3yo has been in the habit of waking anywhere between 5/5:30 most mornings for the past year (I guess close to around the time he moved out of the nursery and crib and into a shared room with his two older siblings). He’s my third child and my first early riser.
The first problem is he wants everyone else up when he’s up, so he wakes his older brother and sister and then they all come crashing into my husband’s and my bed and proceed to act like they’re training for MMA.
The second issue is I’m concerned no one has been getting enough sleep since this all started. My 9yo can sometimes go back to sleep when it’s a really early morning, but my 6yo is just up with his younger brother from then on and THEY ARE SO LOUD AND ROWDY. My husband (when he’s home—he does shift work) and I find ourselves angry by the all the noise and very wild playing/rough housing and desperate for more sleep. If we do manage to occupy them for any length of time so we can squeeze in a little more sleep, the 3yo gets into stuff he shouldn’t. They at least stay upstairs and I have combination locks all over the house but it’s just not possible to keep my kids out of stuff without constantly being physically there to stop them, which also isn’t possible 100% of the time).
3yo will usually sleep closer to 6am if he hasn’t napped during the day, which is still early for me (a night owl) but more reasonable. However, he becomes even more hyper and aggressive in the afternoons/evenings if he hasn’t napped.
I just don’t know what to do. I’ve tried all the things to keep him occupied quietly and too distracted to get into stuff he shouldn’t in the mornings but nothing consistently works. I’ve tried an okay to wake clock (kids immediately figured out how to override the toddler lock). I’ve given them special, morning only toys. I’ve let them watch cartoons. I’ve let them rearrange their beds, mattresses and blankets into forts in their room. I’ve tried incorporating my ideal morning expectations into our token system, but it’s an area that has proven extremely difficult to address. There’s just always so much noise and never enough sleep.
I don’t expect him to stay in bed, but it would be nice if he would stop waking his siblings and just play quietly for a while (maybe on the floor in my room or in the upstairs loft area) so the rest of us can get a little more sleep.
Sorry for the long post—the sharing is partly just how I process. I’m at a loss. I’m tired and frustrated. I feel like I’m being tortured and I feel helpless to improve the situation.