Baby Waking Up Early? Here's What You Can Do
Little Yawn Collective - Feb 13, 2022
In the early days, your baby would wake in the middle of the night to eat. After a quick feed, diaper change, plus cuddle, they were ready to go back to sleep.
You were also able to enjoy a little shut-eye until everyone needed to get up for the day. Now your baby is starting to wake up and stay awake just a little too early for your liking.
If your baby is waking before the rooster gets a chance to crow, read on to learn why this may be occurring as well as ways to help your baby snooze a little longer in the morning.
Reasons for Waking Early
There are many reasons why your baby could be waking up early. Let’s look at some reasons why your baby’s snoozefest is coming to a halt.
Nap Time Needs Adjusting
If you find that your child wakes up just a tad too early, take a look at their nap time and length. If your baby is napping for too long, they won’t need as much sleep overnight. This will result in an earlier wake-up time.
Likewise, if your baby is having a nap too early or late in the day, this can impact their wake times in the morning. Adjust nap times until you get to that sweet spot of your baby still napping during the day but sleeping until a more reasonable hour in the morning.
You’ll find that you’ll probably need to make these adjustments as your baby grows and their sleeping needs change. The amount of hours asleep reduces as your baby gets older.
Your baby may be in the midst of the transition of needing less sleep, and naptime may be the first thing that needs to be adjusted to meet the needs of your baby’s growth. You may also find that you can forgo one of your baby’s daytime naps, which will push your baby’s wake-up time to a more reasonable hour.
Bedtime Needs Adjusting
Just like naptime, if your child has been waking up super early, their bedtime may need adjusting.
Adjusting your child’s bedtime is one of the best ways to help them start to wake up a little bit later. It only makes sense that the earlier your child goes to sleep in the evening, the earlier they will wake up in the morning.
Your child’s bedtime could also need adjusting due to their sleep needs changing. As your baby gets bigger (we know you don’t like to think about this!), they will not need as much sleep as they once did. Their early wakeups can be a sign that they can start going to bed at a later time.
The best way to adjust your baby’s bedtime is to do it in increments of five to ten minutes. This is just enough that your baby won’t notice a big change. You can increase night after night, or have repeat the new bedtime for a few days, so your baby adjusts easier.
All you need to do is start your bedtime routine a little later than what you have been. Once you have met the new ideal bedtime and wake up time, you should be set!
Too Loud or Too Bright
If your house is near a source of noise, like a high traffic area or railroad tracks, these noises could lead to your baby waking up too early. Using a white noise machine during those high noise times can help to drown out any unintentional wake-up calls.
Depending on the way the windows in your baby’s room face, they may be getting a face full of sun in the mornings. If these earlier than normal wake up times are occurring during the summer, the early sunrise may be waking your baby up.
Installing blackout curtains can help with keeping the bright rays from waking up your baby.
Electronics Before Bed
Electronics can be a great solution to help keep your baby entertained while preparing dinner or cleaning up around the house.
For most households, electronics have their place in everyone’s life, including your baby’s. Making sure that electronics are turned off at least an hour before bedtime can help your child’s brain relax and get ready for bed.
Electronic screens produce blue light that can interrupt our circadian rhythms, which we need to feel alert during the day and sleepy in the evening hours. Using electronics too close to bedtime can especially disrupt your baby’s awake and sleep cycles – which are still developing.
Create an electronics curfew for your baby. Use this time before bed for storybooks as a way to unwind and get ready to rest for the night.
There are numerous ways to help your child become healthy sleepers. Establishing good sleep practices early in life can help set your child up for success as they get older. Sleep is crucial for your child’s mental and physical growth and your sanity!
Let’s take a look at some sleep solutions that ensure that your baby sleeps like a champ.
Sleep training can be a game-changer for parents and can be helpful if your baby is waking up just a little bit too early. Sleep training can be achieved in various ways, but it is training your baby to fall asleep on their own.
Although we may love to rock and cuddle with our baby until they fall asleep, your baby can become used to this way of falling asleep and won’t be able to fall back asleep after a wakeup without you rocking them.
This means that every time your baby wakes, you’ll have to get up and go through this routine again. It can slash your overall sleep total for the night and make the next day a rough one for the entire household.
Sleep training consists of leaving your baby’s room when they are still awake to learn to fall asleep on their own. The variations of sleep training occur when and if your baby begins to cry.
Some variations call on having you check on your baby right away, and some gradually extend the amount of time on each check-in. Sleep training works best when you already have a consistent bedtime routine established. This way, your baby still gets to spend time with you but starts to learn to self-soothe and fall asleep on their own.
Be patient with sleep training, as it does take time, and your baby may not be the only one with tears during the process. It’s completely normal if you need to take a break and try sleep training again in a few days or weeks.
Sleep training helps your baby be better rested, which results in you being better rested as well!
One of the best ways to keep your baby’s sleeping times consistent is by implementing a consistent bedtime routine. Research shows that a consistent sleep routine positively affects your child’s sleep.
Your baby will go to sleep more easily, stay asleep longer, and wake up less often during the nighttime hours.
Bedtime routines do not have to be a complicated set of events. They can be simple and consist of three to four events of your choosing. The most important thing is to keep these events in the same order, so your child recognizes that this is the time to wind down and get ready for bed.
Little Yawn Collective champions the importance of a bedtime routine, and our products are developed to seamlessly blend into your routine to support your baby’s precious bedtime.
Our specially formulated products are geared towards children and are effective at helping your little ones fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
Our products contain our NaturalSnooze fragrance, which creates a cozy and snoozy environment for your little one to get snuggly and sleepy. You can get your little one squeaky clean with our Soothing Shampoo & Body Wash with Calendula. Next, a baby massage with our Body Lotion with Oat & Shea Butter relaxes your baby as your bond through physical touch.
Spend quality time putting on soft pajamas, reading a bedtime story, and a hug and kiss goodnight. Before your baby drifts off, spritz our Relaxing Pillow & Linen Spray to help your baby relax and finally drift off to dreamland.
Weekend Wakeup Calls
It is very tempting to cut off the alarm clock and sleep in on the weekends. As sleep-deprived parents, you probably would like to repay some of the sleep debt you have racked up over the past few months.
Doctors recommend not letting your child sleep in too much on weekends. They should sleep for no longer than one hour past their regular wake-up time. If your little one is allowed to sleep in for longer, it may throw off their internal clock -- the one you have been working so hard to get into a consistent schedule.
As your baby grows and develops, so will the routines that you have set for them. Once you have a routine down-pat, it may feel like it needs to be evaluated and changed again.
This may seem frustrating for parents, but really this shows what an amazing job you are doing at this whole parenting gig. Reevaluating and changing up your baby’s routine means that they are thriving and growing.
Don’t worry, before you know it you will have a teenager who will likely love to sleep in. In fact, you may be looking up ways to help them wake up early!
Make bedtime a Breeze
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