Mr. Parenting
Smiling youngster waking her parents up in the very early morning holding an alarm clock

My Child Is An Early Riser-- Can I Find A Solution For It?

Early morning wakings are the most challenging sleep problems to fix, if not the toughest. If you’re questioning why, it’s because, after a good night’s rest, your child has got more energy to combat sleep in the morning. And the fact is, all of us come into lighter sleep stages in the last hour of our sleep, preparing to wake up for the day.

Keep in mind, however, your kid is waking early only if he is not getting the right amount of night rest for his age and his body. To put it simply, if your kid sleeps from 7 PM to 6 AM, which is a perfectly reasonable schedule for him, even though it might feel early to you.

We can’t ask our children to sleep more than 11 hours during the night. Their bodies are usually well rested after this much sleep, and they won’t have the ability to sleep more.

If your child is waking up after 10-1/2 hours, he is rested and energetic. If he can easily make it till his naptime, then he’s getting sufficient nighttime rest for his body.

Problems occur if your kid sleeps from, say, 7 PM to 5:30 AM. In this case, you’ll need to move the bedtime later by 15-minute increments, then watch to see if your child can sleep later on in the early morning,

A word of caution, though: Making the bedtime later can frequently have the opposite result of triggering your child to get up sooner. This is why adjustments need to be carried out in tiny increments.

Here are some other suggestions to try if your child is an early bird:

  • Make sure that your kid’s space is extremely dark.
  • If any sounds could be waking him– such as garbage trucks, barking dogs, sprinklers– put white noise in the room and make the volume loud enough to shield him from these noises
  • Remove all stimulating toys from your child’s baby crib or bed, which can be distracting as soon as the sun enters his space.
  • If you check in on and wake your kid within the last hour before his wake time, your interaction may prevent him from going back to sleep. If it’s less than one hour till his wake time, do not check on him.
  • Make sure the bedtime is not too late for your child’s age. Adjust the bedtime earlier by 15-minute increments, and watch what happens in the morning. In doing so, you will allow your child to sleep later, as he is less overtired at bedtime. If he does wake earlier, return to your previous bedtime. If moving the bedtime earlier has no effect on the wake time, you may want to consider using the earlier bedtime anyway to help your child get the right amount of night sleep for his age.
  • Make sure your child is not hungry. If you have a child under 12 months and have newly begun to wean feedings, you may want to slow the process down to give him more time to adjust. Moreover, be careful to ensure that you are offering the breast or bottle more often during the day to help him transition his previous nighttime feeds to the daytime. This way, he won’t be hungry going down for sleep at night.

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About Me Author

My name is

Dallas Parker

I’m a writer that researches, practices and puts the spotlight on fatherhood and how to be a proactive Dad. Read More
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