed around 12 hours before they need to wake up. Unfortunately, with three kids in one room, you really aren't going to be able to solve this. I know lots of people have bad things to say about CIO but it works. After they were weaned, my kids cried for maybe 15-20 minutes for two days before they got the idea that they were supposed to sleep when they were in bed with the door shut and the light out. Haven't had a problem since.

Anonymous said...

Cover the window with aluminum foil so he can't tell when it's daylight.

CV said...

snick, sounds like anonymous has everything figured out. too bad he/she isn't around our place at 5 a.m. to show us how it's done.

CV said...

this latest 'anonymous', that is..

Yummy Mummy said...

I have a little music box in the little man's crib. It's one of those that attach, I think it's the playschool rainforest one. My guy plays with it for about an hour after he wakes up in the morning and from nap. You can keep the volume super low so not to wake the others. Just an idea, it works for us.

Good luck and don't be too hard on yourself. Sleep is a basic need and it's hard to stay in control when you aren't getting enough.

Anonymous said...

I was also going to suggest the book thing. I know someone who did this, though I don't know what the lighting situation is in his bedroom.

Anyway- the plan with my friend was that when her daughter woke up early (I think the light thing is a great idea) she could rest quietly or look at books quietly until it was time to wake up. Those were her only two options. If she didn't follow those, there was a consequence.

I don't know if Riley is old enough for that kind of direction, but it worked for my friend.

Anonymous said...

Can you make sure his room is completely dark in the morning?

Can you do the "come in bed with me and watch TV while I snooze" trick I used to do?

Karen said...

Can't you put him to be later so that he sleeps later? Or is that something that seems logical to someone who doesn't have to deal with twins, but is not practical??

yatima said...

I don't like how I feel when I yell and get angry either. I want to do better too.

Mama Mama Quite Contrary said...

Why is an awake child at 1 a.m. somehow much easier to tolerate than an awake child at 5 a.m.? That is always around the time when I lose it too.

Laura said...

I just have to comment on the extreme reaction to waking -- I thought I was the only one! My girls don't have sleep issues, thank god, but I swear, on the occasion that they wake up early from a nap and start yelling I feel this -rage- that seems to come out of nowhere! I think it has something to do with feeling like a time is my own and then having that taken away. I like what you write about only being able to control my reaction... it's hard but worth trying.

L. said...

Yeah, I'd like anonymous to know that my kid goes to bed before 8 and, as I said, gets up after 6. And that when I put him to bed at 9 it makes no difference; he gets up within the same timeframe regardless.

(Occasionally he wakes before 6, but not usually. If he does we let him talk or fuss or whatever, but he's just the one, in his own crib and room, so we have a luxury there that you don't.)

Sherrie said...

I have two early risers (oldest is 5 1/2 and youngest just turned 3 this month). You are definitely on to something with the nightlight on a timer idea. We got each of my kids an alarm clock for Christmas called the American Innovative Teach Me Time Talking Alarm Clock and Nightlight. You can preset the clock to turn green at a specific time. We have not seen them before 7am since we got these clocks!

~ Jolene said...

gosh, that's a tough one. 1,because I don't have kids of my own and 2, because I truly cherish my sleep so I'm sure I'd find it annoying too. But poor baby, you're right, he doesn't understand the concept of letting others sleep at 4:45 in the morning. I think the timer sounds like a great idea. I only hope it works. Hang in there Snick.

Anonymous said...

My almost 3-year-old niece has similarly challenging sleep habits, and my brother/sister-in-law have found that rewarding/bribing her with stickers works. She gets one sticker to put on her "sleep calendar" for every night that she stays in bed all night and doesn't wake up her older sister (with whom she shares a room). It seems to have helped with sleep a lot at their house - my brother no longer falls asleep at the dinner table when I visit him.

susan said...

I feel for you--I've been working on my own irritation and anger with CG these past few months. Sleep issues are just so hard to deal with b/c they make you so very tired, too. An easy recipe for frustration all around. I have no ideas to offer, but much sympathy. Hang in there.

