Author Topic: Shifting 3yo wake time...is it possible?  (Read 693 times)

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Offline labrodyk

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Shifting 3yo wake time...is it possible?
« on: February 08, 2016, 11:48:00 am »
For as long as my 3yo DS has been on this planet he has woken early. Every sleep transition was horrible because he would never tack on. Even during the 1-0 and now without a nap each day he still wakes at or before 6am. He has a gro clock and has stayed perfectly in bed at BT and WU since we got it before I turned 2. My concern however is that no matter how late of a bedtime, he will not sleep in. It's gotten to the point however that he is actually really tired most days and whinges and cries almost constantly, especially since he now attends 2 full days of preschool (8.30-3.30). He still easily falls asleep in the car around 1pm or most definitely late afternoon but I can't get him to take any sort of nap. iPad or movie he'll do but close his eyes? Gosh no. He is getting about 10-11hrs overnight but sometimes as low as 8 or 9 and I know this within normal limits but it's almost like he's not happy to be awake. Some nights he says he's too tired to eat dinner and goes after bath and bed routine he's fast asleep!

Because of the early rising, we put him to bed as early as 6 to compensate but with a 4mo too this isn't always feasible so BT varies between 6 and 7.30 but no variance to the WU and in fact is worse during the day he's gone to bed later. With a car nap it's as late as 9 or 10pm but yet still wakes early/earlier than I'd like.

Does anyone have any suggestions or do I just suck it up until he's a teenager and I'm dragging him out of bed?

The only success I've had is that he had 40 minutes in the car at 4pm last Friday, into bed at 8.30
And he took until well after 9pm to fall asleep but didn't get out of bed until 7.30 (his gro clock is set to 7.00 so I know he was asleep).

Sending this out the BW void. Many thanks in advance.
xLaurax



Offline Buntybear

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Re: Shifting 3yo wake time...is it possible?
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2016, 14:53:00 pm »
I think that if this is the way he has always been then you just have to leave him to it. You are lucky that he does go to bed early to catch up, and that he takes notice of the gro clock! Hopefully one day he will naturally learn to get up that bit earlier. hen he gets gets a bit older then maybe you could push BT a bit later and see if that helps with WU but if he is still tired in the day then I would stick with EBT for now x

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Re: Shifting 3yo wake time...is it possible?
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2016, 22:12:43 pm »
You are lucky that he does go to bed early to catch up, and that he takes notice of the gro clock!
I agree.
I also agree that continuing with EBT might be the best thing but wanted to post because I did move DS's WU time successfully and it's been 7am ever since (well, it's now 6.40 WU on school days but that's my choice due to slightly sleep drop needs and his habit of sitting in bed reading in the morning so he needs time for that, he still wakes 7am weekends).
DS was younger when I did it and I just gritted my teeth and tried because we were heading into a clock change here and I simply couldn't bare WU to get yet another hour earlier if I didn't force him to shift his sleep time.

Mine was also not in the habit of tacking on, didn't seem to matter what time BT was he woke the same time next morning. The usual way of moving 15 mins per day for clock change just didn't work, all it did was mean he lost sleep every day for ages and ages and it just dragged on horribly with him being tired.  What I did was move BT rapidly, not 15 mins but 30 then another 30 then another 30, clock change is only 1 hr but I went beyond the hour and quickly to bring on the OT much faster and basically force him to sleep in.  I think I planned to go as far as 2hrs move to achieve a 1 hour change in WU.  Once WU moved I stuck with same BT for another day or 2 then very slowly brought it back, 15 mins, 15 mins making sure WU didn't get earlier.
It did work. Don't know how you'd feel about trying it...depends just how bad you find the WU time I suppose.
From what you've said BT has moved quite a bit from 6pm to 7.30pm without WU moving but I really think it would need to be late BT and stay there consistently at a set time until he is forced to take a catch up sleep and WU later (and then bring BT earlier in stages). It *does* involve OT but the sort of OT mine experienced was no where near as bad or long lasting as the sort he got from losing sleep every night for weeks or months.


