Get up before sunrise? Here's what to do if your baby wakes up too early (2023)

In the first sleep-deprived months of your baby's life, you were probably obsessed with putting your baby to sleep at night so the whole house wouldn't wake up at 2am. M. (or worse, hour by hour).

However, if you start sleeping for a longer period of time, you may find yourself waking up less in the middle of the night and more at dawn and wondering if that really counts as progress.

Babies are naturally early risers, and there is little we can do to change their biological rhythm. But when your baby is around 6 months old, there are a few tricks you can use to delay the attention call for an hour or two. Here's how to help your early risers wake up a little later.

How do you know if your baby is waking up too early?

When your child wakes up at 5amchange a diaper, it usually means that the baby is waking up too early. But it depends on when you go to bed, your age and stage, and other factors. If you're in a bad mood during the day, it's a good indication that you need to lie down a little later.

However, it is normal for babies to wake up between 6am and 5pm. M. and 7 am, although it varies. Things like teething, sickness,dream regressionsand other outside influences can also come into play, especially if your baby suddenly wakes up earlier than usual.

What causes a child to wake up early?

If your baby wakes up too early, he may be sleeping too much (so he doesn't get tired) or not enough (which means she is too tired). And you can't afford to let her lose too much sleep. For example, a 6-month-old babythey need about 12 to 15 hours of sleepfor 24 hours, or about 10 to 12 hours at night and three to five hours during the day, divided into two or three naps.

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When you sleep can affect how early you wake up. You can go to bed too late, take a nap too late, or take a nap too early. Going to bed later in the morning can be a matter of adjusting your whole bodysleep schedule.

What should I do if my baby wakes up very early?

The first thing to do if your baby is waking up too early is to study his sleep schedule to make sure he is getting enough sleep overall. It sounds contradictory, but a child who is too tired will not be able to sleep well.

Try to put your baby to bed earlier, around 7 or 7:30 p.m. M. - Gradually move your bedtime forward 10 minutes each night if you go to bed later, and see if that helps you sleep longer. However, do not expect immediate results! Wait a full week or two before deciding if the experiment was successful.

If too much sleep is the cause, you may need to try the opposite tactic. Each night, move your bedtime about 10 minutes later until you go to bed an hour later (or you reach your bedtime later goal). This works best if you also push your eating schedule to later so you don't wake up hungry too early.

You may also need to work on your workbaby nap time. Children who sleep too much or too little during the day will find it harder to fall asleep at night.

Nap time is also important. Some babies who nap early in the day go to bed earlier at night and, you guessed it, wake up early in the morning. And some kids doproblems with sleepingif the last nap ends too close to bedtime.


Try adjusting your nap earlier or later, moving it 10 minutes a day until you get into a good rhythm.

Also, talk to your pediatrician for more tips on adjusting your baby's sleep schedule to make sure nothing else is causing the early awakening.

Although a warning. Every time you juggle sleep schedules, you run the risk of your baby just not making itsleep well(Let's say you start cutting down on his naps, but he still wakes up early.) If your baby seems tired or has trouble falling asleep at night, talk to your pediatrician about what you should do anyway. Perhaps this is just a transitional phase.

Training tipsYour baby wakes up later

Adjusting your child's sleep schedule is probably the best way to make the alarm clock go off a bit later. But there are other tricks you can try.

don't let the sun in

Your baby may be very sensitive to light and wake up literally at dawn. Try investing in room-darkening blinds or lined blinds to keep the sun from waking your mini rooster.

Be silent

As the world wakes up, cars start rolling down the roads, dogs start barking, and the garbage truck starts making rounds. Those who are light sleepers may be awakened by all these noises from next door.

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In any case, close the windows, and if that doesn't help, hang heavy curtains or blankets over them. You can also try placing a fan or white noise machine in your room to mask outside noise.

Give him a moment

Take your time to greet your baby at the first sounds from the crib. Wait at least five to ten minutes unless your baby is really crying.[1]

If you're lucky, he'll calm down enough to go back to sleep or at least have some fun while you rest for a few more moments.

wait for breakfast

If she's used to eating at 5:30 in the morning, hunger will still be her (and your) early wake-up call. Gradually put off the first meal of each day by a few minutes to reduce the likelihood of waking up.

