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Early Morning Wake-ups

Nothing starts the day better than seeing your little one’s eyes light up when they first wake up. However, early morning wake-ups can be tough on everyone. Your child may not be fully rested, leading to a challenging day, and you, as the parent, could certainly use an extra hour or two of sleep!

If you're struggling with early wake-ups, there's almost always a reason behind it and a solution within reach. Check out the following tips to see if any apply to your baby’s situation. Make the necessary adjustments, and you should start experiencing those blissful mornings you've been aiming for.

Assess Their Sleep Environment

  • Darkness: The room should be as dark as possible, ideally 100% darkness.

  • Quietness: Use a white noise machine to block out external noises like construction sounds or loud conversations.

Establish a Consistent Bedtime Routine

Babies thrive on repetition and predictability. A structured bedtime routine can greatly improve their sleep schedule. Create a soothing routine that signals it's time to wind down. This could include activities like a warm bath (a great starting point), a gentle massage, lullabies, or reading a bedtime story. Consistency is crucial as it helps your baby anticipate sleep and prepares them for a long, restful night.

Monitor Daytime Naps

Surprisingly, too much daytime sleep can lead to early morning wake-ups. Make sure your baby isn't getting excessive sleep during the day, which can leave them less tired at night. 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.

Adjust Bedtime

Although it might seem counterintuitive, an earlier bedtime can help reduce early morning wakeups. Overtiredness can lead to restless sleep and frequent awakenings. Try a slightly earlier bedtime and closely monitor your baby’s sleep cues (like pulling ears, rooting, or drooping eyelids) to ensure they are well-rested but not overtired. A well-rested baby is more likely to sleep longer and wake up at a reasonable hour.

Encourage Self-Soothing Skills

Babies who can self-soothe are more likely to fall back asleep independently if they wake up too early. Help your baby develop these skills by putting them down drowsy but awake. Give them a chance to settle themselves before intervening. If they cry, wait a few minutes to see if they can self-soothe. Over time, they'll become more proficient at falling asleep on their own.

Stick to Your Minimum

If your baby has previously slept from 7:30 PM to 6:00 AM, they can consistently do so. If they wake up at 5:00 AM instead of 3:00 AM, it's easy to assume they're ready to start the day. However, if your goal is a 7:00 AM wake-up, treat any wake-up earlier than that as a nighttime wake-up and respond as you would if they woke in the middle of the night. Early morning wake-ups in babies can be challenging, but with patience and a few tweaks to their sleep routine, you can improve their sleep patterns. Remember, each baby is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. Be consistent, observe your baby’s cues, and stay flexible in your approach. Soon enough, those early wake-up calls will be a thing of the past, and you'll all enjoy a few more blissful hours of sleep in the morning!

Be Well! Sleep Well!
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