Whether you are a morning person or not, as a parent it can be difficult to wake early with your baby every morning. Here are my top tips on the best ways to handle an early rising bub!
Consistency is key in developing a workable routine and helping your child learn when to go to sleep and when to stay awake. If you find the time you have settled on isn’t working in your routine, play around with it! Not every baby is the same and sometimes it is worth changing their bedtime to see if this affects their wake-up time, as your bedtime the night before will correlate directly to what time your little one wakes. If they have had enough night-time sleep, even if it is 6:00am they will wake to be held, fed, and played with. Try to put your baby to bed each night between 6.00pm and 8.00pm, choosing a time that suits your family best, for example 7:30 pm after a bottle and bath, and try your hardest to stick to this time.
Ensure that your little one naps well during the day. If for whatever reason life gets in the way and your little one hasn’t had enough good quality day-time sleep, remember that an earlier bed time can help them catch up on lost time. For example, one hour lost can be one hour gained putting bub to bed at 6:00pm rather than 7:00pm.
Block light out as much as you can in bubs sleeping environment, with the help of blockout blinds you can avoid early morning sunlight waking them early in the morning, before they have had enough night-time sleep.
As difficult as it can be to ignore their wanting to be held or played with, try to not go into your baby’s room until you are ready to begin the day. Your little one will quickly get used to parental interaction at a certain time of the morning and will wake up at the same hour each day expecting it. Similarly, try to refrain from giving your baby a bottle before 6:00am unless you are ready to continue doing so in your daily routine. Your baby quickly learns habits, and so will their stomachs!
Try all positive soothing strategies you can to get your little one back to sleep. Strategies can include singing, ssh-ssh-ing, talking to them, and explaining that it is still night-time. If responding with these strategies before 6:00am does the opposite and stimulates your baby rather than soothing them, try your best to refrain from going in to their room and wait until 6:00am (or as late as you can) to start your daily routine.
Remember that a late bedtime will most likely not equate to a late wake-up, as an overtired bub struggles to settle themselves for good quality sleep and may wake earlier than anticipated. If your bub is overtired and has woken early, try your hardest to soothe them in their room until it is time to rise.
Make sure your baby has eaten well during the day, especially during the hours of 3:00pm to 6:00pm, and is very full at bedtime. A full belly will minimise the chance of them waking early because bub is looking for a bottle or breakfast.
As your baby grows they will begin to recognise the difference between day and night, and when is too early to wake up based on your reactions. For children over one you can begin to use an alarm clock so that they can see and recognise when it is time to wake up, and when they need to stay in bed.
Even so early in the morning it can be difficult to ignore your baby’s cries, and soothing in their room may be how you start the day, gently reminding them that it is still time to be asleep. Try your hardest to stick to your routine to save yourself some shut eye in the future!
Image credit: @these.sonny.days