However, be sure to talk to your pediatrician about any changes to your baby's feeding schedule.

Give the baby a pacifier

Babies who use pacifiers for bedtime and naps may need to put the pacifier back on to be able to get back to sleep early in the morning. Wait a few minutes before going inside, then gently, barely speaking, put your little one's paci back in his mouth, gently pat or stroke his head, and leave the room.

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suggest something to do

Until your baby is about 12 months old, their crib should be mostly empty for safety reasons. But after 12 months, there are toys that can be attached to the crib, such as a pacifier, mirror or crib keyboard, that will help your little one slowly wake up and play on his own before you get out of bed.

One day in the not too distant future, your child will be able to get up and prepare breakfast. In the meantime, try to look after yourself while navigating this stage of your baby's sleep schedule. Go to bed earlier if possible, take a nap while your baby sleeps if possible, and see if your partner, visiting grandparents or friend can take over an early shift from time to time.

Editors' Notes What to Expect andHeidi Murkoff,author of the vanWhat to expect when you are pregnant. What to Expect It follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only trusted sources such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and respected health organizations. Find out how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading oursmedical review and editorial policy.

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Get up before sunrise? Here's what to do if your baby wakes up too early? ›

If your child is waking at 5am, it is very likely she is still tired and can barely make it 1.5-2 hours before she needs a nap. If you are putting her down before 7:30/8am for a nap, her first nap of the day is essentially being lumped in with what should have been nighttime sleep.

What if my baby wakes up at 5am? ›

If your child is waking at 5am, it is very likely she is still tired and can barely make it 1.5-2 hours before she needs a nap. If you are putting her down before 7:30/8am for a nap, her first nap of the day is essentially being lumped in with what should have been nighttime sleep.

Do you let baby cry it out at 5am? ›

CIO is very effective at bedtime because there are a number of biological factors that make it very difficult for your child to stay awake at that time. However if your baby wakes up very early in the morning (4:00 AM or 5:00 AM) letting them cry will almost never result in them falling back to sleep.

Should I feed baby at 5am? ›

It's a good idea to feed baby around the 4:30 a.m. or 5 a.m. mark without fully waking baby. Feed baby in the dark and quiet, then put baby back down to bed until a later hour if desired.

How do I reset my baby's circadian rhythm? ›

If you are currently putting your baby to sleep at 8:00 PM, you may need to reset their circadian clock by putting them to bed at 6:00 PM for a little while to get them used to an 11-12 hour sleep. After a week, you can begin moving their bedtime a little bit later each day until you get to 7:00 PM.

How do I break my 5am wake up baby? ›

Tips for training your baby to wake up later
  1. Don't let the sun come in. Your baby may be very sensitive to light, causing her to literally wake up at the crack of dawn. ...
  2. Keep it quiet. ...
  3. Give it a minute. ...
  4. Hold off on breakfast. ...
  5. Give your baby a pacifier. ...
  6. Offer something to do.
Aug 5, 2022

How do I stop my baby from rising early? ›

Here are our ten best tips to resolve early rising:
  1. Try an Earlier Bedtime. ...
  2. Naps Lead to Good Sleep. ...
  3. Pay Attention to Wakefulness Windows. ...
  4. Investigate Medical Conditions. ...
  5. Encourage Sleep With a Dark Bedroom. ...
  6. Eliminate Hunger. ...
  7. Avoid Letting Your Baby Wake Screaming. ...
  8. Understand Drowsy But Awake.

What is the 5 3 3 rule? ›

The 5 3 3 rule is a sleep training method that involves setting specific intervals for sleep. The method involves having the child sleep for 5 hours, followed by 3 hours of awake time, and then 3 hours of sleep again.

At what point do you just let a baby cry? ›

It's OK to let your baby cry if the baby doesn't seem sick and you've tried everything to soothe your baby. You can try to leave your baby alone in a safe place, such as a crib, for about 10 to 15 minutes. Many babies need to cry before they can fall asleep. And they'll nod off faster if you leave them to cry.

