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My Baby Wakes up SO Early! How Can I Get My Baby to Sleep Later in the Morning?

Is Your Baby Waking Up as Early As 5 AM? Here’s How to Help!

The journey behind getting a baby to finally sleep throughout the night is one that most parents will try to pursue. If they finally do manage to do so, their entire life seems much more doable due to being well rested and having more energy. It’s important that babies get enough sleep too, especially if they are a newborn. A sleep deprived baby is an unhappy baby, and they can cause a seemingly endless amount of headaches and disruptions in our lives.

So, the real question is: how exactly do you help a baby who wakes up at five in the morning? If you notice that your baby is waking up earlier than they should be, it’s worth checking out if they might be hungry or not. Another thing to look for is anything that you could possibly think of that might be making them uncomfortable, such as a dirty diaper. Always ensure that their environment is dark, and suitable for sleeping or napping in.

Your baby should be sleeping at least until 6 AM. If you’ve tried to achieve this with no luck, don’t lose all hope. There are still a bunch of things that you can do to try to remedy this.

Reasons Why Your Baby Could Be Waking Up Early

It’s agreed-upon that an early wake up time for babies is anything prior to 6 AM. Ideally, your baby should be waking up around 7 AM (in a perfect world this would be true). Before we dig into solving your baby’s early waking problems, let’s find out what could possibly be the cause of it first. There are a wide variety of potential reasons why your baby is waking up early.

If your baby seemingly wakes up around the same time each morning, such as 5 AM, you might be able to change that. Some babies do have a different circadian rhythm than others. However, if it is something as simple as a bad habit or something that can be remedied with a quick and simple fix, it’s worth looking into.

Here Are 8 Very Easy Solutions That Can Help Your Baby Sleep Longer:

  1. Hunger – Your baby waking up early could be something as simple as them wanting to eat. It’s common to give babies night feedings when they are under nine months old.

  2. Uncomfortable – If you ruled out a diaper change, then check for other simple things like making sure that the room temperature isn’t too hot or too cold for them.

  3. Potentially Overtired – Babies can be overtired just as much as adults can. Maybe they went to bed too late one night, or didn’t sleep very well the prior night. Some simple signs to look out for when your baby is overtired are increased temper, irritability, or uncooperativeness.

  4. Not Enough Naps – This could also factor into them being overtired as well. If the baby naps too little or too much during the day, their nighttime sleep will be affected. It’s important to create a consistent nap and sleep schedule to ensure that your baby is getting the correct amounts of sleep.
  5. Unfavorable Lighting Conditions – Because circadian rhythms are so important, and babies are still developing their own, it’s important to ensure that the room has correct lighting based on the time of day. If you want them to be active, you should make sure that the room is bright, and when you want them to sleep, ensure that the room is dark. Make sure that natural sunlight isn’t the main reason why your baby is waking up. The solution could be something as simple as getting double blind shades. The lighting conditions of a room are so important for babies, infants, and adults alike.

  6. Your Baby’s Teething – It also could be a possibility that your baby is simply experiencing pain and that’s what’s waking them up. It is very unlikely that your baby will be able to sleep through the pain that is associated with teething. Teething starts at around 5 to 7 months in their lives. Some common signs of teething are excessive crying, swollen gums, and even a low fever.

  7. Your Baby Could Be Sick – If your baby consistently wakes up early, or you notice that they started doing it recently, then pay close attention to them to see if you can find any signs of illness such as a stuffy nose, or excessive coughing. Ensuring that they are a healthy baby is one of the first steps that you can take to rule out other issues.

  8. Your Baby Is Accustomed to Waking Up Early – This is also related to their circadian rhythm. If light is sneaking a peek through their room each morning, that could be waking them up early. How you treat them when you check up on them when they’re napping and can also be a factor. Are there certain things that you do differently when your baby wakes up late at night versus early morning? Something’s as simple as being slightly louder than usual could be what’s waking your baby up or making them think that they need to wake up early.

Even though there are wide variety of reasons why babies could wake up early, it’s important to know that there are solutions to this problem. You might need to make adjustments during the day, or even the night. Maybe you need to make adjustments on both.

The good news is that there is still time to address this issue, and get your baby to give you and your household some extra needed sleep. Something as simple as a few minor adjustments might be all the difference that your baby needs to sleep longer without awakening.

