Let’s start by saying that early rising is VERY common among babies and children. The reality is that, young children are biologically “wired” to wake up somewhere between 6:00am and 7:30am. This means that those dreaded wake ups before 6:00am need to be solved. Some children are naturally “earlier risers”, like my 3 year old, by 6:30 she is happy, rested and ready to go. On the other hand some need their morning beauty sleep, like my 1.5 year old who does not like waking up before 7:15am.
Early rising is frustrating for parents as you have to get up early to be with your kids, but more than that it can ruin your baby’s schedule or your child’s ablity to concentrate and be happy during their school day. Therefore, I have written this post to help you improve your child’s early rising and help you and your children make the most out of your day.
Let’s look into the 4 common causes of early rising
- A late Bedtime – The average bedtime for most young children is between 6:30pm-8:00pm, look for sleepy cues to see when’s best for your child to go to asleep
- Nap Deprivation – Most children still need one nap in the day up to around 3 years of age, and not getting enough day-time sleep may lead them to be overtired and wake early
- Gap between last nap and bedtime- Staying awake too long between the afternoon nap and bedtime leads to early rising, this amount of wake time differs based on the age of your child
- Going to bed too drowsy- Bedtime is the easiest time for your child to put himself to sleep whereas 4-6am is the hardest. If your child doesn’t know how to put himself to sleep at an easy time, it will be even harder for him in the early morning
Without realising we often engrain early rising by:
- Letting our kids watch TV or having other screen time first thing in the morning
- Feeding our children immediately upon wake up
- Bringing them into our beds
When our eldest daughter was around 1 year old (before I studied sleep coaching) she used to wake up at around 5:50, we immediately gave her a bottle of milk in her cot which she drank for about 20 minutes, we thought that this was amazing as it gave us an extra 20 min in the morning to lie in bed, little did we realise it may have been this bottle upon wake up that was causing her early rising in the first place………..
Let’s Sum up What YOU can do to get your baby to sleep past 6:00am
Make sure your child is not going to sleep too late;That he is getting enough day-time naps; That the time between his last nap and bedtime is the correct amount for your babies age; Put your baby to sleep when he is drowsy but awake; and Do not reinforce your child’s early rising by bringing him milk or food, bringing him to your bed or giving him screen time when he wakes.
Still Need Tips to Sleep Later??? Here 9 More!
- Nap Timing
If your child is on 1 nap per day, make sure that his nap is after noon (ideally closer to 1pm) to ensure that he isn’t overtired at bedtime
- Sleep Coaching
Treat anytime before 6:00am as a middle of the night waking , pick a sleep coaching method and use it consistently for wake ups before 6:00am
- Avoid letting your child scream
Go to your child before he gets all worked up and try to soothe him back to sleep using your sleep coaching method and without turning on the lights
- Dramatic wakeup
At 6am, if your child is not going back to sleep, leave the room for a minute, then come back, turn on the lights, open the blinds and show your child that you are starting the day
- Good Night Light
If your child is older then 2 ½, consider getting a night clock that indicates when it is morning. We have the Ooly night owl and love it! I couldn’t resist putting in a picture of Ooly
- Dark Room
Use blackout shades or blinds
- White Noise
Make sure that noises aren’t waking up your child during that time of early morning light sleep, use white noise to block out birds, traffic and other sounds
- Eliminate Hunger
Make sure your child is eating enough during the day so you are not wondering if he is hungry at 5am.
Try using overnight diapers if your child is waking due to being wet or leaking out early in the morning
So now it’s up to you, go for it, use these hacks and hopefully you can sleep in…well not quite but you know what I mean. If you have any more questions feel free to pop me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org or message me on 0545421777 to set up a free 15 minute consultation
Sleep Coach at Tiny Little Sleepers