6 Tips for Early Wakings (5am baby alarm clock, anyone?)

Updated: May 7, 2021

Tell me, is there anything more exhausting than a baby waking up between the hours of 4:45-5:45am? I don't think there is and you shouldn't either. 😂

You want to feel refreshed, but you really feel like you've been hit by a moving vehicle and the thought of going through your day with an early wake-up is extremely draining. So, why does it happen and how can we fix it?! Here are a few reasons and solutions: 1. Late Bedtime: This is Counter-intuitive, I know, because you would think late to bed, late to wake, right? Wrong. Many “early risers” wake up because they are overtired and going to bed too late. Try an earlier bedtime. Even 15-30 mins can make all of the difference. 2. Light Creeps In: When your child is transitioning through sleep cycles, and they somewhat open their eyes and see the slightest bit of light, this can cause your child's melatonin to get suppressed and cause them to fully wakeup. You want to fully black out the room (get creative with black trash bags) and cover any white/blue lights in the room. Once your baby is sleeping until a reasonable hour again, you can remove all the props. 3. Reinforced Behavior: If your baby wakes up at 5am and you are always going in there at that time, then your baby may be getting into that early morning waking habit. The less engagement, the quicker their internal clock will learn that it is still time to sleep. Try not to engage much, but if you do, keep it boring and robotic. 4. Hunger: This usually applies to younger babies, but it is important to get those calories in during the day so there is no need to take them in throughout the night. Make sure each daytime feeding is a good feeding -- if you are nursing, it may be helpful to go into a quiet space and do skin-to-skin if possible during feedings. 5. Too Much Daytime Sleep: Make sure your baby is on the appropriate daytime sleep schedule for their age. If they are sleeping too much during the day, they may not need to sleep much during the night. Naps may either be too long or it may be time to drop a nap. 6. The Early Bedtime Cycle: Your baby won’t sleep more than a certain amount of hours at night. If your baby is going to sleep at 6pm, a 5am wake up (11 hrs later) is appropriate. To fix this, you should slowly push that bedtime and those nap times, but be mindful not to let your baby get overtired at bedtime. This may take some time so stick to it and keep pushing by 10-15 min increments every few days. Whichever one you think it may be, early morning wakings can take time and patience to adjust. Stick to it and you will soon see results! Hope this helps❣️

And feel free to share with a friend!

Sari Broda

Child Sleep Consultant