Anonymous said...

BOth my kids need little sleep, sadly like me in my youth. This may be "bad parenting" but...one thing my husband does (I would too but I am too lazy) is that he gets our laptop and lets R watch a few cartoons or a movie. He sits in bed with him and watches the show. It keeps him quiet and then hubby falls back to sleep. Not sure if t his would work for RIley but I thought I would pass it along.

One more thing, both my kids go to bed fairly late to prevent early wakeups. R is 5 and is in bed around 9pm.

Good luck!!

Cynthia said...

Honey, I'm right here with ya! Am I ever. Not just with the early waking time, but as for the early waking time -- my little girl used to wake up at 5am every day. I went to bed early if I could. Look, all parents - all loving parents - know exactly what you are talking about. These babies are our true loves, but they can drive us crazy all the same. You are on the right track. Thanks for sharing and helping us all.

Rev Dr Mom said...

Would he be amenable to having books in bed to look at when he wakes up? Or quiet toys to play with?

The Kid always had books in his crib with him at that age...it was a godsend both at night and in the morning.

Your frustration is perfectly understandable! It's just so hard when your sleeping schedules don't match that way!

buddha_girl said...

Ahhh I know this pain.

I've tempered the lack of time Buddha spends sleeping by completely wearing his BUTT OUT. Running in circles, dancing, running in the yard. Anything I can do to get that last bit of oomph out of him before sleep came really helped. He used to scream and cry like a madman before going to sleep (as an infant).

I finally spoke with his pediatrician who said that it was his body's natural way of ridding itself of excess energy so that he COULD go to sleep. Once he hit toddlerhood, I wore him out as best I could so that he could fall asleep more easily.

Here's to hoping things get better.

eba said...

Thank you for your direct honesty and heartfelt thoughts... I hope this morning went better for you.

jen @ negative lane said...

Whenever you write posts about Riley's poor sleeping, I always empathize. My 3 year old was and still is a terrible sleeper with frequent night wakings, but I have to admit he has the virtue of sleeping in. Now, my 9 month old, who does often sleep though the night is the early riser. The two of them together are a recipe for making me crazy.

I saw this kids alarm clock the other day. http://www.thinkgeek.com/geek-kids/3-7-years/a6c0/. It's meant to teach time and the description says "Ok to Wake" Dual Color Nightlight Timer (when the clock turns green, the kids are allowed to get out of bed)." It might be just the ticket.

My sister-in-law did the alarm clock trick with my nephew who was told he was not allowed out of bed until it was 7. He learned to sleep with toys and books in bed with him to entertain himself in the pre-dawn hours.

OTRgirl said...

Sounds like you're getting some great advice. I like that you wrote it out to help it sink in. I do that, too. Hang in there!

Elaine said...

Snick,
I really don't have a suggestion to the early waking other than hopefully Riley will outgrow it while you still have some sanity left. (hee hee). You are not alone in the "angry at the kids" department. I have yelled at my youngest for things I didn't need to just because I was feeling "cranky". It is hard when they are so young and can't really express themselves yet. I have seen lots of night lite ideas, so maybe that would work.
Keep your chin up, you are doing a great job with the little ones.

Meika said...

We have an early riser, too, and it is so, so hard - especially with a newborn little sister waking us every few hours at night. Awful.

Sometimes we'll tell her that it's too early to be awake but if she can't sleep she can read some books, and then take every book on the shelf and put it in her crib. Some days that buys us a half an hour or more, though she never goes back to sleep.

B.Mare said...

As a single parent to a nightmarishly early riser, I have been beating my head against a wall like a trapped moth trying to figure out a way to fix it. Someone commented on my most recent blog post to say you were going through the same thing, and were about to attempt the light on a timer technique, so I thought I would check in. Personally I do feel better if I am trying something, anything, no matter how futile! I'll be interested to compare notes to see how it goes. Good luck!

Jen said...

