Thursday, September 27, 2018

4 year old keeps waking up at 5:30 am, what we can do to get her to sleep in?

Great Question:
My 4 year old daughter keeps waking up at 5:30 am no matter what we do... with a daytime nap, no nap.... (which is unbearable) she still wakes up too early.
We have black out curtains, noise machine.... and she still wakes up like clockwork. Oh and to add her bedtime is at 8 pm.... any tips on what we can do to get her to sleep in??

She has sleep skills.  We helped her with sleep skills when she was 7 months old. So this is a typical age thing.  Talk about it with her a lot. If she seems tired from not getting a long enough night, point out her cranky and frustrated feelings when you see them. Point out to her that those feelings are from loosing sleep and sleeping later will help.  

I had to do this when my 5 year old was having temper-tantrums and meltdowns after school when he had to do a little kindergarten homework.  Writing a sentence was too stressful. He learned to recognize those feelings of frustration only happened on days he didn't get enough sleep.

An easy support tool is clear signal light. You can put an appliance timer on a lamp and set it to come on a specific time. Like a wake up light. Ask her to stay in her bed until the light comes on.  Start with it set for 5:45. Then increase it as she is successful. 

When she wakes, if she gets out of bed, bring her back to bad and sit with her quietly until the light comes on and then make a big deal about it. (Do a very Dramatic wake up).
I hope this helps. 

Tracy Spackman

Learn more about Tracy Spackman's child supportive sleep consulting at
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