Offline labrodyk

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Re: Shifting 3yo wake time...is it possible?
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2016, 09:52:11 am »
Thank you SO much ladies!

I know DS is a very good boy with his clock, he understood it immediately and has never questioned it. He's always been very tired during the day and even preschool commented on it last week which got me thinking about his routine and night time sleeping.

Creations - your idea is totally worth a shot! What have I got to lose. any chance you could guide me through it at all? I.e.  What bedtime to start at? How long to keep at each change in time? Avoiding naps/car trips?

I don't mind him up a bit later as DD is going down later so would actually be easier. 



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Re: Shifting 3yo wake time...is it possible?
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2016, 18:48:24 pm »
At the time I did it with my DS naps were regular so it was only the night sleep which was in question, yours does have the added 'complication' of sometimes getting a bit of nap time in on some days and not others, I think I'd pretend like he gets none, offer none, not encourage any (ie don't purposely try to catch him up on his sleep by taking him for a car ride to get him to sleep). I don't know how feasible it would be to avoid car journeys all together, if you have to go out then you have to go out but if he does nod off I would wake him the second you arrive somewhere rather than let him sleep.

Really your guess is as good as mine but if you are happy to go with guesses...
I'd aim initially for an 11hr night (with a longer term hope for longer maybe 11.5hr or 12hr but that's no naps at all) which I'm guessing at based on him doing 10.5hr night after a 40 min nap *and* managing to sleep past 6/6.30), so working backwards with WU at 7am that would be something like an 8pm BT where this might end up (I actually think you could end up with 7.30pm BT if he moves his Wu and if the naps are zero but I am hesitant to give you too much hope yk?).  Be prepared to go beyond the 'planned BT' this to force the later wake up by over-riding his body clock
Do bare in mind nights are entirely likely to be shorter than the 11hr we'd hope for whilst the move is made because initially his body clock will continue to wake him at 6am, only after he shifts his Wu can you hope for nights to extend to a better time.
As he sometimes does 7.30pm BTs I'd probably start there:
night 1 7.30pm (expect 6am WU) 10.5hr night
night 2 8.00pm (expect 6am WU) 10hr night
night 3 8.30pm (expect 6am WU but might shift at this point, might also be getting OT)
night 4 9.00pm (FX for later WU now)
night 5 9.00pm (holding at this time to hope for the later WU or to ensure the body clock doesn't revert back to 6am)

At the point morning WU moves later, and reaches 7am, I'd hold at that BT whatever it is for a day or 2 then night 3 bring it 15 mins earlier, again next night etc until you reach 8am.

Make sense?  Please bare in mind I'm only guessing.
If the whole thing is a total wash out you will likely have 1 week of hell followed by maybe another week of getting back on track with EBTs. The idea of this is not that it goes on for ages, it is done pretty fast so that OT comes quickly.


Offline labrodyk

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Re: Shifting 3yo wake time...is it possible?
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2016, 09:25:32 am »
Thank you SO much creations! This is totally worth a go. Unfortunately he's just got an ear infection and his eardrum burst so not up for trying this just yet but I'll let you know how we get on. One question I had though was; if he has his gro clock and stays quiet, how will I know he's sleeping in? Might have to get another night camera...



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Re: Shifting 3yo wake time...is it possible?
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2016, 12:57:47 pm »
Oh no! Really sorry to hear about his burst eardrum, sounds awful!!!

One question I had though was; if he has his gro clock and stays quiet, how will I know he's sleeping in?
Erm, the same way you know he is early waking but laying quietly until sun up atm. There must be something letting you know that he is waking at 6am instead of 7 even if it is just a change in breathing, movement as he turns in bed or pure intuition. Something is letting you know.

When his body clock changes he might sleep past 7am anyway, like he did that night you described, so that would also be an indicator.

I noticed in my previous post I put an "am" where I intended a "pm" (about BT) but I think you probably spotted it and knew what I meant.  I type faster than my brain works.