Mental healthPhysical healthParentingWellbeingWellnessSleepBabyToddler

Early morning wakings can be tricky so here is our ‘back to basics’ early morning checklist if your little one is  waking early: 

  1. If you have just recently started successfully guiding your little one to sleep through the night, give the early morning waking a little longer. Sometimes 2-3 weeks is all it takes for your little one to start waking later in the morning. 
  2. Ensure his bedtime feed is 10-15 minutes from going into his cot and really ensure he is not drowsy. 3. Is there any light coming into his bedroom? With the light mornings upon us even a tiny bit of light is enough for some children to wake up and be ready for the day. 
  3. Is there any outside noise which could be waking him? Heating coming on, the bin men outside? To try and resolve this issue try a white noise machine to block out any unwanted sounds. 
  4. Ensure your little one is warm enough, 4am is when our body temperature is the lowest, so we don’t want him being unable to settle as he is a little chilly. 
  5. The magic of a ‘gro clock’ (or a digital clock with the numbers other than the first one covered up) should not be underestimated. From just under two (some from as early as 18 months) children can respond to a clock letting them know when it is time to wake up. You set the time they are able to wake, so they know it is not morning until ‘the clock is orange’ or the clock shows ‘magic 7’. Again, 6am is the absolute earliest.
  6. Treat any waking prior to this as if it was a middle of the night waking so your little one gets the idea that it is not morning yet and nothing is exciting is going to happen. Make sure you keep him in his room until 6am and that you going to check on him isn’t something he looks forward to. If you stay with him, and he is excited by that, try to check on him every 10 minutes. 
  7. Remember little ones who are overtired are more likely to wake in the night and early in the morning (not the other way around). It may sound counter-intuitive but try putting your little one to bed up to 30 minutes earlier (although not before 6pm) to see if this will resolve the issue. It will take around a week to work, if it will, so try this for a week or so and see if that helps him.

by Jenna Wilson, a sleep consultant from Little Dreams Consulting Ltd.

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