We bought one of these & it was been our savior since our son was 2.5, he's 4+ now & still is awesome! We've already purchased one for our 18 mos old just to have on hand when the time is right to start using it.
http://www.americaninnovative.com/products/teachmetime.php
GOOD LUCK!

Jen said...

I just saw someone recommended the same thing I did...sorry for the duplicate but reading through the comments made me remember we did a Good Sleep Chart too. If our son slept all night w/ out waking us up (sick/scared/etc doesn't count) he would get a sticker on his chart. When he got 5 stickers he go to go to Target & pick out anything he wanted from the dollar section. LOVE bribery!

mames said...

what i love about you is that you are always working on your self and your response to your children. we mamas of twins know our children are different with different needs. i love that you are honoring him and trying to find a way to change your reactions. i kinda think all the tips in the world do not change our children's sleep, but the work you are putting into your mamahood will most definitely change you. hang in there, i heard eventually they grow up and then you can never get them out of bed. hugs.

Anonymous said...

I feel your pain. I have a 2.5 year old and a 4 month old. Neither of them sleep. I haven't slept in 2.5 years. I'm getting quite tired of it. I'm especially annoyed today because Miss P (4 month old) was up at 3:00 am FOR THE DAY!!!! I get so furious and then feel terrible because like they know...it's hard to be a good mom when you're tired.

littlesunfish said...

Hi, I'm not a super religious person, but I think that this verse may be similar to what you heard in church. It was one of the readings at my wedding -- and I just find it soothing in general. I wish you peace in your nights and your days.

Philippians 4:4-9
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 
Let all men know your forbearance. The Lord is at hand. Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 
And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 
What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, do; and the God of peace will be with you.

Denise said...

I get pretty angry when I'm woken up at 4:00 a.m. One of my boys is also a very poor sleeper, but there is a behavioral aspect to it too. Maybe Riley is a bit young for this, but I "ground" the kids if they get up at 4:00 a.m.--I take away favorite toys, no TV or dessert privileges. (You have plenty of time to move a whole Thomas train set, let's say, to the basement between 4:00 and 6:00.) Usually one whole day of being grounded is enough to impress upon them the importance of staying in bed, especially if I remind them right before they go to sleep.

Linda said...

I haven't read the comments so forgive me if I repeat what others say - but I do the same thing with my son. My daughter sleeps in until at least 8 but my son's waking schedule is very irratic. He'll wake up depending on what time he takes his morning poop (UGH). I have had many cranky mornings of yelling at him for waking up too early. Sometimes I feel totally crazy and out of control when I'm yelling, too. Like I know I should stop and yet... the yelling somehow releases my steam. I feel very guilty afterwards and a little stupid, but in the delirium of fatigue it is my first reaction. You're not alone.

kathleen999 said...

Hi--Didn't have time to read all the comments, but Nicky is the same as Riley. Zacky needs more sleep. My solution is to let Nicky climb in bed with me, as long as it is what I consider early morning (after say 5am) and not what I consider the middle of the night (anything before 5am, when he gets marched lovingly back to bed). He snuggles up and I don't usually get very good sleep after that, but it's better than getting up at 5am.

If he starts making too much noise, we have to get up, though. I try not to let him wake anyone else. The good news is that this tended to be a daily thing anywhere from 5-5:30am. Then it became around 6am. The last few days have been around 6:30am. So it's getting better as he gets older. I hope Riley starts to sleep in too.

And I know a lot of people have ideas on this, but the truth is, a little kid wants some company when they wake in the early morning. If not Mommy, then it's going to be his brother. The other option is letting him get up alone and start wreaking havoc in the apartment. One morning my husband got up to find that Nicky had turned all the burners on, which did not light. We could have all died. So I feel it's better to snuggle with him and know where he is and what he is doing.

Roads said...

The real problem, of course, is that you can't nudge your partner in the ribs, and say Your turn, baby.

That can cause anger, too, of course, of a subtly different kind.

But infinitely preferable, I agree.

Sleep deprivation is hard. Wishing you some better nights, from London.