Remember the days of using an alarm clock? When you didn’t have an early riser barreling into your room at 5 a.m.? Neither do we. If you’ve been reaching for the caffeine to cure those crazy wake-up calls, it’s time to make a plan! From OK to Wake clocks to shuffling nap times, we’ve rounded up ways to deal with your mini early birds. Continue on for helpful tips that will make everyone much happier in the morning.
1. Try an OK to Wake clock.
These smart gadgets teach your kiddo when it’s the right time to get out of bed by glowing green. They will quickly learn, just like a stoplight, green means GO! Throw one into your Amazon basket by clicking here.
2. Keep their room “sleepy.”
Your little ones may not be in the mood to rest if the sunlight is streaming through their shades, and they can hear every car outside their window. Try making their room more sleep-friendly by installing blackout curtains and turning on a white noise machine to keep any loud sounds at bay.
photo: acturneruk via Flickr
3. Try to soothe them back to sleep
If your kid is up at the crack of dawn (or before!), try to coax him back to sleep first. Give him his blanket, stuffed animal, a pacifier or any other lovies he’d need to feel calm and comfortable. Rub his back to send him back to Dreamland (without picking him up).
photo: donnieray via Flickr
4. Adjust the sleep schedule.
Your little one may be waking too early because her resting times aren’t timed well.Try shifting her sleep around for a few days—moving her first nap back so she’s are not overtired when it’s time to shut her eyes, and making sure she’s not sleeping too late in the afternoon, as this can mess with bedtime. Or, perhaps your early bird needs less of a nap during the day to sleep later in the morning or could stand to go to bed a little later than he currently does.
5. Point out wake-up time.
When it’s time to wake up (6 a.m, 7 a.m., you choose!), open the shades, sing a song, say “good morning.” Let your little one know that now is the time to wake up—when the sun is shining, and Mom or Dad comes to get them.
photo: no film via Flickr
6. Place toys in their crib.
If your little one is waking too early, waiting for you to come pick her up, try placing a few toys or books in her crib or on the floor in her room. She may be able to play until she falls back to sleep. Just be careful—unless your little one is old enough to know she shouldn’t climb furniture, she shouldn’t be left alone to play in her room.
7. Find out what’s waking them.
Are they waking up because of a full diaper? Try changing them and putting them back down. Is it because they’re cold? Try a sleep sack so they cannot kick off their covers. Are they hungry? Offer a healthy snack before bed if they are eating around 5 or 5:30 p.m. Are they thirsty? If your child is old enough, leave a sippy cup near their bed.
photo: ebeth via Flickr
8. Introduce a reward system.
Create a chart system that rewards your child for staying in her room until it’s time to wake up or she is allowed to come into Mom and Dad’s room. Sometimes incentives are all they need to learn to stay in bed!
photo: david_martin_foto via Flickr
9. Stay in the room.
Until your tot can learn to stay in bed until a reasonable hour, try staying in his room—either in a chair or lying next to him. Close your eyes so you are not too engaged (prompting excitement for waking up!) and hum a soft song, rub his arm or the ever-popular “shushing.” Once he’s fallen asleep, you can tip-toe out!
10. Be patient and consistent.
Not all kids pick up on sleep cues right away, so be patient. Remember that they are learning just as much as you are. And always be consistent! You can’t expect a routine wake-up time if you don’t stick to the schedule every day. That means not letting your little ones skip naps on weekends due to your plans or pushing their bedtime “just this once.”
How do you deal with early risers? Share with us below!