Don’t we all just adore the beautiful faces of our babies when we first wake up in the morning? Nothing starts the day off on such a high note as the look in the eyes of your little one when they’re first getting up for the day.
But when that moment hits at 5:00 in the morning, it can undoubtedly take the blissful nature out of the situation.
An early morning wake-up is rough on everyone. Your little one is likely not adequately rested and may have a rough day, and you, as the parent, could certainly use an extra hour or two of sleep!
Suppose you find yourself struggling to cope with those early wake-ups. In that case, I’m happy to tell you that there’s almost always an explanation for why it’s happening, as well as a solution close at hand.
Check out the following tips and see if anything applies to your baby’s situation, then make the appropriate changes. Then, you should start seeing a turn toward those blissful mornings you’ve been striving for.
Babies are more likely to wake up early if they’re too hot or cold, so ensure they’re dressed comfortably. (Typically, one layer more than an adult would wear while sleeping in the same environment.)
Use white noise machines to drown out any disruptive sounds. Dim the lights in the room during nighttime and invest in blackout curtains to block out early morning sunlight.
It could include activities like a warm bath (which is my personal preference as the “first step.”), gentle massage, lullabies, or reading a bedtime story. Consistency is critical here, as it helps your baby anticipate sleep and prepares their body for a nice, long snooze.
Strike a balance between appropriate nap durations and an age-appropriate schedule. Observe your baby’s sleep patterns and gradually adjust nap times and lengths as needed to find the sweet spot.
Try a slightly earlier bedtime to ensure your little one is well-rested but not overtired. A well-rested baby is more likely to sleep longer and wake up at a reasonable hour.
Give them a chance to settle themselves back to sleep before intervening. Then, if they cry, wait a few minutes to see if they can self-soothe. Over time, they’ll become more skilled at drifting off to dreamland independently.
When baby wakes up at 5:00 as opposed to 3:00 AM, we’re more likely to give in and assume that they’re just not tired anymore, but if you’re shooting for a 7:00 wake up as “the norm,” then you should treat anything earlier than that as a nighttime wake-up and respond the same way you usually do if baby wakes up in the middle of the night.
Early morning wake-ups in babies can be challenging, but you can improve their sleep patterns with patience and a few tweaks to their sleep routine.
Remember, each baby is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. So be consistent, observe your baby’s cues, and be flexible in your approach.
Before you know it, those early wake-up calls will become a thing of the past, and you’ll all be enjoying a few more blissful hours of sleep in the morning!
Erin Neri - Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant and Owner of To The Moon and Back Sleep Consulting since 2016.
To The Moon and Back Sleep Consulting
Providing families the tools & support they need to get their little ones sleeping through the night and napping like champs! Everyone has more fun when they are well rested!
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