Your Child is Waking Up Early in the Morning: Reasons & Solutions

Baby or Toddler Waking Up Too Early – What You Can Do

No doubt, you love your baby with all your heart but sometimes it may get difficult to understand what your little one is trying to convey, doesn’t it? If your baby is waking up too early, you will not know why she wakes up too early. This can put your entire day’s schedule off track and ruin what may otherwise have been a great day. But why do babies wake up early in the morning and what can be done to rectify the problem?

What Does Waking Up Early Mean?

Most babies and toddlers wake up between six and eight in the morning. If you find that your baby’s time of waking up is slowly getting earlier, you may have a problem on your hands that could be caused due to many different factors.

Reasons Why Your Child Is Waking Up Too Early

Here are a few reasons for early morning waking in babies, and a few suggestions about what to do about it.

1. Teething

Waking up early is one of the first sleep-related symptoms of teething.

What To Do

When your little one is awake, try to get her teething objects so to alleviate the pain. A washcloth that has been frozen can work wonders as well. During sleep time, try Ibuprofen or Tylenol so that your baby will be able to sleep for long hours.

2. Environmental Factors

For both babies and adults alike, the early morning hours of sleep are much lighter and so environmental factors such as noise from outside, songs of the birds, traffic or sunlight coming in through the window, may result in your toddler getting up too early.

What To Do

If your baby is disturbed by noise, then your best bet is to try and buffer any sound that comes in by using a fan, a radio, or a machine to play monotonous music all through the night. If sunlight is the problem, invest in some thick curtains that will keep the sunlight out until opened, or you can always opt for covering the window screen with newspapers or blackout blinds.

3. Insufficient Naps

Children under the age of three need to take naps during the day in addition to their nightly sleep to get the full amount of sleep required. If they miss out on any naps or take too many, it could lead to them waking up early.

What To Do

Try to get your little one to take longer naps during the day, but if that is not possible, you should try to put her to bed an hour early every night so that she can make up for the lost sleep.

4. Hunger

If your baby is under nine months of age and is still being breastfed, then your baby will need to be fed at night. Generally, after four months of age, a baby will need to eat once or twice during the night but not more than that. If your baby is hungry, she may wake up and cry.

What To Do

If your baby wakes up hungry, it could be that she has developed an association with breastfeeding and sleep. You can break the habit by introducing a bottle to her.

Baby drinking milk through a bottle5. Overtiredness

A consistent bedtime routine works well for children, but often parents wait to put them to bed until they see the child yawning or rubbing their eyes. This can lead to their little one being overtired. The child may sleep as soon as you put her to bed but she may wake up in between or early in the morning.

What To Do

Most infants and toddlers sleep between 6 pm and 7 pm. But if you make your little one sleep before that she will get enough sleep. If she wakes up earlier, you can always treat it as a night awakening and tell her it is still night and that it is still sleep-time.

6. Stress

Stress makes a child work harder to function, which causes the body to release stress hormones like Cortisol. Cortisol makes babies cranky and over-alert, causing them to wake frequently or earlier than usual.

What To Do

Try to find out what is causing the stress to your baby. Sometimes, a change in the routine such as a mother going back to work may child to stress. Pay attention to your child when you are around her, particularly, when she is awake and make her sleep an hour earlier.

7. Nap Transitions

Waking up early is normal during the time of nap transitions as your baby will be getting less sleep during the day.

What To Do

Try to make small changes to your baby’s nap time every day over a period of a week or ten days. Push the morning nap to later, such as 11 or 11:30 and then eventually to twelve at noon. If she wakes up after only an hour but does not seem well rested, soothe her back to sleep and if this doesn’t work, you can always make her sleep early in the evening, i.e. around 7 pm.

8. New Milestones

Sometimes your baby may wake up early and practice her physical or cognitive skills, such as sitting up on her own or playing with one of the toys in her crib.

What To Do

Do not interrupt or respond to your baby as long as she is not fussing. This should pass naturally in one or two weeks.

A happy baby in her cribWhat If Your Baby is Waking Up Too Early Yet Happy and Contented – Should You Worry?

Generally, if your baby wakes up by or after 6 am in the morning and is happy and full of energy, your baby does not have a sleeping problem. This is age appropriate when it comes to the development of your baby if she is getting undisturbed sleep at night and the proper amount of nap time during the day.

What If Your Child is Waking Up Within 30 Minutes of Desired Wake Up Time – Should You Worry?

Some babies tend to wake up half an hour before their desired wake up time and if you have a two-year-old waking up too early you may be dealing with a case where it is time to either shorten the nap time or drop one of the naps from your baby’s schedule as she may be getting too much sleep. However, no two children are the same and some children may prefer to have long naps. If you have a 3-year-old waking up too early and is still in the habit of napping for long periods of time during the day, it may be time for some change.

Once you have established what is causing your baby to wake up early, you can try to fix the problem. Remember that sometimes children develop the habit of early rising that lasts for only a few weeks because they are going through some changes such as reaching a new milestone. However, if this habit has been continuing for weeks or months, you may have to think about rescheduling their nap time and bedtime to help solve the problem.

Also Read: How to Make Baby Sleep Daytime?

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