What is the longest you should let a baby cry it out? ›

In this method, Marc Weissbluth, MD, explains that babies may still wake up to two times a night at 8 months old. However, he says parents should start predictable bedtime routines — letting babies cry 10 to 20 minutes to sleep —- with infants as young as 5 to 6 weeks of age.

Why does my baby wake at 5.30 am? ›

Sleep environment

If mornings are starting to get lighter, your baby may start to wake around 5:30/6:00am and instead of going back into another sleep cycle, they can stay awake... especially if there is too much to look at in their room!

How do I get my baby back to sleep after 5am feed? ›

Things to try:

See if offering a feeding gets them back down until a more reasonable time. play with bedtime to see if baby might need less (or more) total sleep overnight. rule out environmental factors by blacking out the room with darkening shades and introducing a white noise machine if not already using.

What causes early morning wakes in babies? ›

Light exposure is a key factor in habitual early waking patterns. Seeing light in the morning signals our internal clocks, so it's important to keep it very dark until the desired wake-up time so we don't reinforce early waking. Household or neighborhood noises can also wake children too early.

Should you wake baby at same time every morning? ›

Once you have determined a wake time that works for your child, a good rule of thumb is to try and keep that wake time consistent within thirty minutes or less. So if your child wakes at 7:00 a.m. many days but seems sleepier one morning, you would wake her by 7:30 a.m. to keep her on schedule that day.

How do I reset my child's internal clock? ›

Not Sleeping? Reset Your Child's Biological Clock
  1. Maintain a consistent bedtime and awaking time. ...
  2. Encourage regular daily naps. ...
  3. Set your child's biological clock. ...
  4. Develop a consistent bedtime routine. ...
  5. Create a cozy sleep environment. ...
  6. Provide the right nutrition. ...
  7. Help your child to be healthy and fit.

How do I reverse my baby's day night reversal? ›

A good night's rest may not result overnight, but this approach can help get you there sooner.
  1. Allow for active sleep. During the day, don't worry if your baby falls asleep in more "active" areas of the house - in rooms with light or music on, for example. ...
  2. Consistent contrast. ...
  3. Maintain focus. ...
  4. Soft-spoken approach.
Nov 2, 2009

How do I get my baby to sleep until 7am? ›

To help your baby sleep until 7am, it's essential to develop a calming and predictable bedtime routine, such as bathing, reading a story, or singing a lullaby. This routine will signal to your baby that it's time to sleep and make the transition to bedtime more comfortable.

Does cry it out work for early morning wakings? ›

A Word of Caution

(Which is put the child back to sleep.) Cry It Out is the LEAST effective when tried for the first time in the middle of the night or for naps. Please do not try to deal with early morning wakings with CIO unless you are also using CIO at bedtime, and for naps.

How do I drop 5am feed? ›

The answer is to wait as long as you can to feed. You can try for a few days to assist back to sleep in any other way and feed at wake up time or slowly start pushing out that feed later and later. This will help push calories to your day and you'll find your baby starts to eat more.

What time do early risers go to bed? ›

Tip 1: Compensate Your Bedtime for your Early Rising

We need between 8 - 10 hours of sleep a night so if you're getting up between 5 - 6 AM, then you should be heading to sleep around 9 or 10 at night.

Does early rising refer to bed early? ›

The habit of early rising is the source of good health, wealth and wisdom. An English proverb says, “Early to bed and early to rise. Makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise

Does early rising refers to leave bed early? ›

Early rising means the habit of getting up from bed early in the morning. This habit is very useful to a man in various ways. If anybody wishes to enjoy the charms of the morning, he must get up early in the morning. There is a proverb that early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.

What is purple crying in babies? ›

What Is PURPLE Crying? PURPLE crying is a stage that some babies go through when they seem to cry for long periods of time and resist soothing. Your baby may find it hard to settle or calm down no matter what you do for them. The phrase PURPLE crying was coined by the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome.

What are the 3 types of baby cries? ›

For infants, crying is the sole form of communication and there are three distinct types: A “basic cry” is a rhythmic pattern consisting of a cry followed by silence; an “anger cry” is similar to a basic cry but with more volume due to the release of excessive air through the infant's vocal chords; and a “pain cry” is ...

