Help! My Child Wakes Up Too Early!

Many children, especially the very young wake extremely early in the morning. It is natural and healthy for a child to wake at 5am. For an adult a 5am start can feel uncomfortably early when you were hoping to sleep till at least 7am. There are several steps you can take to help your child to sleep as long as possible in the morning.

It is important to make sure your child has a regular and predictable nighttime routine. When you can, try to have dinner, bath time and story time at around the same time every evening. This will help your child to fall asleep more easily and will avoid them becoming over tired.

Avoid putting your child to bed too late. A child who is over tired will not only take longer to fall asleep but is more likely to wake early.

Fit blackout blinds or curtains to the windows in your child's bedroom. They will be most effec

White Noise Machine with built in projectorCredit: Chloe Back 2011

tive if you reduce the amount of light that comes in around the edges. A nice dark bedroom really helps your child to sleep well.

White noise can prevent your child from being woken up early by noise from outside. There are many white noise machines available, they have a variety of nature sounds to choose from. Some white noise machines even have an inbuilt projector.

There are a few clocks on the market that use a picture or light to show children when they are allowed to get up. These clocks are very effective at helping a child to understand when it is acceptable to be out of their room waking other family members. It is sometimes easier for a child to accept being told to stay in their room by a machine than by their parent. You may find your child actually begins to sleep later onLight Up ClockCredit: Chloe Back 2011ce they get used to their new clock. If a child knows it is too early to be up, they may rest longer in bed and their body will eventually adjust to the new wake up time.

Give a new routine time to work. Do not expect your child to sleep in late the morning after you make changes in their routine. It may take a couple of weeks to see the benefits. If you do not see any improvement, it may just be that your child is an early riser. You may have to accept going to bed earlier for the time being. It is very likely that as your child matures he or she will naturally begin to wake later.