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My Toddler Wakes Up Too Early…and My Hair Is Still Wet!

Toddler Sleep IssuesI was recently reading Progressive Mom’s post chronicling the 10 things she learned about children and sleep. It got me thinking about my children and their sleep issues. So here is the big problem I’m facing right now. My young toddler son (15 months) wakes up too early and it’s always at the worst time – I’m still in a towel, I need to iron my clothes, my hair is dripping wet.

Really the issue is the fact that he’s annoyingly inconsistent in his wake up time – varying from 4:30 to 6:30 a.m. You may be thinking this is not that big of a problem. And you’re right. I’m lucky that, without fail, he is asleep every night between 7:30 and 8:00 p.m. and has had this same “to bed” routine since about 4 months.

But as a working mom who is constantly walking through schedules in my head in order to get the whole family to the right place at the right time, this behavior is driving me nuts. It’s not like when he was really little and would sit in his swing and gurgle at me as I got ready. This is my daredevil toddler who recently got stitches when I turned my back to hang up a towel.

My husband helps when he can but he needs to be ready and out of the house by 6:30. I could wake up early-early but, eh, I doubt that’s going to happen often. I tried the “shower at night” routine and it worked pretty well when I had shorter hair. But it’s like a rat’s nest in the morning these days and really needs a wash/rinse. I tried books in his crib and playing his little music mobile but, the minute I leave his room, cue the toddler separation anxiety screaming. Right now we’re making it work because of the distraction from his new fave novelty of brushing his teeth.

I’m not really sure if there is a solution but I’m all ears if you’ve been there and done…what?

Oh and I’m definitely checking out the Bright Horizons parenting webinar on sleep to hear advice from Dr. Craig Canapari, MD from Mass General Hospital for Children.


  1. Media Mom

    MediaMom January 30, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    I guess it’s true that the grass is always greener on the other side. No matter how early I put my kids to bed, I have to drag them both out of bed — kicking and screaming — just to get to school and work on time. And we don’t even have to leave the house until 8:15. I know it’s not totally unexpected from a 6-year-old, but my 2 year-old is an even worse offender!

  2. Amy

    Amy January 31, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    Funny! My daughter is the one I have to drag out of bed so I’m living on both sides of the lawn. I feel bad for my daughter though because she doesn’t have to be in Kindergarten until after 9 a.m. but I haul her out of bed at 6:30 to get everyone where they need to be on time. Some day it will all work out – maybe when they are off to college!

  3. MVanZandt October 2, 2013 at 8:41 am

    When my daughter was 18 months, she had the same issue with getting up too early. If I still needed to shower, I would grab a few of her favorite toys & sit her on the bathroom rug while I took a quick shower. If she woke when I was getting my hair done, an episode of Dora the Explorer & a sippy cup full of milk would keep her occupied while I finished.

    Now that she is 3, she does not get moving so early in the morning. I have to get her up an extra 15-20 minutes early so she has time to wake up before we start with our daily routine & getting dressed. The extra wake up time works most of the time!

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