There is no doubt that you love your baby to bits. Ever since you welcomed them into this world, you’ve only given them the best of everything. You’ve done your best to take care of them and sacrificed a lot — your sleep, meals, and time, to keep them safe, healthy, and happy. After a lot of experimenting, you finally come up with a sleep schedule that your kids get accustomed to, and you couldn’t be happier. It gives you a lot of time to get your chores done — the kind that you cannot do with your toddler baby running around!
But what happens when your little one wakes way before the expected time? Sometimes, kids have irregular sleep cycles that make them wake up too early. There can be other reasons too. It is normal to get caught up in your baby’s sleep routine. All your plans get disrupted, and you cannot get anything done. Don’t worry; you are not the only one, and we understand the frustration! So, we are here with some tips to help you when your baby wakes up way too early:
Pay Attention To Your Baby
Firstly, you have to understand that the term “early” is a relative one. For some parents, 6 a.m. could be early, while for others, it could be 8 a.m. Either way, try to observe your baby’s state of being when they wake up. If your baby wakes up feeling energetic and happy, it’s most likely that they’ve had a good night’s nap. They have probably had a sufficient amount of sleep and are ready to tackle the next day. So, there’s nothing you can do about it (unfortunately). However, if your toddler wakes up early and is tired, cranky, and gets worn out quickly, you are likely to have an early rising problem. It will lead to a whole day of struggles, irritability and as a result, your inability to get things done.
You can prevent that from happening if you have a series of activities planned for your kid combined with healthy meals for them to feel tired and doze off at the end of the day. Even though this does not guarantee that your child won’t wake up too early, it can probably work on some kids, even if it’s sometimes delayed.
If your little one has a sleeping problem, it’s essential to address it. Early rising issues in your baby could be for several reasons, so keep an eye out for them. Issues like fever, teething, growth spurt, developmental milestones, potty training, and stomach troubles could be contributors to disturbed sleep. Make sure the environment in the house is conducive, happy, and easygoing. Surprise your child with cool gifts but not to the point of getting them into the habit of demanding and expecting things. Let’s face it, no one appreciates spoilt brats.
Another reason for early rising could be some transitions in the baby’s life. If they moved houses, got a new sibling, or transitioned from a crib to a bed, it could impact their sleep cycle. Therefore, wait it out. Give it some time, so your kids are adjusted to their new environment, and things may start to get better. Here’s a word of caution – Don’t put pressure on them to go to sleep or force them while showcasing anger all the time. It is normal to get agonized if kids don’t listen, but before you do that, it is important to dig into the root of the matter to better understand your kid. It will only strengthen your bond with your baby and help you find a solution for the sudden waking-up pattern.
If your child regularly wakes up early, it could be a sign of sleep scheduling gone wrong. Nap times could be too much or too little. Therefore, ensure that your baby gets enough sleep during the day and night, as naps and night sleep affect your child’s sleep cycle. Another reason could be the timing of their naps. When they sleep and in what intervals play a major role in their nighttime sleep. Your baby could be going to bed too early or too late, resulting in early rising issues.
Reduce Screen Time
Sometimes, working parents use technology, YouTube videos with nursery rhymes to make their children eat or lure them into getting something done. Studies say that exposure to regular entertainment is very likely to have an adverse effect on the baby’s sleep patterns (1). It might be an indirect effect on your child waking up too early due to the excited and busy brain of the previous day.
How Do You Deal With Your Toddler’s Early Rising?
It might be pretty frustrating to have your toddler wake up early in the morning, but you can try a few things to help deal with it and shift the habit. The first thing to keep in mind is to treat their early morning rising as night wakings. Do not let them build the habit of waking up early because that will become the norm. Instead, put them back to sleep, so they know it’s not time to wake up just yet. When it’s actually time to wake up, you could follow a morning routine that helps your little one know that they have to get out of bed. Draw open the curtains, turn on the lights or even sing a morning song. A merry morning routine will fill your child with excitement and enthusiasm for the day ahead.
Other simple solutions could be to keep it low, delay breakfast time so that the baby gets conditioned to the fact that s/he will not get food if they wake up early. Sometimes, many parents make the mistake of rushing towards their baby when s/he shows any signs of waking up. Observe from a distance as the baby might go back to sleep if s/he senses no source of the disturbance. Having an early rising toddler is not easy because it hampers your plans for the day. It interferes with your chores and morning routine, and you probably feel like you have no time to spare for yourself. We understand the frustration and hope these simple tips help you! Let us know your thoughts on this article in the comments below.
- The use of entertainment and communication technologies before sleep could affect sleep and weight status: a population-based study among children