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What to do when the baby wakes up too early

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Every parent hopes that their baby will have an uninterrupted sleep and will get up on time. But this remains a ‘dream’ for most of the parents as baby’s sleep is as unpredictable as a summer storm. But the problem becomes bigger when the baby wakes from sleep when the sun has not risen yet. This common phenomenon is a nightmare for parents as their own sleep is in complete jeopardy. But, in order to solve the problem, first of all, you have to understand why your baby is getting up so early.

This is a very tough question to answer. If your baby wakes up too early, there are two possibilities: Either she is getting too much sleep or she is not having a proper sleep. For the former reason, she is tired, but for the latter, she is maybe overtired. Before anything else try to understand if she is actually behaving normally or following her routine properly. Babies need more sleep than adults. Generally, if the baby sleeps at 8 pm at night and wakes up at 6 am she is supposed to be in a normal shape. However, if she wakes up from 5 am regularly and won’t go back to sleep even after feeding or diaper change, you can assume that this is not regular behavior. Generally, a 6-month-old is supposed to have 10-12 hours of sleep at night and 3-5 hours at day time. For a toddler, the sleep time reduces to 11-14 hours in a day. But before identifying why your baby wakes up too early you have to find out certain things.

First, you should examine your baby’s sleep schedule thoroughly. If she seems to get little sleep then try to put her to bed earlier, you can gradually move up the bedtime for around 10 minutes daily. Continue this for a week and see if anything positive happens.
If you feel that your baby is having too much sleep then you can try the opposite. You can put your baby to bed a little later and can move down the time gradually every day.

Also, you can adjust your baby’s nap time. Some babies tend to take an early nap so they go to sleep too early later and as a result, they wake up early. While some babies take a late nap very close to bedtime for which they may get up too early. Try to slightly change their nap time so that your baby does not face any discomfort. You can consult with your pediatrician before taking any of these steps.

Another thing you should ensure is to create a sleep-friendly environment. Babies are more sensitive than adults and their sleep may be interrupted by the slightest of noises. So keep the windows closed to avoid any noise from outside. If this does not work, you can put a blanket on the window or can even buy a white noise machine to minimize the sound. Also, make sure that your baby does not come in contact with the early sun. Manage some nightlights to avoid complete darkness at night.

Managing early morning hunger may be one of the issues if your baby wakes early. If your toddler wakes up as early as 5 AM she and you both will need an early breakfast. You can feed the early morning breakfast a bit later so that your baby may be accustomed to wake up a bit late. You can try high-protein snacks, such as hummus, yogurt, or nut butter on toast, before bedtime may help to stave off hunger longer. Of course consult your pediatrician to know what types of foods will be appropriate for your baby before taking these steps.

It’s true, eventually your child will adjust the sleeping time. In the meantime, you just have to keep patience and help to make the process easier for them.


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