When it comes to early mornings, it can be challenging to figure out what to do next to fix it.
When people ask about what I usually suggest, I tell them there's a laundry list of reasons.
- Under tired
-Sleepiness in the bedtime routine
-Lingering sleep associations with night feeds
-Timing of bedtime
-Needing to drop a nap?
and a few other things!
So today, I wanted to give you a list of a few things you can look at and make some small adjustments.
1) Move the bedtime feed to the first step
If you are feeding your baby right before bed, or even just before stories, then your baby goes to bed, consider moving their bedtime feed to the very first step of their routine.
This way we are making sure that your baby isn't getting sleepy during their bedtime feed, and that we aren't creating a feed-sleep association.
Here's an example:
Feed, bath, diaper, PJs, book, sleep sack, then to bed!
2) Full bedtime feed!
Speaking of the bedtime feed, we want it to be a full one!
How we achieve this is by leaving enough time between the baby's dinner/evening feed, and their bedtime feed.
For most babies, this is a couple of hours.
And if you are feeding your baby solids at supper time, we also want to make sure there are at least 1.5-2 hours between solids and their bedtime feed.
Until your baby is close to age 1, milk is still primary nutrition AND their bedtime feed is key to helping them sleep all night, and not wake up early.
3) Add in more protein!
If your baby is eating solids regularly (as in they aren't a 6-month old that is just getting started), try adding in another protein or two throughout the day.
Adding one or two extra protein portions throughout the day can help when it comes to nighttime hunger, and with early mornings.
4) Delay the morning feed!
Babies will wake up early for a variety of things: for a bottle/breastfeed, being brought to mommy's bed, or parent attention, hunger, overtiredness, under tiredness...the list goes on.
But one thing you can do is delay their first feed of the day by 10 minutes.
This helps by not reinforcing the early morning wake up by not immediately getting fed.
Example of a morning routine:
Wake up, out of the crib, diaper change, go to the main living area, morning wiggles, and then first feed of the day.
5) Timing of bedtime!
Bedtime is everything.
If it's too early, the baby treats it like a nap.
If it's too late, the baby has missed their bedtime window, is overtired, and is more difficult to get down to sleep...and they may wake up early.
If your baby is waking up early, putting them to bed by 8 pm is just too late.
It doesn't mean you'll have to forever do a 6 pm bedtime, but for a few days, it can make a big difference. It allows your baby to catch up on some sleep, and get out of the overtired cycle.
I've seen it happen many, many times.
We start putting the baby to bed at 6 or 6:30 pm because they were up at 5:30 am, and they start waking up closer to 7 pm.
So if you are dealing with early mornings, take a look at what time you are putting your baby to bed, and try for a bit earlier.
There you have it!
Remember, making changes to a person's sleep habits can take time and it requires a lot of patience! You'll have to make a change or two, then wait a few days to see if it's helped.
If your baby is overall not sleeping well, don't worry! I can help with that! Get in touch here!
Here for you,