As you lie there tucked in your nice, warm, comforter – you suddenly hear the pitter-patter of tiny feet approaching your room. Like clockwork, your daughter flings open the door and grins from ear to ear. She’s up and ready to start the day. The only problem? It’s 5:00 a.m.!
Many parents wake daily to this scenario in the early morning. Though she’s definitely cute, she’s not cute enough most mornings to gleefully jump out of bed ready to play. Lots of coffee, at the very least, seems like the only way to survive these morning wake up calls. But help is on the way! Try to employ some of these “tricks of the parenting trade” that may help your toddler get a little more beauty sleep – and buy you a little more time before the pitter-patter begins!
Tips to Keep Her Snoozing:
• Get shady. Install room darkening shades in her room to keep sunlight to a minimum. Often, toddlers wake early because it’s bright in their bedrooms. Since they can’t tell time yet, children this age sense it’s morning and time to rise and shine.
• Dissolve diaper woes. Sometimes toddlers wake up early because their diapers are soaked. This can happen especially during a growth spurt. Try using super-absorbent diapers made specifically for nighttime use. Or, you can “double diaper” your child.
• Sleeping on her own. Children who have a hard time putting themselves back to sleep also tend to give their parents early morning wake-up calls. If you feel your daughter needs more sleep in the morning, treat her awakening just like you would if she woke up in the middle of the night. Gently whisk her back to her room and explain that she needs to sleep a little longer.
• Keep her in her own crib or bed. If your child gets in bed with you in the morning, she’s encouraged to continue getting up early so she can crawl in between the covers with you. Try to encourage your daughter to go back in her room when she gets up early. You’ll lose sleep for a week or two, but she’ll eventually learn to sleep in instead of relying on the comfort of your bedroom.
• Adjust her bedtime. Toddlers typically sleep between 9-12 hours. So, a child that goes to bed at 7:00 a.m., could conceivably be up and ready to start her day at 5:00 a.m. Try putting your daughter to bed a little later if this is the case. But be careful; don’t keep her up too late. Once she’s “overtired,” there is no chance of her sleeping in. Experiment with different bedtimes until you find one that works.
• When you just need 10 more minutes. There are children who are naturally just early risers. If you are the lucky parent of such a wonderful little girl, then you may have to compromise the early morning wake-ups. For example, take your child back to her room, give her some books and toys, and ask her to play quietly for a few minutes. You probably won’t get another hour worth of sleep, but it may buy you a few more minutes of downtime before you begin the day.
- Negotiating Night Terrors
- Wake-up Call
- Sleeping Beauty: 11 Secrets to Your Baby’s Sleep Success
- Teach Your Baby Girl to Sleep Through the Night
- Tips to Help Your Toddler Stay in Bed