Help! I Have a Far-Too-Early Riser!

Wed, 26 Oct 16

Have you ever found yourself wide awake at 5am? Too early to get up, too hard to get back to sleep? It happens to everyone sometimes – but when kids make a habit of it, it can disturb the rhythm of the whole household! Baby needs attention far too early, at least one parent has to go through the day bleary-eyed, nap times are a mess … But never fear! Kim West, the Sleep Lady, is ready for us with good advice as always. If your child consistently wakes too early, she suggests asking yourself the following questions:

Have you found the sweet spot for bedtime?
Babies tend to have a particular time when it is easiest for them to go to sleep and stay asleep, and often this ideal bedtime is earlier than their parents think. Remember that babies need a lot of sleep. A typical 9-month old will need around 14 hours of sleep in total: usually 3 hours of naps and 11 hours at night. So a 7pm bedtime means 8am wake-up time, down at 6:30pm means up at 7:30am, and so on. Overtired babies do not sleep well! So the first step is, make sure you are putting your baby to bed early enough.

Does baby have a comfortable sleep environment?
Bedtime routines are another essential to good sleep: they don’t have to be complicated, just clear and consistent signs from parents that “it’s bedtime now.” Make sure baby’s room is calm, quiet, and free of distractions. Do your best to make sure she’s dressed appropriately and that her room is not to hot or too cold. And consider blacking out the windows if the sun rises before your little one should!

Is baby awake for too long before bed?
Kim says that a critical – and often overlooked – fact here is that the amount of waking time between baby’s last nap and bedtime should not be longer than four hours. So for a 7pm bedtime, he should get up from his nap no earlier than 3. (Or conversely, if he is napping from 11-2, he’ll be ready for bed at 6pm) You might try pushing nap times a little later if you need a later bedtime.

Is baby going to bed drowsy?
Before 4-6 months of age, babies need your help to get to sleep. But after that age, kids can and should learn to put themselves to sleep. In the likely event that this doesn’t happen automatically, Kim’s book, Good Night, Sleep Tight walks you through a gentle but effective method for sleep training. Once a baby has mastered the skill of putting herself to sleep, she can apply it when she wakes in the night and, yes, even at 5am.

Is there an early bird in the family?
5am is really too early for the average family. But the bad news is that 6 am, unfortunately for late-sleeping parents, could well be baby’s natural wakeup time, and you might just have to adjust your schedule accordingly. This would be especially unsurprising if one parent is a naturally early riser, in which case that parent should probably be on duty in the morning!

How can Evoz help?
Parenting can be exhausting, and sometimes it’s a stretch to remember what you had for breakfast this morning, let alone exactly what time baby woke up from his nap yesterday. You can Use the Insights feature on the Evoz Smart Baby Monitor to record the details of baby’s schedule – even a few days of this can give you helpful, well, insights into what you might be able to change. And of course it’s helpful to have these data when you talk to a sleep coach or your doctor about your concerns.

For additional sleep advice, information about sleep coaching, and lots more tips, see Kim’s website. And don’t forget that Kim’s parenting tips built right into the Evoz Smart Baby Monitor app (download for iOS or for Android), which can be found under the Parenting Information tab.

Sleep tight,

Disclosure: This blog post contains contextual affiliate links. Evo Inc. may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

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