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Are your kids waking too early?  Do you wish your children would sleep in just a little later?  I understand completely!  When your kids are waking too early in the morning, it can make them tired, and cranky and they don’t feel their best.  Overall, tired kids are just not very happy kids.   (Not much different from tired adults)

When our kids were young, I would put our kids to bed at 7:00. I wanted them to get a full 10-12 hours of sleep (because it helps them to be happier & healthier), but in doing so, our routine has taught them to sleep later naturally.

Update: This post was written several years ago, but it is always one of the most asked questions that I receive, so I wanted to share it again today.  Our kids have continued to sleep until 7:00 (or later) thanks to this little trick.  It has helped to give our kids the rest that they need (and deserve). 

Sleep is Essential for Children

Yes, getting a good night’s sleep is essential, so teaching our kids great wake & sleep patterns will benefit your child greatly.  It will help their physical health, emotional health, and mental health.

Even going to sleep at the same time every night has an enormous impact on our kids’ educational, social, mental, and physical health.

Getting enough sleep = healthier child… better ability to stay focused, happier children… there are so many benefits to getting enough sleep.  If a child wakes in the middle of the night or too early in the morning, it can cause your child to be tired, foggy, and grumpy in the day.

We have four kids and let me tell you; our kids had started waking up EARLY!   Two of our kids were very early risers and I just wanted them to sleep longer so they could have the rest they needed.  They were exhausted from the minute that they woke up, yet they were still waking up early.

Once I taught them how to sleep long enough to get the rest that they needed, they felt better.

kids waking too early? try this

Waking too early?

Is your child waking too early?   You can help them learn how to sleep later.

I knew that I had to do something, many years ago, when our older kids were waking too early – around 5:00 am and 5:30 in the morning.

It was still dark outside, they were waking their siblings, causing our morning routine to begin much sooner, leaving them exhausted in the middle of the day.  Naptime often came in the late morning, leaving the kids requiring a two-hour nap every day

Plus, when kids are waking too early it can cause them to be overtired by bedtime.  This makes it harder for them to doze off at night.  Falling asleep when you are TOO tired is just as bad as trying to fall asleep when you aren’t sleepy at all.

Bottom Line:  Kids need to get plenty of sleep.

PS- our family’s normal wake-up time is at 7:00 am.  I don’t consider 7:00 to be early, but 5:00 is a little out of my comfort zone. 😉

How Much Sleep Does A Child Need?

As you can see from the chart below…

how many hours of sleep do kids need?

Do you want a copy of this chart?  I’d be happy to mail you a copy to download- just click here to send me your e-mail.  Thanks!

How the sleep time charts work:

Sleep charts are simply to be used as a reference.  They may not work for your family, but they are often based on experience or studies, so I usually like to try to understand them.

I liked this sleep chart (below) shared by Wilson Elementary School.  If the child wakes up at a particular time, they need to go to bed at the time below that time, depending on their age.
So, according to the chart, a five-year-old would need to go to bed by 6:45 if they had to be up at 6:00)

how many hours of sleep do kids need?  check out this sleep chart with wake-up times

I’d adjust it a bit, to fit your family’s schedule, but it does show that kids need a lot of sleep… and to that point, I agree.

bedtime routine

How to help your child begin to change their “body clock”

To help our kids learn good sleep habits, we came up with this idea, and I have shared it with friends and family, and they do it, too.

It works!

We finally figured out a way to keep our kids in bed longer (giving them the chance to get enough sleep for their bodies and minds)

This idea is to naturally set our children’s internal clocks to a time that is more suited to their schedule (with preschool and grade school).  It allows their bodies to sleep until it is time to wake up.

Before you begin: Determine a wake-up time for your child & practice it.

Figure out what time your child will go to bed each night and what time you’d like them to wake up.   Remember that going to bed at the same time every night is so important for their health and behavior!
After you determine an appropriate wake-up time, you need to practice that number with your kids.

