Young children are programmed to wake up and start the day relatively early; some time between 6am and 7am is not considered an unreasonable wake up time, providing your child is going to bed at a suitable bedtime (Between 7pm and 8pm is considered a normal bedtime).

Lots of children go through phases of waking up early or having sleep disturbances and this is not confined to one particular age group. However, getting up to start the day before 6am is considered early rising and there are a few things that you can do to help combat this problem.

Yawn baby, sleep, tired baby

Firstly, 5 o clock is a typical time for some children to seem to want to start the day.  It’s just too early and will make the day longer and they will get stuck in a cycle of over-tiredness, if you don’t address it.  The main reason that kids wake at 5 o clock is because this is the last sleep cycle of the night time sleep, and when they come to the surface of their sleep, it can be difficult to go back to sleep at this time.  Here are a couple of tips for you to try:

Initially you must ensure that nothing external is contributing to the waking, for example, central heating coming on, external noises, and neighbouring dogs.  Next you must rule out hunger and ensure that they have had enough to eat during the day and that their evening meal is adequate for their age group and they are consuming the required amount of milk for their age.

You must make sure that they are not too sleepy at bedtime.  They must be awake getting into their cot or their bed.  This way you will know that they really do know how to put themselves to sleep and back to sleep during the night and their phases of sleep.

If they are still on a daytime nap schedule, you must make sure they are getting enough day sleep for their age group and that the wake window between the wake up from the last nap and bedtime does not exceed 4 to 5 hours.

Don’t be tempted to delay bedtime.

Don’t be tempted to delay bedtime.  Although it is counter-intuitive and we can be inclined to keep them up later in order to make them sleep later, actually the reverse is true:  An earlier bedtime can often help to prevent early rising.

Be patient: results can take as long as 2-4 weeks to shine through.  It means 100% consistency, and 100% commitment on your part-but it’s definitely worth the effort!  Good luck!

If you would like some more advice on this subject why not contact our Careline.