Here’s What You Can Do If You Baby Wakes Up Early!

Is your little one waking up before the sun hits the horizon? Well, it seems like you’ve got an early riser in your family. But sometimes or rather most of the times, this early rising behaviour can turn into a habit, making it a little difficult to cope with. Fret not! As a parent, understanding the root cause of what wakes your little one can easily help you resolve this simple hurdle. So, keep on reading to know more about how to make your little one attain a sound sleep.

How To Know If Your Baby Is Waking Up Too Early?

Babies naturally rise early. It's quite normal for them to wake up around 7 to 8 am. But if your little one is waking at 4 or 5 a.m every morning and not going back to sleep even after a quick diaper change or little feed, then it’s an indication that he is waking up too early. This largely depends on when he goes to sleep and other factors like teething, sickness or sleep regressions. These factors start to play a major role, especially if your baby suddenly starts waking up earlier than usual.

1. Rule Out Medical Issues

A child may wake early if she is having problems with reflux or GERD, or sleep apnea. Even babies who have a cold or allergies are more likely to wake up early. Rule out medical issues first and consider other developmental and temporary issues before attacking the early rising problem.

2. Developmental Leaps

When babies achieve developmental milestones or are going through a developmental leap it can cause setbacks in sleep schedules. During this time babies may not sleep as restfully but it only lasts a few weeks and they'll return back to their previous sleep routines.

3. Address Hunger

If your younger baby — under 9 months — is waking from hunger, consider a dream feed. You would sneak into his room and quietly feed him at around 11:00 p.m., taking care not to fully wake him.

4. Start Tracking

In order to begin to understand what may be causing your baby to be an early riser starts with fully understanding their habits and routine. Track their sleeping and feeding habits and look for patterns over time. Lumi by Pampers™ automatically tracks your baby's sleep, 24/7, coupled with feedings you enter into the app it magically transforms that information to give you insight and help you more easily figure out what is going on, whether he's simply an early bird, hungry, or waking because of a wet diaper, so you can make adjustments as needed.

5. Understand Drowsy But Awake

When your baby goes to bed, she should be calm, but alert enough to understand you are saying goodnight and leaving. Nursing or rocking to sleep might help in the short-term, but when she wakes up later, she will be a little confused as to how she got to her crib alone, and need you to come in and rock her back to sleep.

Consider using a sleep training method, such as the Sleep Lady Shuffle, and make sure to understand what “drowsy but awake” means. If you do, your child will know how to put herself back to sleep, even with early rising.

6. Treat All Wakings the Same

Use a gentle sleep training method at bedtime and at night, and treat any wake-up before 6:00 a.m. as a night waking. Like bedtime, this seems counterintuitive. Babies and children need age-appropriate naps. The trick is to make sure you pay attention to your child's sleepy cues. Adjust your flexible schedule to get appropriate naps, which will help them sleep better and longer at night.

7. Wakefulness Windows vs Overtired

The ideal amount of time before bedtime, or “wakefulness window” for most toddlers is around four hours — fewer for younger children. Children who are awake too long before bedtime will be overtired. If the wakefulness window is too short, they won't be ready for bed at the appropriate time. It's important to be sure the last nap of the day doesn't begin too late or end too early.

8. Sleep in a Dark Room

Once babies are old enough to sleep through the night — around six months — their circadian rhythm is developed enough to recognize appropriate sleep and awake time. If your child is having a hard time, try room-darkening shades at nap and nighttime.

9. Make Morning Wake up Different

It's called a “dramatic wake-up” because you're going to do a bit of acting. Even if he has been up before 6:00 a.m., and you have been in and out of the room, leave and count to ten. Return (at 6:00 at the earliest) and announce your presence, say, “rise and shine,” and open those curtains. This will break the association between your response during night wakings and your behaviour at wake-up time.

For toddlers and preschoolers, consider a wake-up clock that lights up and signals that it's time to start the day.

Consistency and time is the key. Like any sleep problem, early rising will take some effort to change. It takes time to adjust to a new schedule, and you may get a little resistance. Make a plan, adjust bedtimes and wake-up times appropriately, and then stick with it.

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