  • If you want them to get up at 7:00, show them the number 7.   
  • Show it to them on a piece of paper.
  • Show it to them on their clock so that they will recognize that number.
  • Show it to them in books.
  • Have them practice writing it.
  • Talk to your child about what happens in the morning… “After you are done sleeping through the night and you are ready to wake up, you will look at the clock and see what time it is.”  (more details below)

Steps to help your child sleep later: 

Materials that you need:

What to do next: The step-by-step way to teach your kids to sleep later. 

  • STEP ONE: WRITE JUST THE HOUR of the time you want the kids to come out of bed on your piece of paper.
  • Write the number big (a little bigger than the number on the clock).
  • Examples:   6:00?  Write 6
    7:00?  Write 7.  (This is our ‘allowed out of bed’ time)
    8:00? Write 8.
  • STEP TWO: Tape that paper over the MINUTES on your digital clock, so that all that you are left seeing is the hour and the paper.

Here is what it looks like (sorry that my time was 4:00 when I took it )

  • Show your kids when the number on the clock (the hour) matches the number on their paper, they can come out of bed.
  • Tip: If your child is going to share a room with another sibling, be sure that both children can see the clock from their beds.

Here is a close-up of our clock:

Why Do I Not Allow Them to Come Out of Bed Earlier?

I do not let our kids get out of bed before 7:00, for safety reasons. I don’t want them in their rooms playing when I do not know about it. I want them in their beds.

(I made this rule after I had read this heart-breaking story, last year, about the little girl that died when her dresser fell on top of her while her parents were asleep in their room- it was one of those VERY HEAVY dresser/changing tables that everyone has.   Her mom didn’t realize it until she (the mom) woke up for the day.

Her story has opened my eyes to the fact that dangers lurk where you don’t expect them, even with furniture that you would NEVER expect to fall over… same with toys…. you just never know which ones have hidden dangers, even if you don’t expect it).

For that reason, I don’t want our kids awake without me knowing.

Do Kids Have an Internal Alarm? 

I have read multiple studies suggesting that there are reasons that our bodies tend to wake us up, but oftentimes our bodies get out of sync.  Science News says:  “Just like an alarm clock, the body’s internal clock can be reset.”

I believe this to be true, as well.  After we implemented the 7:00 wake time and our children practiced it, they began sleeping later.  Now, when I am up in the morning and I check on them before 7:00 am, they are all still sound asleep.

Around 7:00-7:30, they begin to naturally awaken, thanks to resetting their internal alarms.

TIP:  I should remind you that I didn’t start this until our kids were almost THREE YEARS OLD and could understand it.

How to Teach Kids to Sleep Later:

  1. When they come out of their room the first few days early (and they will), just take them back to bed and say “You can come out at 7:00 when the number of the clock matches. Are they the same now?  Ok, sweetheart- go back to bed.” (put them back into bed).
  2. Now what you will want to do is make sure that when it DOES turn seven, you go in and say “Ok! It’s time to come out now! It’s 7:00!! Great job!” Do this for over a week, until they get it.
  3. As with anything, you need to remember that you have to TEACH your kids this new rule.   You can not expect them to sleep until 7:00 tomorrow, just because you started this today. Give it a week or two, and you will have them sleeping later.
  4. When you tuck your kids in at night & lie down with them, talk about the morning and what it will look like.  Talk about what number they will see before they get out of bed.


1. Take it slowly.  If your child has been getting up at 5, don’t expect him/her to sleep until 7.  You have to do this slowly.  I would change the clock for this, too, so that at the real 5:30 (first few days) their clock would say 7 (or your goal hour).

I would move it every few days over a few weeks until they were waking up at 7:00.  (Just my two cents)

2. Another completely different idea that a friend on Facebook gave me is to have your lamp set to a timer (like the kind that you get when you are going on vacation) and have it turn on at a specific time (example: 7:00 am).  When the light goes on, they can get out of bed.

kids waking up too early
kids waking up too early

3. Another idea: you could try an alarm clock like this one that I found on Amazon with my affiliate link:  (The light is red when they need to stay in bed and green when they can come out)

Good luck!

