Is your baby waking too early? If you're a parent, I'd be willing to bet a fair bit of money that you've wished, at least once, that you're child would sleep just a little longer in the morning, or have longer naps. amiright?
Which brings me to week 6, the final week of my Baby Whisperer Sleep Training Series. We're talkin' 'bout wakin' that baby up to make her sleep longer.
Catch up on the rest first.
- Week 1 – Intro + Personality Types
- Week 2 – EASY Routine
- Week 3 – Accidental Parenting
- Week 4 – Shush-Pat
- Week 5 – Pick Up/Put Down
ANYWAY, back to today's topic. If you've been a part of my community, you know that Pip wasn't as easy of a baby as his older sister. I've done a few wake-to-sleep campaigns with him already (he's just 6 months old!).
Let me tell you. It works like a charm. I've used it with both my kiddos and I'm sure I'll never need another method as long as I have babies.
So what is wake to sleep?
It sounds crazy, doesn't it? Waking your baby up to get him to sleep longer. Crazy pants! Hear me out.
If you're having trouble with your baby waking too early, you need to try this.[bctt tweet=” It's a solution, tool, problem solver +a bit of a control tactic used to break a cycle of habitual waking. #sleeptraining” username=”hampsandhiccs”]
Why is your baby waking too early?
You first need to rule out pain, discomfort + hunger. Tend to your baby's needs before you decide he's waking for no real reason.
- If he is waking at the same time every night, it's habitual
- If you try feed him and he takes a slurp or two then passes out, it's habitual
- Note: if he is taking full feeds, he likely needs to be tanked up during the day.
- Consider teething, growth spurts
- If he's waking early from naps and is upset or cranky (2+ days in a row, it's habitual
You need to break the waking pattern, habitual waking
By intervening in the habitual night waking (or early nap waking), you're giving yourself the control. You're disrupting the pattern and allowing your baby to reset.
Here's the truth: babies wake in the night, just like we do. Babies don't know how to deal with frustration when they can't fall back asleep, so they cry out. This also happens if they haven't be taught how to go back to sleep on their own. Then the parents come running. By rushing in, you're reinforcing the behaviour. Quickly, it will turn into accidental parenting.
You've become a prop, jiggling and coaxing your child back to sleep, or offering milk. You're using a band-aid solution. Not a real fix to the problem.
By rushing in and getting baby up at ungodly hours, you're letting him know that he's right – it's time to be awake. Not the case, and I'm sure you'll regret it in less than a week.[bctt tweet=”Babies and toddlers don't just “grow out” of habits. An early waker now will always be an early waker, because you reinforced it. #sleeptraining #babywhisperer” username=”hampsandhiccs”]
How to stop your baby waking too early.
Is astonishingly simple to break your baby's (or toddler's) habitual waking pattern.
- Set your alarm an hour early than your baby is waking (ex. if she wakes at 5:45am, set it for 4:45)
- Go into her room and gently rouse her – jostle gently, rub her belly, etc. – to stir her to semi-consciousness (if your baby is a light sleeper, you may just have to open the door to her room)
- Leave the room and go back to bed, she'll fall back asleep, too
- Repeat this for a total of 3 nights, regardless of how quickly it works
When you disrupt your baby's sleep, she's going to murmur and move around a bit. You've shocked her, after all. Allow her to fall back asleep on her own. You've successfully reset the pattern for this morning.
But what if it doesn't work? What if she's still waking early.
So you've tried for 3 nights in a row, and it's not helping. Reevaluate the situation – make sure she's tanked up during the day, not in pain or discomfort and not overstimulated.
Try for another 3 nights.[bctt tweet=”Do not hope for it to magically go away. It won't #sleeptraining #babywhisperer #sleepproblems” username=”hampsandhiccs”]
What to do when he cries out
If it's happening at nap times
Is baby waking too early from her naps? It's fixable, too. Babies and toddlers need at least 1 hour and 15 minutes of nap time to be rested. If she's waking earlier than that, it's time to intervene.
Follow the above guidelines, except go in after 30 minutes of sleep time to bring her to semi-consciousness. At that point, she'll be just coming out of a deep sleep and should be able to fall back asleep.
Tips for Success
If you have a baby waking too early, you need to try this method. Keep these tips in mind to make the most of your sleep training journey.
- Use the 4S routine to get baby prepared and relaxed for bed
- Consider all causes for waking. 9/10 times it is NOT hunger. Consider growth spurts
- Use swaddling, shush-pat and pick up/put down to help baby go back to sleep, if necessary
- Do not use any form of stimulation, including eye contact
- Make sure she's on the right routine for her age
And that's it!
That's the end of the Sleep Training Series!
Remember, all this work is adapted from Tracy Hogg.
If you're having trouble getting over the structured routine part of sleep training, don't think of it that way. It's not at all boring, non-spontaneous or confined. You're doing what is absolutely necessary to get your baby sleeping properly and forming healthy habits for her to grow into as a toddler, child, teen and, eventually, an adult.
No sleep disorders here!
So what are you waiting for?! Start today to stop your baby waking too early.
OH! and let me know how it goes! I'd love to hear about it 🙂
- See Week 1, Into + 5 Different Baby Personalities, here
- See Week 2, Sleep Training the EASY Way, here
- See Week 3, Accidental Parenting, here
- See Week 4, Shush-Pat Method, here
- See Week 5, Pick Up/Put Down, here