If you’re like my husband, he considers an early wake-up before 7:00AM (insert eye rolling emoji). He soaks up every last second of sleep he possibly can and who wouldn’t want to? He hit the lotto when I became a certified sleep consultant!
What time would you consider to be an early waking? If you’re thinking anywhere between 6:00-6:30AM, this time is actually not considered an early wake-up. If your child wakes up generally at or after 6:00AM, cheerfully and refreshed, then most likely you don’t have an early waking issue. Of course you would like your child to wake later, but waking at this hour is reasonable and appropriate as your child is getting sufficient nap and night sleep. Most children will generally wake between 6:00-8:00AM.
If your child wakes less than 11 hours of night sleep and waking earlier than 6:00am, then we can talk about an early riser. Your child is probably cranky and not refreshed, right? Does he or she take poor naps? Is your child tired most of the day? If you answered YES to these questions, then I suspect you have an early rising issue. Your child is not meeting his or her daily sleep requirements and would certainly benefit from more sleep, as well as mom and dad! (amiright?)
Let’s take a closer look of why this is happening 👀 …
Some obvious reasons:
- bright room
- wet diaper
Less obvious reasons:
- late bedtime
- early bedtime
- poor naps
- awake too long between afternoon nap and bedtime
- something enjoyable is given immediately when they wake up
Let’s talk about bedtime. You’re probably thinking or even tried a later bedtime, right? It most likely didn’t work out and your child either woke at the same time or even earlier. Putting your child later to bed actually makes them overtired, which can cause the early wake-ups or night wakings. Ideally, a reasonable bedtime can range from 6:30-8:30PM (the latest).
Inappropriate “wake time” (the amount of time your baby spends awake in between sleep times) can also contribute to early wake-ups, poor naps, and night wakings. Getting the “timing” is critical as it can greatly improve overall sleep. Remember, night sleep is extremely important as it’s more restorative and restful than daytime sleep.
Babies who take short naps or finish their naps early in the day, tend to have trouble sleeping at night. This can also lead to an early wake-up. I know your thinking, how can I get my baby to nap longer? You can start with an appropriate nap schedule for your child. For each age, a baby and toddler have a certain amount of naps he or she should be taking during the day. Pay close attention to your babies sleep cues and wake time window.
If your baby or toddler is overtired and stimulated before their nap, he or she will probably nap inconsistently. I always suggest to do a quiet activity or books before nap time to help your child unwind. If your child is taking one nap a day, try to make their nap right after lunch. This will help your child transition more easily when it’s time for bed.
My last tip may seem like the obvious, but I find parents may not keep their child’s room as dark as possible (and I mean complete blackout). If you don’t have blackout curtains or blinds, this could contribute to your early riser. The sun is up early in the summer time and sleep as we know is lightest in the early hours. If your child’s room is too bright, it might be difficult for your child to go back to sleep and stay asleep. I told my sister this a hundred times and when she finally listened and bought Blackout EZ Window Covers – The EZ Way to a Dark Room, it helped to resolve her son’s early rising problem.
If you tried my suggestions and you are still struggling to piece it all together, then contact me for a personal consultation. I will develop a personalized and detailed sleep plan age appropriate and coach you every step of the way to get more sleep!
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