What is self soothing in babies? ›

Self-soothing is when your baby can calm down and go to sleep again by themselves. Babies who can self-soothe sleep for longer periods and have longer total sleep times at night. If you put your baby to bed drowsy but awake, they might take a little while to go to sleep. They might even grizzle. This is OK.

Why you shouldn't let your baby cry for a long time? ›

In conclusion, letting a baby cry for too long can have negative effects on their physical, emotional, and cognitive development. It can cause increased levels of stress hormones, which can have negative effects on the baby's brain and immune system.

How long does cry it out take the first night? ›

While it can be difficult for parents, at least the cry it out method doesn't involve much guesswork: You'll let your baby cry it out for as long as it takes them to fall asleep. For some babies, that may be 5 or 10 minutes; for others, crying may continue on and off for several hours.

How do I get my baby to self soothe? ›

These tips can help your baby gain self-soothing skills:
  1. Meet your baby's needs first. Before you assume that your baby is just cranky, review their list of needs. ...
  2. Set a schedule. Babies love routine. ...
  3. Use white noise. ...
  4. Stay close without picking them up. ...
  5. Try a pacifier. ...
  6. Wean them off feeding to sleep.
Nov 18, 2022

What time should my baby wake up in the morning? ›

Truly, a normal and healthy wake time for babies is 6:00-7:00 am. This is just a typical circadian rhythm for infants, even though I know 7:00 am to 8:00 am would be so much nicer. When we say “early morning wakings,” we're talking about babies who wake up BEFORE 6:00 am.

Is 5.30 pm too early for baby bedtime? ›

Key Takeaways for better baby sleep

Babies are naturally sleepy between 6.30 and 7.30pm so try to map your bedtime routine to wind down in that window. If naps have been particularly short or your baby is fussy, moving bedtime as early as 5.30pm can help.

When should I drop my 5am feed? ›

By 6/7 months, your baby likely is ready to drop the night feeds completely. However, keep in mind that many babies still need a early morning feed (between 3-5am) until 12 months!

Will a hungry baby go back to sleep? ›

Your brain recognizes hunger as a priority and will stay alert until the need is met, or until you're exhausted enough that the need to sleep overrides the need to eat. So if your baby really is hungry, they usually won't go back to sleep very easily until they've been fed.

Can I feed my baby after waking up? ›

Once your newborn establishes a pattern of weight gain and reaches the birth-weight milestone, however, it's generally OK to wait for feedings until he or she wakes up. Most newborns need eight to 12 feedings a day — about one feeding every two to three hours.

What time should a 6 month old wake up in the morning? ›


I would expect morning wake up time to be between 6-8am and bedtime to fall between 6-8pm. This is what is considered normal for their circadian rhythm. I would also expect 10-12 hours of nighttime sleep (in their bed, not a continuous stretch).

Does melatonin help with early waking? ›

Using Melatonin to Sleep

This helps the person's body clock begin to cycle earlier allowing them to, over just a few days of treatment, fall asleep and wake up earlier.

Can teething cause early morning waking? ›

Teething and Illness

It is really normal for your baby to go through stages of waking early, even if they used to be a later sleeper. This is particularly obvious during periods of illness and teething. If the early waking has only just started, my advice would be to give it 7-10 days and see how it goes.

What age do babies stop waking up every 2 hours? ›

Babies have shorter sleep cycles than adults and wake or stir about every 40 minutes. By 3 months, many babies will have settled into a pattern of longer times awake during the day, and longer sleep times (perhaps 4 to 5 hours) at night.

Should I let my baby sleep past 7am? ›

Most of the time, bedtimes should be between 6 and 8 p.m. for most babies older than 3-4 months old and young toddlers. There are exceptions and all families need to find what works for their specific dynamics, but most babies have a biological need/rhythm to go to sleep early and wake early (before 8 a.m.).

Should babies nap after 5pm? ›

It is usually best not to start an evening nap after 5-6 pm and – instead, move bedtime up a little during the transition phase. Most babies are sleeping about 3 hours total during the day at this point. By 18 months children drop down to one nap. This nap often occurs mid-day and may vary in length from 1-3 hours.

