Is your baby waking up too early every morning? Have you been struggling with sleep deprivation as a result?
Yes, hearing your baby cry and get fussy at 6:00 am can be a frustrating and exhausting experience. A baby who starts waking up too early can affect your and your family’s routine.
So, if this has become a habit of late, then you need help.
I want to offer a few great tips for how new mothers can learn to regulate their babies’ sleep patterns. With a little effort from your end, you’ll get at least one more hour of sleep every morning.
What Should I Do If My Baby Is Waking up Too Early?
Because your baby is waking up too early, you might feel low on energy and struggle to get through the day. Since you cannot be at your optimum best for your family, you might even feel anxious and depressed. Before you start feeling hopeless, here are five things you can try to improve your baby’s sleep:
- Sleep Hours
One reason why your baby might be waking up too early is that she’s going to sleep quite early at night. Another reason is that your child has plenty of awake-time during the day. This causes babies to be overtired at night and, as a result, sleep poorly and wake up earlier.
Also, if your child is often taking short catnaps, then that can cause overtiredness as well.
The first thing you can do is not to run to get her out of the bed when she wakes up. Instead, leave her in her baby crib for some time. Not reinforcing the early-morning wakings will signal to your baby that waking up so early is not fine. Practice this for a week, and your problem may solve itself.
If she doesn’t learn, then you need to adjust her sleeping time.
For example, try to work in one additional nap during the day. Or, you can try moving bedtime later.
Make these adjustments gradually, and your child might just stop waking up before 6:00 am.
- Feeding Pattern
Remember that if you reschedule her sleeping time, you will also need to change the feeding pattern.
Dream feeding is recommended as an effective method to get your baby to sleep for longer on a full stomach. Sneak into her room at 11:00 pm to quietly feed her, just be careful not to wake her up from her sleep. I usually only recommend this for babies 4 months or younger. Dream feeds do not work on older babies or toddlers – they only become a sleep prop.
- Day Naps
Babies who get excessive or less sleep during the day might have a disturbed sleep pattern at night.
If your baby is taking short catnaps, you can try to make them last longer by creating the right room temperature, making your home quieter, and blocking out sunlight.
If your baby is taking too many naps, take some steps to ensure she doesn’t sleep more than three hours during the day. The key is to keep naps properly balanced.
- Put Her Down Drowsy, But Awake
Many parents find relief in sleep training their babies. There’s one specific technique that works wonders when teaching a baby how to fall asleep faster and learn how to sleep independently. It involves putting your baby in her crib while she’s drowsy but not asleep.
Doing so helps your baby understand that you are saying goodnight and leaving.
Yes, nursing and rocking are great techniques, but they teach your baby to rely on you. So, when she wakes up in her crib alone, she’ll start crying because you’re not there.
By using a gentle sleep training method, you can quickly resolve your child’s sleeping issues and finally manage to get some rest yourself.
- Sleep-Conducive Ambiance
Some babies are more sensitive to sunlight than others. If this is the case with your baby, try creating a sleep-conducive ambiance in her room.
One way of doing so is by installing blackout curtains that do a fine job at blocking out sun rays from waking up your child. Try to keep the house quiet, and consider getting a sound machine that blocks out any sounds that might disturb your baby’s sleep.
If you’re in the midst of decorating your baby nursery, take a look at our baby nursery checklist that contains all the most adorable essentials.
Your baby waking up too early is part of developmental changes that can be physical and emotional. Don’t be anxious; this is simply a passing phase. With tender, loving care and by putting in consistent effort, you can proactively manage her routine so that she gets a full night’s sleep and wakes up feeling refreshed.