How To Get Your Baby To Go Back To Sleep On Their Own

Nobody likes to be woke up by their baby, regardless of how early or late it is. It’s just simply no fun. However, it’s important that in the event that they do wake you up, to treat it like just another day. Think: how exactly do you address their early awakenings? Are you loud when you enter the room? Do you turn the light on? You should try to be as quiet as possible, and act just like you would as if they woke you up during the night. Sneak in there, and check on them to see if you can find out what the problem is. Ensure that they aren’t sick, or possibly are sleeping in an awkward or uncomfortable sleeping position.

If your baby appears to be fine and overall happy, try to feed them their bottle.

Your baby waking up early could be something as simple as them being hungry. If this is the case, then you have a very simple and doable solution. After you feed them, put them back down while they’re still awake. Some babies are simply too fussy, and this might not work initially. Certainly, don’t try to intentionally keep them awake either as that won’t help.

By ensuring that your baby’s atmosphere in the room is as fitting as possible, this will also help them fall back asleep, and even stay asleep longer. Ensure that the room isn’t too bright, and absolutely try to block any sunlight that’s trying to peek in the room. If you use a white noise machine, ensure that it’s running and the ideal volume level.

Essentially, what you’re trying to do is ensure that your baby is as comfortable as they can possibly be without disturbing them. Small adjustments such as optimal lighting and comfortable temperature could make all the difference in the world for your baby to be more relaxed.

External Factors Out of Your Control

Sadly, for some parents, there will actually be very little that they’ll be able to do in order to help their baby get back to sleep. One example of this is teething. If your child is experiencing teething, they will probably have a difficult time staying asleep, and will probably wake up early due to the pain. In the event that your baby has something such as an ear infection, they might also not be able to fall sleep simply due to the fact that they’re dealing with something else that it’s interrupting their sleep besides their environment or anything that you are doing. However, the good part about these problems is that they are uncommon, and don’t last long regardless.

If you suspect that your child started teething, I have a helpful guide on how to deal with babies and teething here!

If you suspect that your baby is sick, immediately make an appointment for the doctor. Because your baby’s immune system is not yet developed, they are much less well-equipped to deal with even simple illnesses. Plus, you’d rather be safe than sorry. Even if you suspect something in the slightest, it’s worth scheduling an appointment with a doctor to rule out any potential problems. In the event that they don’t find something, at least you crossed out another possible issue off the list for what could be interrupting their sleep.

Help Your Baby Get Sleep Throughout the Night

Perhaps some of the issues that your baby is facing are simply things that need to be adjusted before bedtime.

When your baby wakes up early in the morning, do they appear to be excessively grumpy or upset/crying when they wake up? Crying can even be a sign of them being overtired. In the event that they are overtired, you can address this by giving them an earlier bedtime. You might initially think that the solution to that problem would be making them go to bed at a later time, but the opposite is actually true in this case. There been several studies that agree that babies actually go to sleep in a much more relaxed state of mind when they go to bed earlier, which in turn leads them to sleep longer!

If you haven’t considered it or looked into it yet, consider sleep training your baby. By ensuring regular nap times for your baby throughout the day, you’ll rule out your baby being overtired when it comes to nighttime. Sleep training is one of the most effective and efficient solutions to a majority of baby sleep problems that a countless parents have.

If your baby wakes up during the day, let them experience light and a brighter surrounding. Remember, it’s okay to be a little noisy in the morning. A good time for this is around 7 AM. By differentiating how they wake up each day in the morning, you’ll subconsciously be letting them know that morning is different than night, and this will help them later in life with sleep as they develop.

When your baby reaches an older age, and the same can be said for toddlers – during bedtime, don’t try to sneak out of the room without saying anything. Something as simple as saying good night will help give your child a much more comfortable feeling, and will also help differentiate night and day for them as well.

Some solutions require much smaller steps than others. You might be surprised how simple; or complex your baby’s sleep problem really is.

FAQ

Why Does My Baby Always Wake Up So Early in The Morning?

Your baby might be hungry, or just overtired from the previous day/night. If you suspect that they are overtired, it might be worth looking into giving them more naps during the day, or maybe try to put them to bed earlier.

What’s the Right Time That My Baby Should Be Waking Up Each Morning?

7 AM is a pretty good general time frame of when your baby should be waking up every morning. Although, some children have slightly different circadian rhythms than others and might wake up later or earlier than others. 6:30 AM is another fairly normal time to wake up too.

About the Author Elizabeth

Hi everyone, I'm Elizabeth. My beautiful daughter Alice keeps me awake occasionally...but when I'm busy and can't sleep, I post parenting tips and different ways you can get your baby to sleep soundly through the night, and even naps!

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