When it comes to working on your child’s sleep. I know the number one thing that’s going to happen, even if it’s not happening already. I worked with thousands of families across the world who all struggle with this one issue…early morning wakings!
This week’s YouTube is ALL about Early Morning Wakings. For 3 days straight you’ll get videos all about how we can solve your child’s early rising! Ready to dig in today?! I’m sharing a REAL client case study and how I solved a 7 month olds’ early morning wakings.
Early morning wakings are the most common sleep issue out there! And whenever I talk about solving this issue with families, I usually hear one pushback:
But Becca, I don’t want to be greedy. If my child only needs 10 hours of sleep, do I really need an extra hour?
And my answer is yes!!! YOU don’t need it…but your child needs that extra bit!
So let’s just put this right out there. When I work with children between ages 0 – 5 years old, we are looking for 11 to 12 hours all night long. (A little asterisk here, you guys know I’m about to say not newborns, they’re going to have night feedings.)
Children need a FULL night of sleep to grow and be healthy and strong. After all, 75% of all growth hormones are released during sleep
So before we even talk about early morning wakings I know I have to tell you that you are not greedy for wanting one more hour of sleep in the morning.
Your child needs it.
A few years ago I worked with The Richardson family. They have an adorable little boy who (at the time I worked with them) was seven months old and for months mom and dad were struggling with an early morning waking.
Everything else was fine for their baby! Daytime was fine, bedtime was fine. It was just this 5:00 AM waking up screaming that was really frustrating.
In the beginning, mom and dad did anything to just get the baby back to bed. They rocked him, they brought him to their bed, they gave him a bottle, they did everything to just to GET THIS KID BACK TO SLEEP!
Finally, they were so frustrated, they just said, heck with it. We’re just going to start the day at 5:00 AM now.
There were some kind of unique things about the Richardson family. They lived in a one bedroom condo and they all had to be out the door at 6:45AM to go to daycare and work.
So it seems like 5:00 AM isn’t that bad, right? I mean, Hey, I guess you get a little extra time with your kid?
But that meant that their son was not getting the full 11-12 hours of night sleep. He needed more. And so we work together and I began digging into their schedule and their environment.
Now when I got ahold of their son’s schedule, I instantly knew what was wrong.
They had been applying a 4 month nap schedule for their 7 month old baby.
Seems easy, right?! But here’s the thing. Sometimes it’s easy to skip over the changes you need to make as the baby grows and just keep riding the wave of like, well this works, let’s just keep doing it.
And then boom, early morning wakings started happening around the 5-5.5 months because they were still carrying a 4 month nap schedule.
They were allowing him to have 4 hours of sleep per day between 4 naps. Which is great for a four month old, but not great for a 7 month old.
So essentially what was happening is that this kid was getting way too much daytime sleep, not enough awake time.
He’s waking up in the morning because he’s done. He’s had all he needs and he just wanted to be awake cause he doesn’t have enough wake time during the day!
So once we resolved his schedule, things started to feel a lot better!
It’s rare that early morning wakings is just ONE small change. Normally we have several factors that are playing into the early rising. As was the case with The Richardsons!
I asked mom to send me a picture of the room with the lights off, curtains closed and see how dark it was. Let’s look at your room. I know your room share. So I want you to go into the room and turn the lights off,
Remember how I said they were in a 1-bedroom condo? Well! There it was! Streetlamp light coming right through the windows.
So the sun is not shining at 5:00 AM, but there are lights on in the parking lot, there are lights on the building. And so when I asked mom to take a picture at nighttime of the room, I could clearly see this artificial light coming right into the window, right through and shining into their room.
In fact, you could see all kinds of things around the room! Because not only was there light from the outside coming in, but also a nightlight that again, carried over from the newborn days when mom used to have multiple night feedings. She had a nightlight so she could see the baby.
Now that makes sense, but you don’t really need that. You could simply turn a lamp on.
When we started to do both of those things:
Change started to become more fast paced! Mom & Dad were seeing progress, which is always so exciting. So what I started to look at his sleep log I saw, 5:30…6:00AM waking!
And it was simply those two changes for him.
Now if you’re sitting here thinking, that’s great, Becca, but I don’t know my child’s schedule. I got you! I know your child’s schedule and I can give it to you right now!!
Are you ready? We have a free tool through Little Z’s called our schedule generator. All you have to do is answer a few questions and automatically on your phone will pop up a schedule for your child.
And this is not broken down by times, but by awake windows because like the Richardson family, they need to wake up at 6:45AM, maybe your little one doesn’t.
So I want you to tailor the awake times to create the schedule for your child!
You may have sleep totally nailed down for you baby, but it doesn’t mean they will KEEP that same schedule or expectation as they grow.
They WILL grow and change, and so will their sleep expectations!
If your baby is struggling with early morning wakings there many factors that could be triggering the early rising, but FIRST let’s check:
Maybe you’re all set on those two checkpoints and you’re still struggling with early morning wakings? All ope is not lost!!
There’s a lot that we are going to cover and this week on our Early Morning Wakings Series. This week is completely dedicated to helping you take your child’s sleep and extend it and get that fuller amount of sleep that they really, truly need. So you’re not greedy for wanting a little bit more and there is hope. So stick with me this week.
Don’t forget, subscribe to this channel so you don’t miss a single video this entire week. I cannot wait to dig in with you.
Sweet dreams. See you next time.
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