Early Rising! Is your baby or toddler waking consistently before 6am?

Is your baby consistently waking before 6am? If so, they are considered an early riser!

There are many reasons why this may be happening. So here is a simple checklist for you to consider and perhaps make tweaks to your child's current routine.

  1. Was he or she too tired going to bed? Being too drowsy going sleep at night can actually lead to early rising. So if your noticing your child is very tired, more tired than usual and may not make it to their usual bedtime, then bring bedtime earlier.
  2. Is the wake window between the last nap of the day too long? Perhaps more day time sleep is required? Particularly for babies, an afternoon nap can be essential.
  3. Not enough daytime sleep. If your child is not having enough naps during the day or naps are too short, this can result in early rising.
  4. Is their bedtime too late? Parents often may then mistake of pushing bedtime later in the hope that their child will sleep on in the morning. Unfortunately, this is not the case and can actually contribute to early rising.
  5. Environmental factors - is the room too hot/cold? Noisy? Bright?
  6. Is your baby sick or teething?
  7. Is your baby hungry?

What can I do?

Ensure you are filling that day time sleep tank. Keep a sleep diary, watch your baby closely and be mindful of the clock. Notice their different levels of sleep cues. Overtime will find the sweet spot - when they are tired enough but not too tired to go for a nap/bed. If they are waking from naps in good form they have probably had enough sleep. But, if they are fussier then usual, then you may need to look at facilitating a bonus nap around the 3pm period or an earlier bedtime.

Ensure a soothing sleep environment. Use black out blinds, keep the room at an appropriate temperature. Consider falling temperatures over night, is this causing the early wakes? If you live in a noisy house i.e noisy pipes, heating system etc or there is street noise which may cause disturbance then try white noise.

If issues are recent and coincide with illness or teething, know that this will pass. However, if this issue is not knew then illness or teething is probably not the root of the problem.

Ensure your baby/toddler is taking adequate feedings/meals during the day.

Moving away from co-sleeping

20 Essential Tips to move away from Co-sleeping

1.Set a pace suitable for both you & your child

2.Add in new sleep associations prior to the move i.e. comforter, white noise

3.”cry it out” is not necessary

4.Crying in the presence of a loving, responsive carer is not “cry it out”

5.If you are not comfortable with your child crying, respond/comfort them however they need.

6.Know that change takes time, patience & consistency

7.Involve another carer/parent in making changes

8.Bedtime or first morning nap are good times to start making changes

9.Babies/ children with more sensitive temperaments may need a slower pace and more support with changes. Give yourself 4+ weeks. But may take less time.

10. Babies experience heightened separation anxiety between 7&10 months. Changes can be even more challenging when separation anxiety is at peak.

11. If transferring to a cot. Allow play time in the cot during the day.

12. For own room -allow playtime and bedtime/ nap time routines in own room when building up to the move.

13. For older babies & toddlers. Transfer to cots can be challenging, consider floor bed.

14. For floor beds - try co-sleeping in floor beds and slowly pull away from co-sleeping

15. Take turns with secondary caregiver. Every second night is good but not possible for everyone.

16. For toddlers and older children- talk to them about the upcoming changes. Involve them in picking new bed covers etc.

17. For younger babies practice lots of tummy time during the day to encourage rolling both directions. Important for independent sleep and resettling independently.

18.Encourage independent replugging of pacifiers if using them. Place a few in the cot. Glow in the dark pacifiers are handy.

19. If feeding to sleep, start introducing half of the feed in another room. Slowly move away from feeding to sleep - if you want to.

20. It is ok to not want to make changes. It is equally ok to be ready for change.

Leave a Comment