Get Your Toddler to Sleep Past 5 am

by e on November 7, 2011


This alarm clock is specifically for toddlers to help them know when it's time to get out of bed.

Some of you might remember reading about how my 2-year-old wouldn’t sleep past 5 am. We were determined to get out of the toddler early waking cycle, and implemented a sort of “Boot Camp” to get her to sleep past 5 am.

Here’s the thing: It worked. And as I type this, I know I just jinxed ourselves.

This weekend we “fell back,” and if you are a parent, you know changing the clocks can wreak havoc on a toddler’s sleep schedule. So, we might need to revisit these rules for getting your toddler to sleep past 5 am once again.

But if you are wondering how we got our toddler to sleep past 5 am, here is how it went.

First morning

The night before the first morning of Toddler Sleep Boot Camp, we bathed and put her to bed at the normal time (8 pm). She fell asleep without a hitch, but like clockwork, at 5 am she was up and at our door.

No words were exchanged (on our part) but a lot of tears were shed as we gently picked her up, put her back in bed, and left the room. We repeated this process for about an hour, folks. There were a lot of tears, but all we did was pick her up and put her back to her bed.

At 6 am, we opened our bedroom door, let her in, and showed her the sun was coming up and NOW was the time it was okay to get out of bed.

Second morning

Again, bedtime was at 8 pm, and right on cue at 5 am, she was up and at our door. Again, we gently picked her up, and put her back in her bed without saying a word.

More tears, more “Monster in my room!” and more excuses came along for about 20 minutes. But then a weird thing happened. She was in her room, almost contemplating if she should come through the door to our bedroom, but instead, she just crawled back in bed and stayed there until 6 am.

Something was working

Third morning

Bedtime was the same, and at 5:30, she woke up and came to our room. We put her back in bed, just as we had been doing the previous nights, and she stayed there until 6:30 am. When she woke up, she came in our room and was all, “Look! Sun up! Time to get out of bed!”

For reals.

Fourth morning

Moms and Dads, I am not lying here when I tell you by the fourth morning of sleep training for our toddler, she slept until 7 am. 7 am, people!

Now, she sleeps consistently until 6 or 6:30 am. There are nights when she gets out of bed – just like any toddler would- but we’ve gotten out of the horrible sleep cycle that was early rising for the toddler (and us).

So for us? Sleep training our toddler was worth it. No one understands sleep deprivation in parents like those who have actually gone through it. We went through it for almost a year, and it is awful.

But this worked for us. Hopefully, it can work for you too.

Read how I got my toddler to sleep past 5 am here.


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amber November 7, 2011 at 4:54 pm

Oh I’m so glad it’s working! Mine does okay in the morning now, we’re just having middle of the night wake-ups. Which I am not going to complain about to you.
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Emmy November 7, 2011 at 6:29 pm

Yea!! So happy for you!

Jen November 7, 2011 at 9:22 pm

That is awesome. Finally after 4 years, I have gotten my kids to sleep past 5am.

Jessica @FoundtheMarbles November 8, 2011 at 7:55 am

Great tips. I am sooo glad to be past the stage where they woke up at 5:00 am!

e November 8, 2011 at 8:44 am

It’s a stage? So, it ends? Hurrah!

Liz @ The Six Year Itch November 8, 2011 at 6:55 pm


If there was one thing I was militant about it was a sleeping schedule. Dead serious militant. When the Kid was — and this is taking it way back so I’m guessing 4 months — I dedicated two weeks to never leaving the house. Then, I mistakenly was lazy for one day (ONE DAY!) and I had to start all over again. That month was so worth it. The Kid has been an awesome sleeper since. Except for when she was five and every night for 3 months she would wake up and blather on about monsters. Which is when I told her, that’s just your father. He needs to shave.
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Cam | Bbis&Baubles November 14, 2011 at 1:55 pm

I had been thinking about getting one of these but didn’t think it would work. Our son wakes up at 6 or 6:30 on a regular basis. Would be great to get him to sleep in a bit. Looks like I’ll be making this purchase!!!

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