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Ask The MOMS: What do you do with early risers?

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Ask the MOMS

“An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.” Proverbs 18:15

We welcome questions from our readers.  We try to be as honest as possible when answering and try to give several different opinions because no one answer will work for everybody. We acknowledge that we do not have all the answers.  Here is a question from a mother of two who is expecting her third. If you have advice to share with this mom, please comment below.

“I’d love to see a blog post on what to do with kids who wake up early. My kids are early risers, and I’m dreading summer. Trying to come up with ideas. They are so awake and loud and this mommy is tired and weary. Especially being pregnant. Seems like it should be an easy solution, but I feel just overwhelmed and frustrated by it.” Laurel- Doylestown, PA

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Melissa Pope: 

1) You are going to have to go to bed earlier!

2) Mid-morning nap, put a movie in for the kids and snooze on the couch (assuming they are trustworthy enough to stay put and not wander about).

3) If they are old enough and can be trusted put out a cereal bar and juice and have the TV on for them while you grab a few more ZZs in the morning.

These are all things I did when I was expecting #3. My older daughters were 4 and 2 (3 part of the time). I could trust them not to leave the house and not make huge messes. If I napped in the living room, I could still hear them while they played in their room. If your children don’t play safely on their own or are prone to choking on their food, I do not recommend these methods.

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Sarah Smith:

I was pregnant when Fisher was in kindergarten and I slept most of the morning….Carter played on the computer pretty much the whole time. He was 4 at the time. I guess the big one is to keep them awake longer at night and either way, go to sleep when they do. I am NOT a morning person. I think it really depends on the ages of the kids. I also slept with my kids until they were 4 or so…(Fisher was much younger, Lydia a little older) They might adapt to your sleep patterns if they are sleeping with you.

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Kerri Young:

I turned on PBS and slept on the couch while pregnant with Dawson and Camden. 🙂

 

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Jennifer Mullen:

Yeah…My kids sleep in…but on the rare occasions that they don’t this is what I do…

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Hand them the iPad and roll over to go back to sleep. (Check out my related article on Evolved Mommy.)

Take heart in knowing that this is just a season.  You will make up for lost time later. Sometimes we get the idea that we are responsible for entertaining our kids 24/7.  Not only is it okay if your kids have to entertain themselves for a while, it is healthy.  It gives them opportunity to explore their creativity and develop independence.  You are doing a great job, Momma!  Don’t beat yourself up!

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Gretchen Speer:

From the time my kids were pretty young I would make several milk/juice cups and put them in the fridge and sit out a few easy breakfast options. I also set the TV to their channel so all they had to do was turn it on. I do need to note that my two older kids are calm natured and very obedient, so I felt okay about doing that. However, when my younger two arrived I had to tweak some things-as they are my wild ones.

Also, I would say is that if they are going to continue to get up early then I would continue to make their bedtime at 8 every night or even earlier if they are not taking naps. That way at least you are getting a break in the evening. Also, require room play time for when they get crazy.

Being pregnant in the summer with your third can be hard! What you need to remember is that you are supposed to take care of yourself, so don’t feel guilty for following through with a few things that allow you to do that. It is good for your older kids to start getting used to the presence of another child in the house, and this a great way to ease them into it. “It’s time for Mommy and the baby to rest. I need you to play quietly here by me.” It might take some adjusting and persistence, but they will come around!

For additional summer time schedule tips check out these two articles by Gretchen:

Summertime Schedule

Summer Schedule: Take Two

Series Navigation<< Ask the MOMS- What Can I Do to Prepare for Motherhood?

4 thoughts on “Ask The MOMS: What do you do with early risers?

  1. Melanie

    If they’re old enough to understand…
    – Make up a game – “The Morning Quiet Game” with a prize if Mama gets to sleep until X:00. Stick a photo of sleeping mama where they’ll see it first thing and remember the game when they get up.
    – Tell them they have to stay in their rooms and play until X:00. (I never tried that one. Sounds chancey.)

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  2. Laurel

    I’m afraid to say I have tried all these clever ideas. The biggest issue is they wake up so early like 5:30 that it all falls apart before 7 am usually. It’s always some kind of drama. Putting cereal out helps a little but honestly I think tough mommy is going to have to come out and get strict. They hit the ground running and even when I’m not pregnant I want to sleep past 6 am. They are old enough to be content for a while. I think training is going to be in full force ASAP.

    Reply
  3. Mindy

    My kids are 2 and 4 now, and I’m pregnant, but they have gotten to be pretty independent, so the cereal/juice/milk/TV thing works for me to sleep in a little in the morning. Based on my kids, I don’t recommend keeping them up later at night because they always seem to wake up at the same time in the morning, and then they are cranky from being too tired. About a year ago, my oldest (at 3) would wake up between 5:30-6. We put a clock in his room and told him he had to stay in his room until the first number on the clock was a 7. We told him he could play in his room, but he had to stay in there until it was a 7. It didn’t always work, but he seemed to be able to at least make it until 6:45. Anything you do will take time. And if you encourage them to be independent, then they will be able to be on their own after a while.

    Reply
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