HOW DO I GET MY CHILD TO SLEEP LATER IN THE MORNING?
Is your baby or toddler an early riser? First you need to know that babies and children developmentally usually wake between 6-7am. So if you’re child is waking at 6am and that’s early for YOU, unfortunately it IS developmentally appropriate and sometimes there’s not much we can do to shift it. However, if your child is waking before 6am this is still considered night sleep and we do want to try and shift to at least 6am.
There are a few reasons that children wake up early:
- First and foremost you want to make sure you’re using blackout shades and that they are truly blocking out all light. Our circadian rhythms or internal clocks are set to wake by natural light so if any light is coming into the room that could be causing the wake up.
- Secondly, when your baby or child is overtired that is a cause of them waking early. This is because when you’re overtired your body starts producing cortisol and that makes it hard to stay asleep – especially in the early morning hours when sleep pressure is lower. Even though it’s counterintuitive, implementing an earlier bedtime of at least 30 minutes can help your child sleep later in the morning.
- Thirdly, you the parent might be reinforcing the early waking by going to your child at the early time. So if your child is waking up at 5am and you’re going in and picking them up or bringing them to your bed the child is going to begin to wake at that time or even earlier for the pleasure of your company, versus falling back asleep until a more appropriate wake up time. OK to wake clocks are a great tool to teach your child when the wake up time is.
If you need more support, shoot me an email at email@example.com. I’d love to help or answer any questions.