How to Handle Your Child's Early Morning Wake-ups.


Is your child an early riser?  One of the most common complaints that I hear from parents is that their little cuties are waking too early in the morning……like 4:30 am!  That makes my skin crawl as I am NOT a morning person.  These are my number one tips on how to conquer early morning wake ups. 

Tip #1: First things first, is the room dark enough?  That is always the first place I look.  People often think that they’ve got it dark enough, but it can always be darker because even the slightest change in light variation can stimulate a wake up in anybody. As an adult, you can look at the clock and notice that it’s not yet time to get up. A baby; however, cannot do that. I want it dark in there. To the point where you can’t see your hand in front of your face, dark!  (If you need to see baby in the middle of the night then use the light from the hall rather than a night light). 

Tip #2:  Try to avoid feeding baby the moment he/she wakes up.  Try and wait 15-20 minutes post wake-up to feed so that he/she isn’t waking up every time excited and expecting to eat, otherwise he/she will likely wake earlier and earlier in anticipation.  Change the diaper, take babes for a quick jaunt around the house to wake up daddy, let the puppies out, feed the cat, and then settle in for the morning feed out in the living room.  (I always recommend that you feed baby outside of the nursery to really help decrease the sleep/ feeding association.

Tip #3: Try to maintain your kiddo's typical nap schedule.  If your little one is waking up super early, it will be tempting to start putting him down earlier and earlier for that morning nap. If you do that, you will get stuck in this vicious cycle of him waking up too early, going down for a nap at 7:00 AM, and absolutely mess up with the body clock.  I understand that it will be hard to keep your little one awake, but try hard to keep him/her up until the 30-minute window of the first nap.  Try a little burst of fresh air (if you live in the Upper Midwest like me, the cold morning air will definitely perk you up).  You will also want to make sure you are feeding him/her enough to keep the energy level up. 

Tip #4: Put your little one to bed earlier. Does this sound backwards?   Early morning wake-ups are often caused by overtiredness.  Most people think if that if their cuties are waking early, they need to be put to bed later.  However, keeping your kiddos up later creates even more over-tiredness in your child, which leads to fragmented sleep, and then even earlier morning wake ups.  Try putting your baby to bed 15-30 minutes earlier each day until you have found the sweet spot. 

Remember, I’m always here if you need more assistance or clarification on how to implement these tips.  Just book a call!