If you are a parent, then you’ve definitely had the experience of your baby waking up way too early! It’s a right of passage, but you aren’t selfish if you’d like more sleep!
Although you can’t expect a baby to conform to whatever sleep routines you want, they are their own person after all, we can definitely help guide your baby improve and/or lengthen their sleep.
But please note: This doesn't apply to infants under about four months of age (adjusted if they were born before their due date). New babies can wake up anytime and usually it’s because they need to be fed, changed, etc. Don’t worry, they do grow out of this stage!
So if you want to help your baby “sleep-in” until 6-7am, here are some tips.
How Much Sleep Does Your Baby Need
First, it’s good to know that most babies after about four months of age will probably get somewhere between 10 to 12 hours of overnight sleep. This includes getting up for feedings during the night, so you don’t need to subtract the time that they are not actually sleeping
Ensuring that Baby is sleeping until at least 6:00am usually helps ensure they’ve had enough overnight sleep to fuel them for the day.
Continuing to value sleep in your household will help them focus on its importance as they continue to grow.
What Causes Early Morning Wakes & How To Help
Early morning wake-ups (before 6am) are totally normal! Your baby’s internal biological clock (AKA circadian rhythms) which is what regulates their sleep-wake cycles, may still be in training, but there are some common reasons they might be waking up early:
They Are Overtired
You might think that if your baby is waking up early, they may need a later bedtime, but that’s actually not often the case! If your baby is awake longer than they can tolerate, their stress hormone, cortisol can make it tough for them to fall asleep. or stay asleep and that leads to lower quality sleep. Overtiredness is the most common reason for waking up too early in the morning.
Ashley Cooley is a birth, baby and sleep specialist living in Dartmouth, NS with her husband and their three girls.