How long does it take to reset internal clock? ›

It often takes a few days for your biological clock to align with a new time zone. Adjusting after “gaining” time may be slightly easier than after “losing” time because the brain adjusts differently in the two situations.

How do you fix a broken sleep schedule? ›

Tips for Resetting Your Sleep Schedule
  1. Adjust your bedtime, but be patient. ...
  2. Do not nap, even if you feel tired. ...
  3. Do not sleep in, and get up at the same time each day. ...
  4. Avoid exposure to light before sleep. ...
  5. Avoid exercising too close to bedtime. ...
  6. Watch what you eat close to bedtime.

At what age do babies know the difference between night and day? ›

They usually start to learn this rhythm of day and night when they are about 6 weeks old. You can help your newborn to learn to sleep more at night by exposing them to light and playing with them during the day, and providing a dim and quiet environment at night.

How long does it take for a baby to adjust to day night? ›

For most babies, day/night confusion lasts anywhere from one to eight weeks, but there are some things you can do to rectify it sooner rather than later, so you can both get some much-needed rest.

How early is too early for baby to wake up? ›

After 6:00 am, well, that's just waking up for the day! We wouldn't consider that a baby waking up too early. Truly, a normal and healthy wake time for babies is 6:00-7:00 am. This is just a typical circadian rhythm for infants, even though I know 7:00 am to 8:00 am would be so much nicer.

Is it normal for babies to wake up at 5.30 am? ›

Anything before 5am is still an overnight wake and anything after 6:30am would be considered a pretty normal wake time at this age. If you have an older baby or toddler though, they can manage a bit more awake time, so 5-6am would be considered "early morning" and anything from 6am onwards is perfectly fine.

What is the best bedtime for 5am wake up? ›

Sleep calculator
Wake-up timeBedtime: 7.5 hours of sleep (5 cycles)Bedtime: 9 hours of sleep (6 cycles)
4:45 a.m.9 p.m.7:30 p.m.
5 a.m.9:15 p.m.7:45 p.m.
5:15 a.m.9:30 p.m.8 p.m.
5:30 a.m.9:45 p.m.8:15 p.m.
17 more rows
Jan 25, 2022

Is it OK for baby to wake up at 8am? ›

Sleeping from 9pm to 8am might be perfectly normal for a baby in one family, while sleeping from 6pm to 5am is the norm in another.

Why won't my baby sleep 5am? ›

If your baby is waking at 5am every morning all of a sudden and won't go back to sleep, either after a feed or by self-soothing, then it can mean your baby is waking too early. It's all to do with their circadian rhythm, and if your child is waking at 5am, it is very likely that they are actually still tired.

Why wont my baby sleep past 5.30 am? ›

After midnight the melatonin drops off, which can mean many babies sleep well up until midnight then wake every 2 hours beyond that (especially if they can't self-settle). By 5 AM the melatonin has pretty much gone out of our systems.

What time should a 4 month old go to bed? ›

Many four month olds do best with that 7 to 8 pm bedtime. However, some babies do hold on to a later bedtime just a bit longer. So please know, if your baby is thriving with a bedtime between 8 and 10 pm, there's no need to change anything yet.

Is 9pm to 5am enough sleep? ›

Researcher Dr Nerina Ramlakhan said: “Going to sleep at 9pm might sound far too early. "But the best quality sleep is obtained when your circadian rhythm is at its lowest point, which is between around 9pm and 5am.”

Is 10pm to 5am enough sleep? ›

10pm is the perfect bedtime. Going to sleep at 10pm enables you to get the recommended 7–8 hours of sleep, and still wake up by 5 or 6am. That means you can get in at least a 30-minute workout in the morning — a common habit among the most successful and productive people — and still be at work by 8 or 9am.

What is the best bedtime for 6am? ›

If you wake up at 6am, to get 7-9 hours of sleep you should be going to bed between 9pm and 11pm.

When should I drop my baby from 5 to 4 feeds? ›

1 to 3 months: Your baby will feed 7 to 9 times per 24 hours. 3 months: Feedings take place 6 to 8 times in 24 hours. 6 months: Your baby will feed around 6 times a day. 12 months: Nursing may drop to about 4 times a day.


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