Do you have an early morning riser on your hands ruining your chances of a lay-in?
No matter how late you put them to bed they always wake up at the crack of dawn?
Try going back to basics with these 5 simple steps to help eliminate early risers (and by early I mean before 5am!)
1. If your little one is overtired they are more likely to wake early, so remember to ensure they get plenty of naps. This can be particularly helpful if you know you are going to be having a late night (because you choose to have a life at the same time as being a parent!). Disco naps aren’t just great for adults, try offering your little one an extra nap if you know they will be up past their bedtime as this can lower the risk of an extra early wake up call 💤
2. Make sure they are falling to sleep independently, not feeding to sleep. This is a really really important one as being able to fall asleep unassisted will mean they can go back to sleep on their own if they do wake early or in the middle of the night. 💤
3. Do NOT take them out of their room until it is getting up time (even if you have to stay with them). I know this is a tough one because the temptation is so big to just let them watch TV downstairs or in bed with you while you have a little dose but don’t do it! It will only encourage them to do it again and then it becomes normal for them 💤
4. Make sure their rooms are as dark as possible between 4am-5am. It the winter this isn’t really a problem but during the summer months the sun coming up in what we would class the nighttime can be really confusing for our little ones. I recommend using black out blinds to help resolve this. You can even use the Gro Company portable blackout blinds if you are staying away at all. This is also a holiday must have as no one wants an extra early wake up call on vacation! 💤
5. Make sure it’s not too cold. Around 4am is when our body temperature is typically at its lowest and getting chilly might be waking your little one up. During the winter months it might help to set your heating to come on at 3:30am rather than waiting until just before your alarm come on 💤
What is really important with this is to set realistic expectations. You’re little one isn’t going to sleep until 9am if they are used to waking up at 5am. Set small goals and celebrate small wins, whether that be them sleeping an extra 30 minutes at the weekend or not running in to your room at 3am ready to start the day!
Another great tool for early morning wakers is using a Gro-Clock Sleep Trainer. This is a nightlight for your little ones that will change from a starry night scene during the night time to a bright sunshine when it is okay for them to get up. What I love about this is that it is very subtle, so if your little one is still asleep the light changing to sun won’t be enough to wake them up (you don’t want to shoot yourself in the foot after all!). But if they wake up and see the sun isn’t out yet then they know they need to try and go back to sleep. The only downside to this is your little one needs to be at an age where they can understand what is expected of them.