Other reasons WHY your child may be waking up early
If you’ve added up your child’s sleep hours and have determined that an excess of sleep isn’t the cause of early waking you should be able to add more sleep time in the early morning. Before we get into the general tips for encouraging longer sleep, it may help to figure out why your child wakes up early, and how to address those issues.
Here are a few things that might be waking her up:
Daylight, street lights or house lights can cause a light sleeper to wake up.
Solution: Cover the windows, keep the room dark.
Some children are easily roused when they hear voices, traffic, pets, plumbing sounds, or neighbours.
Solution: Use a radio set to a classical music or talk show station, or a white-noise machine to mask outside noises. You can set it like an alarm to go off on a quiet volume about an hour before your child’s typical waking time so that other noises don’t rouse her. (Don’t worry – if you are using white noise or keeping the volume low this won’t wake her.) Another option, if you can, is changing your child’s sleeping place to a quieter room.
Perhaps her diaper, training pants, or pull-ups are wet, or she has to use the bathroom.
Solution: Give your child less liquid in the hour or two before bed. Provide several pre-bedtime potty visits. Use diaper doublers or extra-thick nighttime diapers. If she’s totally potty-trained, teach her how to use the bathroom by herself during the night and leave a nightlight on in the hallway. She may not even realise that she’s able to do this on her own if she never has!
Her covers have fallen off, the house has cooled down and she’s chilly, or the heat has come on and she’s too hot.
Solution: Adjust the heat level of the house, use a fan (keeping it and cords out of reach) or change what she wears to bed or the types of blankets on her bed. (The Sleep Store recommend a warm sleepsuit or a sleeping bag)
Her tummy rumblings wake her.
Solution: Give her a low-sugar, high-carbohydrate snack before bedtime. Provide her with a bowl of crackers and a cup of water on her nightstand.
She’s been waking up early for a long time and now her internal clock alarm goes off at that time.
Solution: Gradually adjust her night and nap sleep schedule until she is sleeping and waking at a better time.
She’s napping too early, too late, too often, or too long.
Solution: Reorganise her nap schedule to deal with these naptime issues.
“I put a piece of cardboard over the window and set a clock-radio to early morning classical music. Sebastian is sleeping about an hour later in the morning than he was – and it hasn’t affected his bedtime at all!” Candice, mother of three-year-old Sebastian