For some families, mornings begin at 4 AM because the little one is ready for the day. Waking up too early means a long day for mom and dad and disrupted bedtime rituals. You’ll want to coach your baby to sleep later as soon as possible so it doesn’t become a habit.
Early rising is usually caused by having a bedtime that’s too late (sounds illogical but it is true), nap deprivation, too much time between the final nap of the day and bedtime, or putting your baby to bed when he’s past the “drowsy-but-awake” point (so he never learns to self-soothe).
Here are some tips to handle early risers.
- Stay in the room until wake-up time – If your presence is comforting and baby can relax in bed until wake-up time, stay in the room and keep the interaction minimal. At wake-up time, leave the room for a minute and then return, making a big deal out of your arrival with a big “good morning!” However, if your child finds your presence exciting and wants to get to you, stay out of the room.
- Install room-darkening shades – At a very young age, children are influenced by the day/night cycle, just like we are. They will be more inclined to sleep if their sleep environment is dark. By installing blackout curtains, you can hide more light and encourage more sleeping.
- Respond to your child immediately – As soon as you hear your child over the baby monitor or from the other room, respond right away. If he or she is left alone too long and starts screaming, all the activity and commotion will be too much to fall back asleep. Soothe your child back to sleep with a lovely or gentle touches without picking him or her up.
- Stick with it – This is one of those situations where you have to stay patient, remain consistent, but be firm with your child. It’s for the benefit of everyone that your child sleeps until a reasonable time.
- Keep the lights off – Keep all the lights in the house off and the shades drawn until the target time you want your baby to wake up. Leave baby in the crib until it is wake-up time, then turn any lighting on. If you let your baby out of the crib at 5:45 AM when it’s still dark, he won’t understand why he can’t get out at 2 AM.
- Treat it like a night-waking – If your child is old enough to sleep in a bed, you should treat a morning rise like a night-waking. Guide your child back to bed as if it’s still sleep time. Consider using an indicator of some kind (like an alarm clock with a light or radio) so your child knows when it’s time to get out of bed.
Guest Blog by Stephanie Parker from Sleepingbaby.com, inventor of the Zipadee-Zip
The motto for Sleeping Baby, makers of the Zipadee-Zip, is: "Inspiring Dreams One Night at A time," and that, in a nutshell, is how it all started…with one little dream that has since become the Parker family's reality. When Brett and Stephanie Parker's daughter, Charlotte, was born, the feeling that welled up inside of them was indescribable; they never realized until first looking into those baby blues of hers that they were even capable of that kind of love.
When it was time to transition baby from swaddling, the Parkers tried every sleep sack on the market and every swaddle weaning trick they could find for nearly two weeks and nothing worked to get baby Charlotte to fall and stay asleep.
Stephanie became determined to restore sleep and sanity to their household and set out to find a solution that would soothe Charlotte's startle reflex and provide her the cozy womb-like environment she loved so much but still give her the freedom to roll over and wiggle around in her crib safely. Out of sheer desperation and exhaustion, the Zipadee-Zip was born. The first Zipadee-Zip(R) Stephanie put together on her little sewing machine worked like magic!
To date tens of thousands of Zipadee-Zips have been sold and all from word-of-mouth marketing. It is so rewarding for the Parkers to see other parents and babies getting the sleep they both need and deserve!
For more information, visit sleepingbaby.com.
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