Is Your Baby or Toddler Waking up Too Early? Here’s How You Can Get Them to Snooze Longer
Have an early riser in your house? Here’s how to hit the snooze on those early mornings.
If you don’t need to set an alarm in the morning because your baby or toddler will be wide awake before the sun rises, there are a few things you can try that can add a few more hours to their morning wake time. Little ones are all about routines, even if we aren’t fans of their routines. So waking early has become their routine, and it will take some time and patience to change that. However, it can be done and everyone will be happier and more rested because of it.
Here are a few ways you can slowly adjust your baby or toddler’s morning wake up time:
Shift Their Bedtime
One of the reasons your baby may be waking up too early is that they’re going to bed too late. While you may get the advice to keep them up later so they sleep in, babies and toddlers aren’t hardwired to work that way. Instead, slowly start putting your little one down earlier each night. Start in increments of 15 minutes and take note of when they start to wake in the morning. Eventually, you should see that the earlier they’re in bed, the later they will sleep in the morning. Also, if they miss their nap, don’t put them to bed late or you’ll have an early riser in the morning.
Get Their Room Just Right
Outside noises or even noises down the hall may be waking your baby too early. Using a white noise machine can help block out some of those sounds. Also, light creeping into your baby’s room, even the dullest of light, can wake them up too early. Adding blackout shades or curtains to their room can help diffuse the light, even in the middle of the day.
If a super full diaper is waking your baby in the morning, this one is an easy fix. Opt for overnight diapers that can hold more instead of your regular diapers, and size up in diapers if your little one is close to the next size. Also when you’re getting your baby ready for bed, be sure to unfold the sides of the diaper. These extra pieces tend to stay inside the diaper but can help keep the wetness in and keep your baby dry so they sleep comfortably.
Deal with Early Wakeup Differently
If you’re trying to get your baby back to sleep in the morning, treat those times differently from morning wakeups. First, don’t get them out of bed and start your day. Even if they don’t fall back asleep—and you’ll need extra coffee to deal—keep them in their room and in their bed. This means you may need to stay in the room with them—remember what we said about patience and taking time?
Start by leaving all the lights off and speak to your baby in a soft and gentle voice. Try rocking or soothing them back to bed, and if it doesn’t work, walk out of the room when they should be waking up and reenter the room a few minutes later. This time, turn on the lights and speak in a regular voice. This will help your baby distinguish the difference between "I’m up too early and need to go back to bed" from "it’s time to rise and shine." Since babies can’t tell time, this technique helps them learn from you when it’s OK to start the day and can help them go back to bed easier during those early mornings.
For toddlers that can understand they need to stay in bed but can’t tell time, a time-to-rise clock can be helpful. These clocks change colors when it’s OK to get out of bed. So if they wake up and see the clock is on blue, they know it’s back to bed. However if the clock is green, they can officially start their day.
This clock is a great option for telling time and knowing when to get out of bed.
This clock can be used for bedtime and naptime, and is easy for kids to understand the different colors and what they mean so they know when they can and cannot get out of bed.
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