Not everyone like getting up before the rooster crows. Most parents, in my experience, don’t want to hang out with their bright-eyed kid at 5:30 a.m. after waking up with a newborn all night. Even if your infant sleeps through the night, any awakening before 6:00 a.m. is excessive.
In my practise, one of the most common sleep interruptions reported by parents is early rising. “I wish my baby would sleep till 7:00 a.m.” “Is it even healthy to get up at 5:00 a.m.?” “Can I die of weariness because my baby wakes up every day at 5:30 a.m.?” It is undeniably difficult to get up before the dawn when you are already fatigued.
So, what exactly is an early riser?
Any awakening before 6:00 a.m., in my perspective, is considered an early riser. If your child wakes up between the hours of 6:00 and 8:00 a.m., you’re on the right route to a healthy and peaceful night’s sleep. Babies four months and older appear to have a natural early-rise and early-bed pattern. Newborns don’t have much of a rhythm in the first three months. Late bedtimes and more sleep around the clock are common.
What if your infant wakes up earlier than 6:00 a.m.?
When your baby sleeps and how restful that sleep period is depends on a number of things. You should always consider sleep as a 24-hour process rather than focusing on a single issue, such as short naps or early morning rising. All of the sleep intervals throughout a whole day have an affect on each other, so it’s always a good idea to look at the overall picture. Let’s have a look at some of the causes of early mornings and how to address them.
Early Rising in Babies: What Causes It?
1. The room’s atmosphere is indicating that it’s time to get up
In a lot of cases, the atmosphere in the room is indicating to the infant that it’s time to wake up. Because your infant can’t tell time, environmental cues are extremely important.
What to do?
Have a lovely room that is also DARK! The amount of light in the room is a natural indication that tells the brain whether to produce sleep or awake chemicals. A dark room is the best method to convey to your infant that it is still sleep time, especially when the sun rises.
2. The first nap of the day is too early
If you have an early riser, this is one of the most crucial things to consider. When a baby gets up before 6:00 a.m., it indicates that they will be ready for their first nap sooner. I know it makes reasonable, but if we nap too early, we unintentionally reinforce the early morning wake-up. Here’s an illustration:
At 5:30 a.m., your 6-month-old wakes up. To avoid overtiredness, you should give them a 2-hour awake window before their first nap. This puts your first nap at 7:30 a.m. We’ve established a nap schedule that coincides with when we want baby to wake up in the morning. The schedule has been moved earlier in the hopes of instilling a habit of getting up early.
What to do?
To stop reinforcing the early mornings, we wish to move the first nap later. Yes, this means your kid will be up for longer than their suggested awake time, but it is acceptable in this scenario. These are the instances when I would begin: 3 sleep schedule: Move the first nap to 8:15-8:30 a.m. at the latest. 2 - sleep schedule: Move the first nap to 9:15-9:30 a.m. at the latest. 1- sleep schedule: Schedule your sleep for no later than 11:30 a.m.
3. Too much sleep during the day
It’s all about finding the right balance when it comes to sleeping. To develop sleep drive, we need a good night’s sleep and a good quantity of awake time. One thing that early risers have in common is that they may be excellent nappers. During nap time, they essentially “catch up.” We can manage our sleep during the day to help us sleep later in the morning.
What to do #1?
Increase the length of the sleeps! You may have heard the phrase "never wake a sleeping baby," but trust me when I say that if what you're doing now isn't working, wake 'em up. Capping naps helps to maintain a healthy balance of sleep and awake time throughout the day. 2 & 3 nap schedules: Individual sleeps should be no longer than 2 hours. If your kid is still sleeping at 2 a.m., wake them up to ensure more healthy naps and a restful night's sleep. 1 nap schedule: The sleep should last no more than 3 hours.
What to do #2?
The first piece of advice is to make sure that each snooze isn't too long. Now we want to make sure that the total number of naps isn't too high. There are only so many hours in the day. We must manage our daytime sleep to ensure that we get enough sleep at night and in the early hours of the morning. Add up all of your naps and attempt to stick to the following guidelines: 4 months: Total nap duration should not exceed 5 hours. 5 months: Total nap duration should not exceed 4.75 hours. 6 months: Total nap duration should not exceed 3.75 hours. 7 months: Total nap duration should not exceed 3.5 hours. 8-24 months: Total nap duration should not exceed 3 hours.
4. During the day, there isn’t enough awake time
In a 24-hour period, we return to the balance of sleep and awake time. If your kid doesn’t get enough awake time during the day, their bodies will try to compensate by sleeping more at night. Long stretches of time awake during the night or those beautiful early morning wakings are symptoms of this.
What to do?
Make sure you have enough awake time to help you develop sleep drive for individual naps and enough nocturnal sleep. A baby who wakes up early is likely to prefer shorter awake times during the day. However, this only serves to reinforce the cycle you've fallen into. You could attempt the following approximate awake time schedules: 4 months: 1.25/1.5/1.75/1.75/1.75-2 5 months: 1.75/2/2.25/2.25 6 months: 2/2.25/2.5/2.5 7 months: 2.25/2.5/2.75/2.75 8-9 months: 3/3.25/3.25 10-11 months: 3.25/3.5-3.75/3.5 12-14 months: 3.5/4/3.75 1-nap schedule: Nap no earlier than 11:30 and cap at 3 hours in length.
** Awake periods are the intervals between when your baby wakes up and when he or she falls asleep. If they were awake for 3 hours and woke up at 7:00 a.m., their ideal asleep time would be 10:00 a.m., for example.
Change isn’t going to happen in a flash (pun intended)!
When making changes, it’s always a good idea to wait 7-10 days to see if anything has changed. We aren’t just working on a simple project. You’re rearranging an entire schedule! Scheduling modifications such as the ones listed above can be quite beneficial if implemented consistently.
Use sunshine to your advantage if your kid appears weary during some of those stretches. Sunlight signals to the brain that it is time to wake up and can cause sleep hormones to be suppressed. If they are unhappy, take them outside for 10-15 minutes approximately a half-hour before their next sleep to see if this cheers them up.
How do I stop my baby waking early?
However, there are a few more tricks you can attempt.
– Don’t let the light in. Your infant may be light sensitive, prompting her to wake up at the crack of dawn.
– Maintain silence.
– Allow a minute.
– Breakfast is postponed.
– Give your child a pacifier.
– Give them something to do.
How do I stop my child from waking at 5am?
How to Prevent Your Toddler from Waking Up Too Early
– Set a reasonable bedtime for your toddler.
– Have active days and relaxing evenings.
– Make your environment sleep-friendly.
– Get your child to sleep through the night.
– Before 6 a.m., there is no enjoyment.
– Rest time should be limited.
– Exclude the possibility of a sleep regression.
Why does my baby keep waking up at 5am?
If your child wakes up at 5 a.m., she is most likely exhausted and will only last 1.5-2 hours before needing a nap. When this happens, she is relying on that morning nap to compensate for the lack of nocturnal sleep.
Is there anything you can give a baby to help them sleep?
Swaying or swinging is an example of a gentle, repeated movement. Providing food (not until babies fall asleep, but just until they become drowsy). Lights are being dimmed. Soft music or soothing noises from a white noise machine or app.