If you would like access to my sleep schedule, free sleep course & printable chart, join here


in bed by 7:00
2, 3 or 4 year old waking at night
Mommy will you lay with me?

Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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  1. Seven is our “out of bed” time as well. I will have to use this method because my (just turned) 3 year old likes to come up around 6 o’clock as well. 🙂

    1. With my daughter’s alarm clock, I can set the alarm, and then turn the volume all the way down. Her clock’s numbers flash as the alarm goes off, so when she wakes up and sees the numbers are flashing, she knows she can get up, but the alarm won’t wake her. It works really well for us without having to buy an expensive clock.

        1. Becky- our 4 & 5 yr old boy are getting up at 3:30-4:00. It’s their internal clock. I’ve tried so many things and we’re exhausted more than I can even explain! They’re cranky and tired and we cant go anywhere or do anything! Then we get cranky Andrea tired. They eat very good. They go to bed like clockwork. Any suggestions?

          1. I’d just say that it is not time to wake up. Our kids tried this and I had to just say that it was the middle of the night. I’d say that they can lie in bed and wait, but they cannot come out of their room (or bed) until the clock says 7:00. (You could aim for 6:00 to start)

        2. We have been having lot’s of issues with my three and a half year old son, Oliver. He has been waking three times in the night and then waking at 5am refusing to sleep. He actually gets upset and cries…

          1. I have always told them to use the bathroom and go back to bed. We even practiced this. 🙂 . I leave a bright night-light in the bathroom, and another one in the hall. I hear them when they get up to use the bathroom (I am a very light sleeper), so I am usually aware of what’s going on. 🙂

            1. Wait til its your 11 year old waking you up early on a weekend when you didnt get to sleep til 4 or 5am… soooo frustrating!

              Even after explaining on multiple occasions not to wake mum up on wkends and to wait til im up!

              I have to explain to them that theyre old enough to get up without having to ask me if they cab. But thing is we stream tv from my phone so they expect me to turn tv on the moment they wake up… so now I have to explain that they can gave beakfast but to find something to do til im up. My kids wake me up about 1 or 2 hours too early on a weekend.

              And ocasionally i have trouble getting to sleep as it is

      1. Something I taught my 2 yr old, was if the sun is asleep, she is asleep. So when she would wake while it was still dark, I would tell her the sun was still asleep so we had to go back to bed. Eventually she picked up on this and now waits until the sun is up to get out of bed. Now she informs me in the morning that the sun woke up. 😉

        1. All fine and good unless you live in an area where the summer sun rise is 5am. We have to use black out curtains, especially in the summer.

      2. I lay my 2 year old down at 7:30 every night. Regardless, he is ALWAYS up between 6-6:30. I tried an early bedtime, but the two days we did this, he was up at 5am! Any other suggestions for this tired mama?

      1. So do we. 7:00 is our wakeup time. I have a friend and her son wakes up at 4:00 am every morning. That’s “early” to me… but 7 is normal. 🙂

        1. So what does your friend do? Does she wake up feed her child and put him to sleep or keep him awake? Because my child very sometimes wakes up at 5 but I’m thinking she’s hungry or she doesn’t understand it’s to early she’s nearly 2 and I want to get a good routine schedule for nursery

          1. She did for a while (a cup of milk) but now then when it didn’t stop, she just got the little light & said that everyone had to stay in bed until the light went on (around 6:30, I think). It took 3 days, but worked.

