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What Can You Do About An Early Riser?

dealing with an early riser cover imageAnything before your morning coffee is hard to handle. And if your baby is consistently waking up before six in the morning, you may need two cups of coffee. Is there anything that you can about an early riser?

Or are some babies just early morning people? Can you teach them to sleep-in?

To be honest, when you first start sleep training, you may find that early mornings become a reality. But don’t panic, this tends to fade out over time. It’s the natural way your baby’s body is dealing with consolidating and organizing nighttime sleep. He or she tends to wake up at the five o’clock hour feeling pretty refreshed after sleeping through the night.

Don’t panic. It usually passes with time.

However, if you’ve been working on this for weeks or months and you’re still stuck with early mornings, I have a few suggestions on how to deal with your early riser.

Lighting In Your Baby’s Room

Is your baby’s room dark enough throughout the night? If even a slight change in light occurs from the middle of the night to the morning, it can stimulate a wake-up.

early riser too much lightIn fact, this light change stimulates a wake up in almost all of us, but as adults, we’re able to look at the clock and realize it’s not time to get up yet. However, your baby doesn’t have this clock reading skill yet and is going to wake up ready to start the day.

Your goal is to make the room as dark at 5:00 AM as it is at 3:00 AM. Do whatever you can to keep out the tiniest bit of morning light. The easiest solution is blackout blinds or curtains.

Noise Reduction In the Early Morning

Noise is another environmental factor that simulates a wake-up call…. birds chirping, garbage trucks rolling by, people with early commutes, and so on.

early riser too much noiseAn easy solution is to drown out that noise with some sort of white noise in your child’s room. My suggestion is either a white noise machine or a fan. Other options could include a humidifier or a room purifier.

Is Baby’s Bedtime A Factor?

You might be thinking, “okay, if I just push back his bedtime by half an hour, then they’ll sleep in a bit more.” This is actually the opposite of what you should be doing.

The truth of the matter is that most of the time, early morning wake-ups are happening because of overtiredness. Try moving your baby’s bedtime up by even 30 minutes and see if that makes any difference to the morning wake-up time.

Most of my clients sound fearful when I make this suggestion because they worry that their little one is going to wake-up even earlier. However, they’re often surprised to find that their little one actually starts sleeping later.

Be prepared, this change might not happen the first time you move the bedtime up. Your baby’s body will need time to adjust. As for most changes in routine, give the change a week or so before expecting results.

Patience is Key.

If you hear baby earlier than your ideal wake-up time. Wait. Be Patient and give yourself a few minutes before responding. She is learning new sleep skills and might actually put herself back to sleep.

Also, if you immediately respond, you may be rewarding the wake-up. For example, if your child really loves to nurse and nursing has been a big part of their sleep associations, they could be waking up prematurely because they’re really looking forward to that experience.

Putting a little distance between waking and what they’re looking forward to will break the association.

Hopefully, these tips help your little one sleep in a bit later and only one cup of coffee will be sufficient for you in the morning. Just hang in there, these early mornings will pass.

And if you are currently sleep training your baby, you should start experience longer, more restful nights. If you haven’t started sleep training and are interested in how it could help your family get better sleep, I’d love to chat with you.

Let’s Chat!

We want to know what you or your baby/child are struggling with so let’s chat! We bet we can help. Schedule your free, no-obligation 20-minute phone call to see if we are a good fit.


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