Occasional early morning wake up's are bound to happen from time to time for your child, but if they are waking before 6:00 am consistently there are some steps to take to remedy the situation.
1. If your baby has a feeding in the bedtime routine make sure it isn’t too close to going down to bed. It should be at least 15-20 minutes from the end of the feeding and your baby going into their crib. Also make sure this feeding is a full feed, meaning baby isn’t getting to sleepy or not eating enough. For breastfeed babies, sometimes a cluster feed at early dinner can be helpful and for formula fed babies splitting the feed, so doing half at 5pm and the remainder at your normal time can be helpful.
2. Be sure that your baby is not getting drowsy during the bedtime routine. This is especially difficult but important during the last feed.
3. Make sure your child is getting the right amount of daytime sleep at the right times. Make sure that the naps are not too early in the day or too late in the day. The naps should happen close to your child’s wake time window which is based mainly on your child’s age.
4. If your baby takes two naps a day, try shortening the morning nap to one hour.
5. If your baby takes three naps a day, it might be time to shorten up the 3rd nap or pull it all together (if baby is 6 months or older).
6. Make sure the last nap is not too close to bedtime. If you child sleeps longer than what would allow for the appropriate wake window before bed, you should wake them.
7. It is very helpful to keep your child in bed in the dark room until 6:00 AM, by either staying out of his room until 6:00 AM or going in there and sitting with him until 6:00 AM.
8. Make sure the baby's room in very dark in the early morning.
9. Make sure your baby is not waking up because they are cold. The body temperature drops around 4:00 AM so some babies will wake up because they are cold. If this is the case for your baby, put socks on their feet under jammies.
10. If your baby is over 8-9 months old, make sure he is having 3 solid food meals a day and getting some healthy sources of fat and protein in their solid food diet.
11. You can try moving bedtime earlier by 30 minutes for at least 7 days to see if the wake time improves.
12. If you tried for at least one week to move bedtime earlier and that didn’t help, then attempt to move bedtime 30 minutes later than the original bedtime. Again give it a week.
Early morning wake up's are very common, and very frustrating. Because they can be the result of so many different factors, sometimes it is difficult to pin point the exact reason for them. I am trained and experienced in figuring out what may be causing these wake up's. Don't hesitate to reach out if these tips don't solve your early bird wake up's.