            1. I am a mum of five kids. I understand the exhaustion and struggle of parents of early risers. My first son at 10months old, when I was already 4 months pregnant with son number 2, began to wake at 4.30am. He was hungry but he could never go back to sleep. He was awake. We systematically tried later bed time ( he was going to bed at 6pm). We tried 6.30pm, 6.45pm, 7pm, 7.15pm, etc all the way to 8pm, but 4.30am to 8pm was too long for me and it didn’t change anything. So I decided we would put him to bed at 4.30pm and give him the full 12 hours sleep. It worked. Eventually we moved him to 5pm and he woke at 5am. Then we moved bedtime to 5.30pm and then 6pm. But he never slept past 5.15am. No matter what we did. So we moved bed time back to 5.15 until he got old enough for less than 12 hours. (He has slept till 7am once in his life, when he was 11 years old, on morphine in hospital with a broken leg.) 5.30am is his latest. He still sometimes wakes at 4.45am even now he’s 12 and goes to bed at 7.30 or 8pm. It’s just him. It has nearly killed me (especially having 4 more kids) but I have had to embrace it and I am happy to say there is an upside. Besides the fact he wakes up happy and ready to go. At age 12 he arrives upstairs at 6.30am for 2nd breakfast having showered, dressed, tidied his room, completed his homework and his music practice. After eating he completes his chores, helps his siblings and plays games before scootering out the door at 8.15am so that he can be there by 8.30am to play with his mates. On the weekends he is out the door by 7am to get in an early scooter ride before the day gets too hot or the crowds get too big at the skatepark. But it’s not early for him at all. By 10am he’s ready for lunch. The most important but also the most difficult thing has been disciplining myself to be nice to him at 4.45am, go to bed early and get up early. I have to admit some years I have been good at it and a lot of years I have sucked. Sometimes I got all my own work done before breakfast and got everyone out the door to do the grocery shopping before school or got to the beach for an early swim or scootered around the lake before the early morning crowd but other seasons I turned on the cartoons and just lay there comatose on the floor with my eyes open while they played loudly around me. For a while our fifth child threw a spanner in the works because he became a night owl, but we’ve managed to get him on the same kind of program now and we have a bit of time back to ourselves in the evenings to have a conversation and be romantic before we collapse into bed.

              1. Thanks for writing this. My 3 year old gets up at 4:45 and it’s killing us. We’ve tried many things but none seem to work. I’m not sure if it’s just her or if it will get better but it’s good to know others have been in the same boat. I think to myself I should make the most of the time, but mostly I’m too tired. If I can make myself go to bed early one day it won’t be so bad. Good to hear about your experience 🙂

                1. Thankyou for your posts I feel so much better their are mummys in the same boat!
                  As my son wakes at 4am everyday. I have tried the moving of bedtime / dropping nap time – none of which changed the wake up.
                  What will be will be I will adjust my life accordingly x

                2. My advice: sleep in the same room (separate beds). At 4am you then have the opportunity to mumble “Johnny it’s not morning time yet, so we need to stay in bed.” And keep the room dark and quiet.

                  No more naps and bedtime at 8-9pm WILL work if you stick with both and if you’re actually in the room when the kid wakes up.

                  Also being in the same room reduces anxiety and makes kids sleep better in general. As much as it might seem like a step backwards to some people, it isn’t if it makes your whole family sleep better.

    2. What do you do differently if you have a 3 year old, 4, year old , and 6 year old sharing a room out of necessity and the youngest wakes the older two?

  2. Great tip! I think it makes them feel more grown up when they have a clock. It really empowers them and they feel like they are part of the system. I love it. Thanks for sharing. Hope to see you at True Aim!

    1. That’s great that you get up earlier- I am so bad at that… I need to get better!

  3. Brilliant! We bought one of those expensive clocks that turns green when it’s time for them to wake up. We like it and it works, but had i seen this tip months ago… 🙂 Thanks!

    1. We bought one of those too – I wish I had just thought of the digital clock since it would have been cheaper, but the toddler clock has still been a life saver! We found one that wasn’t too crazy expensive (about $25, a lot of ones I saw were more like $50) and it has a separate nap time timer that has helped a lot.

  4. Ha! My parents should have used that on me! I always woke up at 5 and ran around the house yelling at everyone to wake up… my poor family!

  5. Our problem is that our kids share rooms, and they keep each other awake. Whomever wakes up first wakes the other and they keep each other awake until time to come out of their rooms. No going back to sleep. And it’s never the same kid. They take turns.

