Is your baby waking up before 6 am?
Try these things asap!
First off, fixing early mornings is HARD and takes persistence and patience!
But if your child continues to wake up early already, then what do you have to lose by trying?
Here's my initial checklist:
Is the room dark? I mean, like really dark. Deep dark cave, no sunlight peaking in anywhere, kinda dark. Sunlight for centuries was our alarm clock and our brains are incredibly sensitive to the rising and setting of the sun. So if there's any sunlight in your child's room in the morning, take care of that first.
If your child is under 9 months, could it be hunger related? Is your baby eating well during the day? Are the having the appropriate amount of feeds or ounces for their age?
Are the daytime feeds at least 3 hours apart? If you're feeding your baby (over 4 months) every 2 hours or less, then consider spacing out their feeds so they can have full feeds vs. snack feeds (which is better for your milk supply!)
If your child is eating solids well, I want you to look at the quality of the solids they are eating. Are they consuming a lot of carbs and not a lot of fat and protein? Fat and protein should be eaten along side carbohydrates, and they help with feeling satiated. If your child's diet is heavy on the carbs, work on incorporating more fats and proteins.
Examples: bone broth in their purees, variety of meats that were cooked with bone in and fat on, quality dairy products (for babies closer to 1 year), and plant sources of protein.
If your baby is only eating baby cereal, it doesn't fill them up in the same way that a meal with fat, protein and complex carbs would.
What's happening first thing in the morning? Are they getting fed or brought to a parents bed? For toddlers, are they able to do things such as get a bottle or watch TV first thing? Parent interaction and what your child gets first thing in the morning can motivate them to continue waking up early.
Next is the timing of bedtime. Overtired children tend to not sleep well (I know, what an unfortunate rule!). For infants 4-18 months, a typical bedtime is 630-730 pm. Toddlers can have a bedtime that ranges from 7-8 pm, depending on their naps and what time they start their day. If your baby is going to bed past 8 pm, consider moving their bedtime up to help them catch up on some sleep.
Once you've taken the time to address the items on this list, there's a few other considerations!
Is your child needing to drop a nap?
Are they getting too much or not enough daytime sleep?
Is the last nap of the day too late, causing bedtime to be pushed back, causing an early morning?
Is your baby that's older than 6-8 months, still taking night feeds?
And sometimes, it's a phase!
If you've checked all the boxes, and given it time, it's possible that your baby is going through a phase: nearing a nap transition, new physical milestones, recent illness or travel, etc.
Is your baby not sleeping well no matter what you've tried? Let's talk!
Most of my clients see massive improvements within the first week of working together! You could have more sleep before summer arrives!
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