The Dreaded Early AM Wakening
Updated: Mar 10
Why do some little ones like to wake their mommy and daddy up at the awful hour of 4:30, 5:00, 5:30 and even 6:00? If you are one of these parents then you will want to read this. So here are some of the reasons we experience those dreaded early am Wake-ups from our little ones: #1) The most common reason for an early am wakening is because your little one is getting to bed too late. I understand that it can be hard to get used to the idea of being home in the early evenings so that your little one can get to sleep at a decent time but it's so important. To be honest, my husband I have come to love the time we get together after our kids have gone to bed. I sometimes even get some evenings out with friends and my hubby stays home. I recommend that your baby should be in bed no later then 8:30. Every baby is different and some need a bedtime as early as 6 pm. #2) Overtired. Most people have a hard time believing this one but the more tired your little one gets the less she will sleep. Sleep begets sleep. I find this even for myself, if I let myself get overtired I have a horrible time falling asleep and getting a good nights rest. Keep your little one on a age appropriate napping schedule and have a decent bedtime to prevent her from becoming overtired.
#3) Habit. Yes if you continue to get your little one up when they wake up at that early time, it will become a habit of them wanting to get up that hour and their body will adjust to that time. If you take them into your bed at that time, or you play with them, or rock them, they will look forward to that time. #4) Light and Noise. Especially when it's the summer season, it gets light extremely early. If we've left our windows and blinds open to let the cool night air in, I even find myself waking up super early and having a hard time getting back to sleep. Get some black out blinds for your little one's room and keep it dark. Light can suppress the hormone melatonin, which helps your little one to fall asleep. Also invest in a white noise machine or fan to block out any noise that may wake your little one during the early morning hours, when they tend to sleep lighter. #5) Sleep props. If your little one is dependent on a soother, nursing, a bottle, rocking, etc to fall asleep. They may wake up at these early hours looking for help to get back to sleep. Then when once you try to get them back to sleep with their sleep prop they won't, as they may feel like they've had enough sleep and be done for the night. Which we know they aren't and most of you probably don't want them to be! Sometimes when we wake up at 5:30 we can feel really well rested but a half hour later see that it was too early for us to get up. These are the most common reasons why your little one can be waking up so early. Sometimes when they wake this early we just want a quick fix to get them back to sleep so you can too. But by doing that you're not fixing the problem long term. So I encourage you to find out what is causing the early morning wake up and then take a week to spend some time fixing it so you no longer have to wake up that early!
If you'd like to learn more about how to help your little one sleep in a little longer, come join my facebook group "Baby & Toddler Sleep Support for Tired Moms" where I talk about other things that can be contributing to these early mornings and give tips on how to help your little one sleep in later.