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Is your 3 year old waking up at night – these tips can help!

2, 3, 4 year old waking up at night

This is more common that you think.   I know a lot of Mom’s that had this problem, myself included.  Our 2  year old started waking up and continued until he was three.  At three years old, we took him to his well-visit check and asked them what we could do about him waking.  We figured out that he was waking at the same time every night.   It was around midnight or 1:00 am.

Her advice was to go in and wake him just a bit before we went to sleep.  This just broke his sleep cycle up.  We would give him a hug, tuck him in, whisper good night.  All of these things were ways for him to come out of his deep sleep.
3 year old waking up at night

I will admit that I was not believing that this would work at first, but when the time came for us to try it that night, we did just what she said.  We put him to bed at his normal time (around 6:00 or 7:00 at night), we gave him a drink of water in his bed (don’t leave water in their room in case they would aspirate at night without your knowledge) and tucked him in.  He feel right asleep as he normally does.

We waited.

At midnight, when we were getting ready to go to bed, we went in, kissed him, hugged him, etc…

He slept all night long!!

I was so excited and he has been doing this ever since.  It has been about two months since his waking-up stopped and he is sleeping great now, every night.

I wanted to pass this along, in hopes that it will help you, too!  You can read more about why this works here.

Is your child waking too early?  Try this!

Kids waking up too early
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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. We do it every night… still. 🙂 It just takes about 20 seconds, but saves you that wake-up. 🙂

    2. Just recently tried this with our 6mth old who had just started waking at 11:30pm after a weekend away. I too was skeptical but it seems to have worked for us. I think this works when it is a very habitual wake up time – our boy was waking within a few mins of the same time every night.

      1. That’s awesome news! I hope that you continue to get that much-needed rest! 🙂

  1. we did this without realizing it did anything. . Except we took him to the bathroom to potty so he didn’t have accidents.

  2. i learned this trick from a doctor too! I share it with everyone. For us, we just do it a couple nights then they’re good to go for a while. If they keep waking up we head to the potty.

  3. The only problem we will have with our Twins – is that as soon as we do wake them up – they want to come straight into our bed – no matter how much we insist they stay put….
    And they go to sleep at 7pm and we at 9:30pm at the latest…
    Damn not thinking this will work for us….

    But congrats to you though…

    1. I was just thinking the same thing – she goes to bed at 7:30 and often doesn’t fall asleep until 9:00, sometimes later, and we go to bed at 10:00 at the latest….

  4. Our 6-year-old has been waking up at midnight. We will have to try this! Thank you, Becky!

      1. What about a 3 year old who wakes up multiple times throughout the night and calls for his mommy? making up random excuses for us to come in his room?

  5. Our 3 year old wakes most nights anytime between 11pm and 5am, the time varies and is really not predictable. He gets up and climbs into bed with us and falls straight back to sleep until about 7. You have to do what works for you and your family.

  6. thank you this article was super helpful. We did this with our first boy but also made him use the potty and he stopped wetting the bed. I never thought to do this for #2 because we did not have a bed wetting problem just sleep disturbance.

  7. I am going to do this TONIGHT! My 2 year old use to sleep great but over the past couple of months she has been coming into my room in the middle of the night. Every night, without fail. Then she ends up spending the rest of the night sleeping in my bed and kicking me all night long. Needless to say, I’m a little sleep deprived. Praying this works for us!

    Thank you so much for sharing this!

    1. My son 2y old.he wakeup at 1am nd not sleep over ni8.daily like this.give me a tip how to get sleep him.

      1. This is an amazing tip! I did this for the first time
        last night and my 3 year old only woke me up once to go potty. It’s usually more like 3 or 4 times. I’ll keep doing this. Thanks!

        1. YAY! That is such great progress! Keep up the great work 🙂

  8. My 2 year old has never slept. Wakes half a dozen Times every night and never at the same time 🙁

  9. My daughters share a room, they are 3&2. The 3 year old wakes up every night at around 1-3am and then they both are up. Would this work for both girls? Was it hard for your son to go back to sleep?
    Thanks so much!!

    1. No- they would fall right back to sleep because you don’t wake them fully.

  10. Thanks for sharing did it with my three and four year old last night because all week they have been waking up and coming to my bed and going to sleep so there has been four people in a queen size bed. NOT getting that good of sleep mommy and daddy have been over tired because of this. We was doing it every night when we recovered them kissed them good night and would tell them see u in the morning. This week just covered them and went to bed because was in a hurry to get to bed myself and didn’t kiss them and say good night so they started getting up so I guess I have to get back into letting them that I love them and will see them in the morning so they will sleep all night. Thanks again because it does work.