It’s not unusual for babies to have wake early in the morning, however if your baby is getting up far to early it can be rough on everyone in the family. If you’re struggling to cope with these early wake-ups, rest assured there’s almost always an explanation and a solution. My suggestion is aiming for your baby to wake up between 6am and 7am for a good start to the day. Explore my most common tips to determine if any are relevant to your situation. From here you can hopefully start your journey towards those blissful mornings that you’ve been striving for.

Evaluate the Sleeping Space

Firstly, it’s really important to ensure the sleep environment is optimal for your baby to get a good nights sleep. Consider factors such as room temperature, noise levels and lighting. Babies are more likely to wake up early if they are too hot or cold so ensure they are dressed appropriately (See the BabyWinkz Baby Dressing Guide). Dim the lights in the room during night-time and invest in blackout blinds or curtains to block out the early morning sunlight. The recommended room temperature is between 16 to 20°C.

Monitor Naps Throughout The Day

Too much daytime sleep could contribute to early morning wake-ups. Ensure that your baby isn’t getting excessive sleep during the day, which may leave them less tired at night-time. It’s important to strike a balance between appropriate nap durations and an age-appropriate schedule. Pay attention to your babies sleep patterns and gradually adjust nap times and lengths as needed to find the sweet spot. As a rough guideline at 0 to 3 months your baby may sleep for up to 8 hours during the day, whereas at 6 to 12 months they are likely to sleep for around 3.5 hours during the daytime. However, depending on individual circumstances nap times may need to be slightly longer or shorter. It is also important to pay attention to what times throughout the day your baby naps as this could also affect night-time sleep.

Optimise Bedtime

While it may appear counterintuitive, an earlier bedtime could by the answer to effectively address early-morning wake-ups. Overtiredness can lead to restless sleep and more frequent awakenings. Try out a slightly earlier bedtime and keep a really close eye on signs that your little one is getting tired (pulling ears, rooting, drooping eyelids, etc). This way you can put them down when they are sleepy but not over-tired. A well-rested baby is more likely to sleep better and wake up at a reasonable hour.

Encourage Self-Soothing Skills

Babies who have learned to self-sooth are more likely to go back to sleep independently. To encourage these skills you should put your baby down before they have fallen asleep. The sweet spot is to put them down is when they are drowsy but awake. Give them a chance to settle themselves to sleep before intervening. This may be difficult at first, but overtime they will become used to being put down before falling asleep and will become more skilled at drifting off to sleep on their own.

Night-time Wakeups

If you are aiming for 6 to 7am to become the norm, then you should continue to treat anything early similarly to a night-time wake up where you can. Try to respond to this wake-up the same way you would respond when your baby wakes in the night. These early-morning wakes can be more challenging, but with patience and a few tweaks to the sleep routine, it’s possible to improve these sleeping patterns. Remember, each baby is unique and what works for one baby doesn’t always work for the other. Be consistent, and try to find what works best for you and your family. Before you know it these early wakes will be a thing of the past and you can enjoy some more sleep in the morning!

See Previous Blog: Debunking the perfect sleep myth for your baby