    1. Our kids share a room, too, but the rule is that they are not allowed to talk until 7:00. If they do, they lose TV for the day (a punishment for them, as well as me, but it works).

    2. My kids are the exact same they wake up between 4:30-5:15 everyday. We’ve tried everything. We’ve done the clock method but they just talk and wake each other up. Then my oldest tells the younger ones to be quiet but this just ends up making them all argue. We’ve taken TV away if they don’t follow the sleep rule. But that hasn’t worked. They’ve had entire weeks without TV (which really punishes me) but still wake up, talk, argue, play, run around, stomp every single morning. Our sleep rule is we stay quiet and in bed until our light turns green. We’ve offered them incentives for staying quiet and in bed until their light is green (like special breakfast, prize box, tablet time, movie choice, etc. and none, none of it has ever worked. My oldest is 8 and this is how it’s been there entire life. I’m lucky if I get 6 hours of sleep a night. At this point I think the only thing that would work would be if they were each in their own room but that’s not possible as we have no extra rooms. Any tips or ideas would be greatly greatly appreciated.

  6. oh my brilliance! how did I NOT think of this? We’ve been having this issue with our almost 3 year old. I have an old alarm clock and I’m so trying this tomorrow! Thanks for the tip!!

  7. I literally just pi posted on my Facebook about what to do with kids getting up too early…my 3 year old has been getting up at 5:30!! 7 has been my goal and I’ve tried similar approaches but I will have to try your advice. Can’t wait to see if it works! Thanks!

  8. 12 hours in bed is fantastic! As a PPD and sleep consultant, I will tell you that a likely reason for waking at 5 am is that they are going to bed too late. Put them to bed earlier and they will often sleep later. It’s counter intuitive but works every time!

    1. I completely agree with this! I think that it makes such a difference!

      1. Hello ! I tried putting my 11 months baby to sleep earlier than 7pm so she could stop setting her alarm at 4:30 every morning but it didnt work. She doesnt sleep that early.
        She was a great sleeper as a baby. At 6 months she started waking up at night a zillion times and woke up at 6:30 am. At 9 months the night sleep got better. At 10 months she started waking up at 4:30 or 5:00 am every morning…full of energy…and is still doing it. I cant take it anymore. This is too early for all of us specially her 4 year old sister who shares her room. What should I do?????

        1. Did you try waking her before you go to bed? Just stirring her? Look up my post on “My 2 year old is waking at night”. I wonder if that might help you?

        2. Has it worked?! My 18 month old is waking every morning at 4.30 full of beans…he goes down at 7 with no fuss straight to sleep then sleeps all night until 4.30 so I know I’m lucky in that respect I just can’t cope with these early mornings…I’m like a zombie! I have a 7 year old that wakes if he cries so I can’t leave him to cry himself back to sleep….what should I do? TIA

    2. My son is waking at 4am most mornings recently and I cannot keep him awake passed 7pm! I don’t know how to change his sleep patterns, I tried the clock idea but it hasn’t made any difference ! His moods are (at times) unbareable because of how tired he is, especially after a big day at Kindy. Any suggestions?!

      1. Wow- I would really try to enforce the 7:00 wake up because if he is in school, he needs 10-12 hours of sleep. What we had to do with our 4 year old (when we started this) was continue to put him back to bed. I kid you not that it took me (get ready) over 100 times to get him to stay in his bed. I put him back (like super nanny says) without talking until he stayed in his bed. At 7:00 I woke up and went into his room and woke him up and told him that he was allowed to wake up now. I did this for a few days until he understood that he had to stay in his bed until 7. I hope this helps. I”m so sorry you guys are going through this b/c an exhausted little one isn’t fun (trust me, I know!!)

        1. Hey – this super nanny thing: did it cause distress? Whenever I have tried it, I haven’t lasted more than 3 nights/mornings, because my now three year old son screams the place down, for up to 4 hours. He is very distressed by it. He has been an awful sleeper since two months before weaning.

