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Help! My child gets up way to early!

Parenting Sleep

It’s something we hear quite often. The child whose internal clock is just out of sync with the rest of the family. Who gets up before the crack of dawn, bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and ready to go. But as parents, we usually don’t have the luxury of mid-morning or mid-afternoon naps or early bedtimes. So a day started too early, is not sustainable in the long term. But fear not, we’ve put together some helpful tips to get your little one back on track!

- Too much sleep? Sometimes a child wakes up early simply because he has had enough sleep! If he wakes up early and doesn’t seem tired or cranky during the morning that could be the case. If he goes to bed fairly early, try delaying bedtime gradually (move it up about half an hour every week) and see if it makes a difference in the morning.

- Sometimes outside elements such as the bright light of sunrise can cause an early riser. If this is the case in your child’s room, make sure you install some room darkening blinds or curtains to keep the bright light out.

- If a later bedtime doesn’t make a difference, the best tactic might be to find a way to keep her quietly in bed, until a more acceptable time. Have some books or quiet toys close by and explain that it’s okay to play or read quietly in bed until mom or dad gets up.

- Use a tool to help your child know when it’s wake up time. A nightlight on a timer works: if the light is on, stay in bed, once it goes off it is wake up time. Here too it’s good to increase the time to stay in bed slowly, giving your child time to get used to staying in bed longer.

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