So, early rising used to be the bane of my life! Really, it did. My children, particularly my 2 boys would wake up anytime between 4 and 5 am. Now, because I had suffered sleep deprivation with them, I actually don’t think I tried that had to sort it out. In fact, I think I felt ‘eternally’ grateful that they were actually sleeping through the night at that particular point. Have to chuckle, but it’s the truth.
Anyhow, now I’m older and wiser I know that there are a few things I should have tried before admitting defeat and starting my day #upwiththelarks
So, lets go….
Firstly, you do need to check in on your expectations. What I mean by that is, children do naturally wake up early, so if you used to love that sleep in until 8am, well I’m sorry, it’s very likely not going to happen until they get to those teenage years. Then you’ll have the other problem of not being able to get them out of their pit.
So what is a realistic expectation for morning wake up? Well, it’s about 6am, at a push 7am (if you’re lucky). But, the questions you need to be asking yourself are these:
- Does my little one wake up bright and bushy tailed or morkey and miserable?
If the answer is ‘bright eyed and bushy tailed’ then I’m sorry but they’ve had their sleep out.
- The other thing to consider is how much sleep your little one is getting in 24 hours. Once you have realistic expectations about how much sleep they’re getting you can then work out if they need more sleep or are getting enough. Depending on the outcome of you answer start looking at naps and bedtimes. Do nap times need adjusting, are they too close to bedtime? Or is your little one overtired and needs an earlier bedtime, perhaps because they have dropped a nap?
- Is there something disturbing them? Noise from the street outside? Or some sneaky bit of sunlight coming in through the window, do you have a blackout blind? Could they be cold? Body temperature drops early morning.
- How are you behaving when your little one wakes? Are you getting cross, upsetting them unwittingly? I know you’re tired, at your witts end, just want 30 minutes more sleep BUT loosing it won’t help them to stay calm and settle back to sleep. Check in on your re-actions.
- What messages are you’re sending? Are you acting as though it’s still the middle of the night? Don’t put the light on when you go into you little one. Always respond to their needs, but be calm, keep verbal communication to a minimum, talk quietly and softly.
- When it is time to get up, send clear messages by putting the light on, opening the curtains, expressing more communication cues – “Good Morning, rise and shine, how are you?” Different tone of voice. These are clear messages that it is now time to wake up and start the day.
- If your little one is a toddler you can work with clocks, timers and reward charts too.
If all else fails, would you be happy to let your little one play with their toys in the cot or their room to by you some extra time? Could you leave a sippy cup and perhaps a snack for them to eat and drink until you are ready to get up?