Baby waking too early? Here’s why and what you can do
If your baby wakes really early it can make it a very long day, here’s some reasons why they wake so early and top tips to help
Getting as much sleep as you can is important particularly when you’re a parent, so if your little one decides the day is starting at the crack of dawn or before, you are forgiven for not feeling best pleased.
So what time is ‘too early’ for your baby to wake for the day?
It’s relative. Some parents might see 5am as acceptable, while others anything before 7.30am is just too early. Figure out what best works for your family and the day ahead before you decide.
Generally if your little one wakes happy and seems refreshed after 6am your baby has probably had enough sleep. For most babies and toddlers who have had a good night’s sleep, 6am is quite reasonable, even if you don’t agree!
But if your child is waking at around 6am or earlier and still seems tired and a bit miserable, this suggests that it’s still too early for their to begin.
Why has my baby woken early?
If your baby has woken early and it seems out of character, first eliminate the following as a possible cause:
• Too much sunlight coming into the bedroom
• Sleeping in unfamiliar surroundings or moving from cot to bed
• Bout of sleep regression
• Potty training (toddlers).
Two common causes of early risers
A possible cause could be that your baby has begun to sleep later in the day for a nap and for a longer period, cutting the time they might need to sleep through the night.
Bedtime has become too late or early
You can be forgiven for thinking that the later you put your baby to bed the later they will sleep in the morning. It’s simply not true. Putting your baby to bed when they show natural signs of tiredness is the best way to enable your baby to sleep for a decent stretch of time and the most soundly and going to bed too late can result in your restless little one waking too early. So if you do want to try a later bedtime be patient and push it back gradually over a few days.
When your baby does wake at anything before 6am, don’t assume they are telling you they are ready to get up for the day. Just as you would if it were the middle of the night, address hunger, nappy or comfort issues first and see if once sorted, your baby is ready to settle back to sleep.
If your baby’s used to you being there when they go off to sleep you may find you need to be there a little while in the morning too to help get them back off.
If your baby could be in the habit of going to bed a little too late and is experiencing disturbed sleep in the night, they’ll be overtired and even though waking is the issue introducing earlier bedtime may help your baby to sleep later in the morning.
But as all babies are different, some babies who wake and seem bright and rested may simply be ready to start their day, just earlier than you!