          1. It didn’t for our kids, but every child is different, so I’d say do what is best for your family.

          2. Did you ever find something that works Amy? My 4 year old is super anxious at night (even though she is in her room with 2 special nightlights, a lovie, room darkening shades, and she doesn’t watch anything remotely scary…) and I can’t seem to help her resolve it. Therefore, she is a terrible sleeper and wakes everyday at 5am and is super grumpy.

            1. My 4 year old had nightmares and anxiety nightly. I removed TV 100% other then Superbook (and then limited). Not even Mickey Mouse. It resolved in just a couple days.

      2. I know this is probably way too late to matter, but if he’s waking up at 4 AM, then 7 PM is probably way too late for him to be going to bed. My 3 year old normally sleeps from 7:30 PM to 7 AM with a nap in the afternoon. If he doesn’t nap, he goes to bed at least an hour early to make up the sleep. I would try putting your child to bed very early – like 5:00 or 5:30 to make up for some of the lost sleep. Once he’s been getting enough sleep for a while, moving his bed time slowly later should hopefully let him move his wakeup time later too.

    3. Hello my three year old just won’t sleep before 10:00 pm. I’ve tried putting her in bed earlier but she just won’t stay in bed. What can you recomend me to Do?

      1. Honestly, I would make sure that she is not napping and then I would just keep her busy throughout the day and put her to bed around 7:30. I would read a book & then put her into bed. When our 3 year old was coming out of his bed, I had to put him back in 150 times (not exaggerating) to keep him in his bed that first night. I just sat in a chair outside of his door – I did’t talk, I just put him back to bed. Day 2 was WAY less. Day 3 he was staying in bed and sound asleep in like 5 minutes. 🙂 He needed sleep, but didn’t want to do it. 🙂

        1. My 4 year old wakes at 5am and screams for me waking entire house and refuses to stay “alone ” in his room. Any tips on how to deal with this fit…Its frustrating b/c he wakes my little one, so I give in and let him lay in my bed (no one sleeps) to keep him from waking the baby!!!

        2. What advice would you give me….
          I’m a working mother. My kids and I don’t get home during week days till 6:00pm. My husband is usually tasked with getting dinner prepared before we get home.
          My 1 year old has been a better sleeper overall and usually goes to bed any time between 8:30-9:00.

          My 3 year old ends up falling asleep around 10. We’ve tried to start his bed time routine earlier but he ends up playing, talking, tossing until 10. Mind you he does sleep in the same bed as me. We have a two bedroom and he’s been in my bed from about 4 months because once I went back to work and trying to nurse him in the middle of the night was just too much.
          Eventually we will try to get them in the same room or ideally buy a bigger place.

          Both kids get up about 6:30-645 to go to a sitter/school in the morning.
          I would love for them (ESP my older one) to get to bed earlier but with our schedule I find it so difficult.

          As you mentioned they have an internal clock. I believe it because my three year old will wake up any time between 6:30-7:00 even on weekends.

          Been a struggle for us! Any advice would help

    4. my 17 month old twins go to bed at 7pm and often sleep until 730 but i notice on the days the take short naps they wake super early the next morning…so it sounds wise to put them to bed earlier than the norm if they take a short nap?

      1. I would try to move up their nap time to around 11:00 (or an hour earlier than normal) so that they are still tired at bedtime & sleep longer. 🙂

        1. I have a 15month old, who is very determined. He wakes up at 5am every day if not 4.45am ekkk. I have just moved him to one nap in the last month and he is finally sleeping through the night, however by 9-9.30am he is not a happy boy. It’s a long morning to try keep him up until 11. And no matter what I do, he still wakes up at 5am. Any suggestions??

    5. My son is 3 yrs 3 months. Since he was tiny I put him to bed at 7pm but last year he began to wake at 6am then 5am. We were exhausted and so I moved his bed time to 8pm. It worked great and he slept till 7, and sometimes 8pm.
      At around 3yrs he dropped his daytime nap, and we got rid of the dummy. Since then bedtimes have been longer and longer, I still put him down at 8pm but sometimes he is still awake till 9pm. He wakes every day at 6.15am. I don’t think he is getting enough sleep as he seems tired some days and needs a nap again.
      I have held off putting him to bed earlier because I don’t want him waking even earlier. Do you think an earlier bedtime at his age would really help him sleep longer?

