Baby waking up too early (5 tips for dealing with it)

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If your baby is waking up too early and you want to know how to get them to wake up later, the answer to this is really simple. You can’t. Welcome to the life of pre-sunrise starts. It sucks.

Baby waking up too early – my personal experience

Both my kids suck for sleep. I’ve mentioned this before here and here. Not only do they both wake frequently at night and demand to bedshare but they also both have this crazy effective internal alarm clock that wakes them up at 5.30am every day. It’s super annoying.

Let me tell you, I’ve tried everything to get them to wake up later. I’ve read all the articles and tried it all. It does not work. If I put my kids to bed later, they still wake up the exact same time. I keep them in bed and don’t let them get out till a reasonable time, they give zero sh*ts. I’ve tried feeding them breakfast later, earlier, yada yada, tried it all, it doesn’t work.

When someone complains to me about their kids getting up early at 7am I want to poke them in the eye. That’s a lie-in you swine. I’d give my left arm for such a treat.

And don’t get me started on the clocks changing. They go back in a week and there is every chance my kids will now be getting up at 4.30am all winter. It has happened before. Winter is coming my amigos and I am actively afraid.

So what can you do when you are living your life like you’ve got up to catch an early flight every day but you ain’t got no sunny holiday at the end to make it worth it? Like a zombie apocalypse Rick Grimes, you do whatever it takes to survive!

How to get your child to sleep in longer

My top 5 tips for dealing with a baby waking up too early

1. Go to bed with them. Even if that’s 7.30pm. Even if you only do it some of the time. It will help you survive a grade A sleep thief. Do not, and I repeat, do not stay up late, you will pay for it.

2. Have their favourite toys, books, remotes, keys etc near the bed so when they wake early you can shove them at them while you lay and mess about on your phone/kindle while you come to/stop sobbing.

3. if they are old enough and interested then screen time is your friend, both for you and for them. It’s all good and well thinking screen time is the devil but 5am is not the time to be righteous. Even if its just to play nursery rhyme songs or cbeebies. It was a happy occasion when my son figured out to use the iPad by himself. Now we keep one fully charged (this is key, if it dies mid surprise egg video its game over) by his bed so when he wakes at daft o’clock he can watch videos and we can snooze.

4. The same applies to morning cartoons, movies, whatever will keep them occupied for a bit once you get downstairs.

5. Tea/coffee drink and repeat until you feel semi-human, the best you can hope for is the feeling of a ‘mild hangover’ which adds insult to injury as you didn’t get to drink because your kid rises with the enthusiasm of a CBeebies presenter on hard drugs.

And to all you who told me that I’d be dragging my son out of bed once he started school I call BS. He still gets up at the exact same time, 3.5 hours before school starts – #blessed.

‘They’ also tell me that I’ll be waking them up when they are teenagers but I’ve decided not to get my hopes up because everything else ‘they’ have told me is lies.

So if you need me, I’ll be available from 5.30am-7.30pm for the next 18 years. I’ve heard 50 is the new 30 when it comes to partying anyway…

If you are in the market for a new mattress then you can’t go far wrong with the Emma Mattress (affiliate link). We treated ourselves to it when the kids started sleeping through the night, a reward if you will. We’ve now been using it for 2 years and here is our full Emma Mattress review.

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How to make your child sleep in longer

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This post was first published 26 October 2016 and was last updated 12 March 2024.

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16 thoughts on “Baby waking up too early (5 tips for dealing with it)”

  1. I hear ya! My kids do the exact same thing! Regardless of when I put them to bed, they are up and ready to go at 5am. I too have tried all manner of things, but to no avail. I’m absolutely DREADING the time change because 4am is far too early for me. That’s just insane. At least we’re all in this together? Ugh.

  2. There was me hoping you had the magical answer!! But there really isn;t one 🙁 My youngest wakes up at 5.30am and it’s hard work. I honestly am dreading the clocks changing this weekend!! Waking up at 4.30am will send me over the edge. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove x

  3. Lol! I saw this post and thought – I have to read it maybe she can tell me how to get my son to sleep in but alas we’re both suffering from the same early riser syndrome. I’m totally with you on the books and toys by the bed. We need our sleep! #SharingTheBlogLove

    Nicole | The Professional Mom Project

  4. Eee this seems like another lifetime as I can’t get my girls out of bed now!! I remember making Alan get up with Imogen early and he watched lots of box sets like breaking bad. Hope it hasn’t scarred her too much and she doesn’t start making meth ha ha!

  5. I know your pain. N was a 5-5.30 riser for ages from about age 3 – but at least at that age I’d hear him going off downstairs. He even tried to get himself toast one day – thankfully didn’t stick the knife in it!

    Now he’s older, he just about gets to 6.30 most mornings except half term when it’s been 5.30 because he’s been so excited to having breakfast with his dad at the farm at 6.30. He hasn’t yet grasped the sorting his own breakfast even though he’s older! And he doesn’t seem to do tv or tablet, even though he can do both. Very annoying.

    Hope the clock change isn’t too painful #sharingthebloglove

  6. Another mother of a 5.30 waker over here (note the huge bags under my eyes and general zombie like appearance). The ipad is an essential tool in my arsenal – why does kids tv only start at 6am?! People keep telling me to try a Gro Clock, but I have a hunch that that’s not going to cut the mustard with my son – there’s something about 5.30 that he just loves! Thanks so much for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove and making me realise that I’m not alone!

  7. My kids are up at the crack of dawn no matter what time they go to bed, whether it’s light or not, how much exercise they’ve done – none of it makes any difference. We eventually persuaded the oldest (now 9) to stay in his room until 7 – he reads or plays with toys – after 7 he can go and watch tv or play in tablet once he is dressed for school. But on the plus side he is happy to be in bed at 8 on an evening so we still have time to chill 😉 And in a few years I’ll have my lie-ins back xx


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