Q: My 2½-year-old goes to bed every night at 8 p.m., but he wakes up at around 5:15 a.m. and can’t get back to sleep. We’ve cut back his nap, but it seems to be making the problem worse. We’ve tried a timer on a lamp that goes on at 6 a.m., when he’s allowed to get out of bed, but most times he gets out of bed way too early, and he often wakes his brother. It seems he doesn’t get it or just wants the attention of getting us up. Any suggestions?
A: There are some people who are simply morning people and it sounds as if your son is one of them. As he gets older and can be trusted to play with toys quietly, it’s going to get easier. In the meantime, you need to accommodate his early rising and figure out ways to handle it. Could he crawl into bed with you until 6 a.m.? That would allow him to be safe and all of you to get a bit more sleep. Is there anything you can give him to do quietly in his bed until the rest of you wake up? Another idea is for you and your partner to take turns getting up early with him. If you can get past how outrageously early it is, you may even find this nice one-on-one time to spend with him.