      His room has blackout blinds and is quite. The reason he wakes early every morning is that he needs a poo, like clockwork every morning! Some mornings I can change him or take him to the loo, and then get him back to sleep for about half an hour, but this doesn’t work very often.

      We tried a clock which changed from blue to yellow at ‘wake up time’ but this just lead to him shouting ‘Mummy the light is yellow’ even when it was still blue!!

      1. hahaha!! For a week or so, one of our kids would come in to tell me “its not 7:00 yet, Mom.” lol!

    6. My 3 year ol has been waking early around 5 for a month now! He has an alarm clock that turns green when it’s time to wake up it was working then he got sick and was waking early from coughing and now I can’t get him to stay alseep until the clock turns green! If he wakes befor he doesn’t get up he just yells “mama I need you” and starts crying! Then I go in and tell him he has to stay in bed until froggy, his clock turned green. But he’ll just yell again 5 minutes later or he’ll cry so hard he’ll make himself hysterical! I’m not sure what to do? And I can’t lay in bed with him cus I’m making lunches and getting ready for work. Help?!

      1. Oh man… it is hard to get them back on a schedule after being sick! I think that I would keep doing what you are doing. If you keep it up for 3-5 days, it should stop. (habits take about 3 days to break).

  9. Our 4 year old is getting up at 3:00am, 3:30am, 4:00am etc. and wants to come into our room. Breaking her of this habit is proving to be a torturous endeavor.

    1. Our son did this. It was exhausting, but I just kept taking him back to his room. It lasted about 3 days.

  10. I have a 2 1/2 year old and a 15 month old… so the older one is ready for this but since they share a room how do I keep the 15 month old staying in the room and not waking up the older sibling? or how do I explain to the older one why the younger sister gets to get out of bed earlier? they like to wake up anywhere between 6 and 7:30.
    I love your advice and am totally going to do this 🙂

    1. I just always use the “she’s just a baby” thing with our kids when I have to do this. Or “she took 2 naps today.” Its hard, but they get used to it in a day or two. 🙂

  11. Oh my goodness I love this! Thankfully our 3yo is usually pretty good about not getting up before the time we’d like but I may have to start implementing it anyways. I babysit and on the days that the other kids come my son gets up anywhere from 1-2 hours early and it makes for a rough/long day with him.

  12. I wish this would work with our 18 month old! I keep him up until 9 or 10 and he gets up at 4 or 5. I have no idea what to do!

    1. My brother & sis-in-law have a nightlight that changes from a bunny asleep to a bunny awake for my niece (She’s young, too). 🙂

  13. How do you make this work with regards to toileting? I want to try this, but am worried that my 3 yr old would wet his bed if he wasnt allowed out (he already does some times)

    1. They just go & then go back to bed. I don’t care if they are awake, I just want them in their beds until 7:00. There are six of us here, so if one wakes up, everyone wakes up and I just feel like that’s not fair to the other 5 people. So- if they have to get up, they just get up & go back to their bed afterwards. 🙂

      1. That’s how I felt when my kids were little-If they woke early but stayed in bed and kept themselves busy, that was fine with me. They just weren’t allowed to wander around alone or wake others. Everyone, even adults has to learnaself -help / comfort skills when we have trouble falling or staying asleep. I’m probably much older than you all, but when my 19 yr olds were babies and preschoolers there was a book by a Dr. somebody-I forget his name, It was called something like ‘How to solve your child’s sleep problems’ andamong my friends it was a life, health and sanity saver!This dr. has a philosophy for teaching kids to go to sleep, stay asleep and get up at the correct times.Good luck to you moms of young kids!Everything seems more difficult when you aren’t getting enough sleep!

  14. A friend told me she sets a lamp timer so the lamp turn on at 7:00am. When the lamp turns on, they can get up. Brilliant!