Ok, so this question was somewhat helpful, but my son's problem is not quite the same. He is 5 and will be starting kindergarten in a few weeks (August 7th). Right now, we have the luxury of taking our time in the morning; even on days that my kids go to daycare we don't really have to be there until about 9:00 or so. However, my son's elementary school starts at 8:15 and the kindergarten teachers have all ready said that they prefer their students to be there by 8:00 so they can put their stuff away, get settled, and start their day promptly at 8:15. Realistically, this means that my son needs to be ready to walk out the door by 7:30 a.m. most mornings.

His problem is actually getting out of bed. Once he's up and moving, he gets ready fairly quickly and I don't have to hassle him too much about what he needs to do, but getting him out of bed is really difficult. The problem is not waking him up, he wakes up most mornings by himself by about 7:30, but he does not want to get out of bed. Sometimes he will come into my bedroom and climb into my bed--even if no one else is in it. Then we play the hide-under-the-covers game/I don't want to get up game/I don't feel good game/I don't like the lights on game for the next 10 minutes until he finally drags himself out of bed, uses the bathroom, and happily traipses off to his room to get dressed. After this, it's all gravy.

Thoughts on how to help him wake up and get started in the morning? I understand where he's coming from--I'm the exact same way, but dealing with the situation as an adult is different from dealing with the situation as a kid.

  • 2
    For my two year old, I tickle him until he laughs so hard he sits up.
    – user420
    Jul 10, 2013 at 20:27
  • In other bother-him-until-he-gets-up ideas, my boyfriend's mom used a misty spray bottle on him when he was a kid.
    – user3946
    Jul 11, 2013 at 20:07
  • My dad used a cold wet washcloth on our faces when we were kids. Worked even in the teen years. The comfort of lazing in bed is gone at that point. :)
    – Valkyrie
    Jul 12, 2013 at 6:01
  • Trick him into thinking that every day is Saturday and he doesn't have to go to school? I know my kids get up at the crack of dawn on a non-school and non-work day, but regular weekdays it's like pulling teeth to get them up on time.
    – afrazier
    Jul 12, 2013 at 18:05
  • 1
    My dad would come into our rooms singing the Boy Scout song, "Rise and shine and Give God Your Glory, Glory" at the top of his lungs. My brother eventually would set his alarm 10 minutes early, get up and go find a hiding place (say, a closet in the guest room) and would go to sleep there. :-) Jul 15, 2013 at 22:28

4 Answers 4


I have the same issue with my 5-year old so I'm not too surprised.

I believe the issue is one of inertia. The child is comfortable so doesn't want to get up. My wife and I often play music to wake our little one up, sometimes we will even start a movie on a laptop to help her her fully awake and aware. Now, I know, waking is not the issue, getting up is.

So, usually one of us will pick our daughter up and carry her to the toilet. Once she's on the toilet we dry her and she's up and walking around. Of course, she is eager to run back to bed but we guide her to her toothbrush and to wash her face and by that time she is usually fully engaged and ready to start the day.

Again, the key is inertia - once you get them going you can't stop them.

Good luck!

  • 1
    Once you get them going you can't stop them! How right you are!!
    – Meg Coates
    Jul 12, 2013 at 4:55

My son is only 2 years old but I am realy an expert child awaker. I guess its because I am myself a late riser.

I have this toy dragon whose only purpose is to wake up my son. The dragon makes lots of funny things like jumping right into the bed and even calling my son a late riser and boasting himself being an early riser. This dragon is realy wild!

When he is awake but wants to stay in bed I suggest he says hello to his baby brother in the other room or drinking a cup of milk downstairs.


Like Valkyrie's suggestion of the wet cloth and DrJ's suggestion of music, anything that jars your child out of his sleepiness will probably work. A friend of mine had great success with juice. Just a sip or two of cold juice with its burst of natural sugar was all it took to get her daughter ready to face the world.

  • The magic word is chocolate. I don't have to bring any, all I need to do is approach my daughter's bed and say chocolade. She is immediately awake...
    – Treb
    Jul 17, 2013 at 7:22

I have a 4.5 year old and she doesn't like to get up either :) Sometimes if there is something exciting coming I'll remind her that, for example, a friend's birthday party will be in a couple days and if she gets up she'll be one day closer to getting to go. Anything exciting she can look forward to always works. Singing songs, turning on the lights in increments, like the nightlight first, then the overhead lights or a lamp, telling her she can wear her special princess shoes on the way to school. Anything exciting and interesting really does it for her. Challenging her to get her teeth brushed in record time is exciting. Stuff like that :)

  • I would +1, except that encouraging a child to hurry through tooth brushing is a really bad idea. Many kids use a timer to ensure that they brush long enough.
    – Aravis
    Sep 23, 2015 at 13:41
  • Good point. I make sure she gets all of the cleaning done correctly, though :) I rarely use it as a tool to get her up anyway.
    – Jbird
    Sep 23, 2015 at 15:03

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