Why Your Baby is Waking Up Too Early in the Morning

by | May 23, 2024

Are you sipping your morning coffee while staring at your little early bird, wondering why they’re up before the sun? There are some common, and not so common, reasons why your baby may be rising between 4:00-6:00AM.

Let’s chat about it!

What Qualifies as Waking Up “Too Early” in the Morning?

This is truly going to depend on your family and your baby’ schedule. As a general rule, I typically suggest 6:00-7:30AM as a very developmentally appropriate wake time, assuming that your baby is getting 10-12 hours of overnight sleep.

It’s important to keep in mind that babies are naturally early risers! You may be doing everything “right” and still experience wakings that are earlier than your desired wake time.

Possible Reasons Your Baby is Waking Up Too Early

  • Too Late of a Bedtime: Believe it or not, a late bedtime can cause your baby to wake up earlier due to overtiredness. Counterintuitive, I know!
  • Too Early of a Bedtime: On the flip side, too early of a bedtime could lead to your baby maxing out on their overnight sleep, causing early waking. If your baby is getting 10+ hours of overnight sleep, they may be maxing out! Hot tip: if your baby is waking earlier than 6:00AM, try calculating their wake window from 6:00AM, in order to avoid perpetuating the cycle of an early schedule and continually early morning wakings.
  • Too Much Daytime Sleep: It’s all about balance. Too much daytime sleep can interfere with that all-important sleep pressure needed for a long, restful night.
  • Light Entering the Room: Morning light peeking in? It could be telling your baby it’s time to wake up. Consider blackout curtains AND blinds. In a pinch tape some garbage bags up on the windows. Morning light is the main reason why early morning wakings are a much more common problem in the spring and summer! (Some babies are so sensitive to light that I would even suggest covering lights on electronics with electrical tape.)
  • Reinforcement: If baby’s early waking is met each day with playtime, feeding, or other engaging activities, it could set their internal body clock to wake up early. This will perpetuate the cycle of early mornings.
  • Noise: A toilet flushing or a dog barking may be enough to wake your little one, especially in those early morning hours. Consider using  white noise to help drown out outside noises.

Baby Sleep Needs Based on Age

For average daytime and nighttime sleep needs, download my Free Baby Sleep Tips. This document includes a chart outlining the average sleep needs for children up to 3 years old! It also includes my main sleep tips for achieving restful nights and smooth days with your 4-18 month old baby!

Next Steps

Every baby is different, and this is just a starting point for troubleshooting. If early rising continues, it’s time for a deeper look into your baby’s sleep habits. Reach out for assistance by booking a Support Call or messaging me on Instagram to chat!

You may also like:
Optimizing Your Baby’s Sleep Space
Surviving the Sleep Regression Rollercoaster

Surviving and Thriving Through the 4 Month Sleep Regression

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Why your baby is waking up too early in the morning - 6 common reasons
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