So you’ve done it, you’ve successfully sleep trained your baby and they are sleeping through the night BUT now they are waking up early…way too early!! Or even worse, you had a good sleeper who all of the sudden is now waking up. What to do?!
1. Check Bedtime
Often times if we see an early riser we tend to see their bedtime is too late. Make sure your bedtime is age appropriate and at a time that is within reason from their last nap. We don’t want that wake window to be too large or we will be putting baby/toddler to bed overtired which could be contributing to the early morning rising.
2. Check Environment
As babies get older they are more sensitive to their surroundings. Is there morning light coming through that could be waking them? Noise from the street? Make sure you are using black out blinds. VERY black…If you can read a book in the room it isn’t dark enough. And use that white noise machine. It should be loud enough that you can hear it from outside the door.
3. Are they sleeping too little or too long during the day?
Daytime sleep effects nighttime sleep. If your baby/toddler is napping too much OR too little this can 100% be causing those early morning wakings. Work on either capping naps (if needed) or work on lengthening them so your babe is getting the right amount of daytime sleep.
The best way to lengthen naps is to leave them for the allotted time we want them to nap. No intervention during nap time. Its simply too stimulating. Eventually they will learn they need to sleep for that time.
4. Are you enforcing the early morning wake up?
Let’s be honest its soooo hard to sit there and listen to your baby cry early in the morning. Especially if they sleep all night up into that point. BUT if you are getting baby at 5:30 every morning they will continue to get up at that time and most likely eventually even sooner. Age appropoarte wake times usually fall between 6-7am. Make sure you aren’t getting baby/toddler up for the day before that time.
5. Be consistent and Persistent
As we always say, be consistent and don’t give up! Early morning risings can be one of the last pieces of the puzzle to come together. Since our drive to sleep is much lower starting in the early morning it will take a lot longer. The key is to not give up and it will come together! Just when you think things aren’t going to come together, they will click!
6. For older children use an ok to wake clock
Around age 2 and up you can use an ok to wake clock. This will turn green when its time for them to get up for the day. Its important to talk to your toddler about the expectation and make sure you reward them for staying in bed until the clock turns green. Find out more on how to use a toddler clock here: https://goodnightsleepsite.com/halton/2014/11/27/how-to-use-a-toddler-clock/