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Is Your Baby Waking Up Too Early? These Tips Can Help!

portrait of mother and infant baby sleeping on bed together

You know when your baby or toddler wakes up early it’s generally gonna be a really bad day for you. We love our kids, but, getting woken up in the middle of night isn’t something most parents appreciate.

It Sure Can Be A Roller Coaster

Let’s face it, the goal for both parents and toddlers is to sleep straight through without any disturbances. No one wants their sleep disturbed and I’m sure your toddlers aren’t doing it on purpose ;) If you manage to conquer this feat, some may feel that it’s as good as winning the lottery. That’s how important it is!

Determine If The Early Riser Is Actually The Problem

How early your child wakes up is relative. For some, having their kids wake up at 5.30am is perfectly normal. However, for others, anything before 8am is a total nightmare and considered waaaay too early.

Also, you might want to consider this. When your child wakes up, are they really drowsy or completely energised? If you child wakes up just after 6am and they are totally energised and ready to tackle the day, then, consider that there may not be a problem after all.

For most, they struggle to get their children up in the morning. However, if your little one has no problem waking up in the morning, you probably don’t want to discourage this behaviour.

However, if your child wakes at different times during the night, then you certainly have a problem on your hands.

Root Out The Cause

There are many different reasons that can cause intermittent sleep patterns, such as growth spurts, teething problems and also complicated life transitions such as a new family member, and even moving house. 

You also find that the time of year might have a slight bearing on why their sleep is disrupted? If we’re in the height of the summer and the days are longer then ensure that there isn’t too much light coming through the curtain, or it might be worth investing in curtains that have thicker lining and don’t allow any light to come through at all. Alternatively, you can invest in blackout shades.

If none of those things is the cause, then you may have a scheduling problem on your hands? It might be time to look at what time they go to bed and how much other sleep they get in the day too.

Nap Times Are Off

If your toddler isn’t getting enough sleep at nap times, then you may find that they are overtired by the time the bedtime rocks round? When your child is overtired they are normally irritable. 

If they’re irritable then they likely won’t drift off to sleep properly. If this happens, this increases the chances of them waking up in the middle of the night.

Or the other side of this is too much nap time. This can have a similar effect as our previous point.

Tips for training your baby to wake up later

  • Keep it quiet. As you well know, as the world wakes up, things get considerably louder, from people scraping ice off their cars, dogs barking a few doors down to garbage trucks collecting rubbish. So this isn’t a distraction and to ensure your little one isn’t disturbed, you could keep the windows closed or hang some heavy drapes. Another cool alternative is putting a fan or white noise machine in the room. Even though it’s noise, it’s a consistent soothing noise that can sometimes drown everything else out.
  • Give a minute. This means don’t rush in at the first sounds of your baby. You’ll likely find that they are just stirring or even dreaming. Give yourself at least 10 minutes unless they are really wailing down the house. Some babies can amuse themselves and then drift off asleep again. If you’re lucky of course.
  • Hold off on breakfast. If they are used to eating at 5:30am in the morning, then their hunger will pretty much be their wake up call. One call trick is to gradually  postpone the first feed by a few minutes a day. If you need any extra advice on this, then it’s recommended that you talk with your pediatrician with reference to any adjustments you’re making to their feeding schedule.
  • Offer something to do. Did you know that a baby’s crib should be empty until they are over 12 months old. However, after they have passed that age, it would be good to strap some toys on the crib, a crib mirror or a keyboard. These items may allow them wake up slowly and play on their own before you’re even awake or wake up.
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