I had a friend say to me last week ‘You know you’re a parent when 10am is now lunchtime’. It got me thinking about how many of you may be struggling with those awful 5am wake ups. If you are, I know you’re reading this with tired eyes and probably a cup of coffee that’s become your new best friend. But don’t worry, I’ve been there too, and I’m here to share with you the top 5 reasons why babies and toddlers wake up too early, along with my top 3 practical tips to help you and your baby get more sleep.
Top 5 Reasons for Babies Waking at 5am
1: Tiny Body Clocks
Babies and toddlers have their own schedules, and sometimes that means waking up at the crack of dawn. It’s not to annoy you, it’s just how they are wired for now. Most babies and young children naturally wake early in the morning but with some gentle encouragement it is possible to shift their body clock to a reasonable wake up time.
2: Hungry Bellies
Just like you’d wake up starving if you hadn’t eaten in a while, babies and toddlers do the same. If they didn’t have a good dinner before bed, they might wake up early feeling hungry. They’re growing so fast, after all!
3: Sleep Setup
Babies and toddlers are picky sleepers. If their room is too bright, noisy, or not comfy, they might wake up earlier than you’d like. Making their sleep space cozy and quiet can really help.
4: Tiredness Backfires
It might sound strange, but being overtired can actually make it more difficult for them to sleep at night and also have them waking up earlier. When babies and toddlers are super tired, their bodies release stress hormones that can mess up their sleep. That means waking up too early and nobody wants that.
5: Up-and-Down Routine
Kids love routines, and if their nap times and bedtime keep changing, it can confuse their internal clocks. So, if your little one is up at 5 AM, it might be time to set a steady schedule.
My Top 3 Tip To Stop 5am Wakings
1: Stick to a Solid Bedtime
If your baby keeps waking up too early, try keeping their bedtime consistent. Put them to bed at the same time each night. Creating a consistent bedtime will help your little person will help them create good sleep habits and create a more predictable wake time in the morning. It might take a little time to extend their morning, but a consistent bedtime can help them sleep in longer.
2: Nourishing Evening Meal
To tackle those early morning hunger pangs, make sure your baby has a healthy dinner before bedtime. A meal with good protein and healthy fats can keep them full through the night. A content tummy equals more sleep for everyone!
3: Set up a Peaceful Sleep Zone
Create a sleep environment so calming that your little one won’t want to leave it. Get blackout curtains to keep the room dark, introduce soothing sounds (like gentle white noise), and make sure the room temperature is just right.
So, fellow parents, that’s the scoop on why your kiddo is waking up at 5 AM and 3 simple ways to make it better. I know how tough it can be, and I won’t pretend it’s all smooth sailing. But, being consistent and setting good sleep habits now will benefit both your baby and you in the long run.
Hang in there! Those well-deserved sleep-ins might be closer than you think. Soon, your little one might surprise you by snoozing in a bit longer, giving you a taste of those wonderful mornings when the sun is up, but you’re still snuggled up in bed. You’re doing great – keep it up! 💪🌅
If you need help with your little one’s sleep, please contact me today!