Is your baby or toddler having early morning wake-ups? Is this happening multiple times a week?

Yes, I get it! I have been there too! I despise those early morning wake-ups! I’m not a morning person AND still am not after having my five kids…yes, I know sounds odd! 

One of the reasons I DREADED the early morning wakes (other than having to jump out of bed) meant I had to shift my schedule for the day to meet their awake windows to prevent overtiredness. This meant I had to rearrange my day around to meet with friends for a playdate OR leave early to make sure my baby had a good sleep in their cot rather than a short nap in the pram.

I have compiled a list of simple tips and strategies to help YOU with those DREADED early waking’s!! Continue reading to find out what changes you can start implementing straight away!


One that I like to start with is your baby’s ROOM ENVIRONMENT. You can tick this off your list immediately after going through the below steps. 

When I start working with families, one of the first things I ask them to do is check their baby’s room environment. The best way to figure out if your baby’s room is conducive to sleep is by sitting in your child’s bedroom and shutting the door. Allow your eyes to climatise for a minute. Once you are sitting in place, have a look around the bedroom. Can you see anything in the bedroom? Maybe some stimulating toys laying around or artwork hanging on the walls? Or perhaps, some minimal light creeping in through the windows? If so, then I will say it is not dark enough. The slightest amount of light or stimulating objects in the room can interfere with your child’s sleep. You see, any lights such as streetlights or car lights at night can inhibit your child from staying asleep longer and much later than 4 am. Those early hours, your child will still be tired and restless, making it even harder to fall back to sleep. 

There are a variety of blackout curtains and shades out there you can use to block out any sunlight/streetlights that are creeping into the bedroom. 

Blackout solutions can be as simple as:

 -Using foil and poster board taped around the window or black rubbish bags


-Indow Window

Depending on your budget, these are all great ways to get any light from creeping into the bedrooms.


Another connecting factor to consider is AWAKE WINDOWS. It’s vital to follow your child’s age-appropriate awake windows to provide them with the best possible outcome. Checking the recommended daily sleep helps determine if your child is getting too much or too little sleep during the day. Again, critical for those early morning wakes as too much sleep during the day means they don’t have enough sleep pressure to continue sleeping. Any wake-ups before 6 am should be treated as a night waking. Use your usual settling method to get them back to sleep. 

Overtiredness is like a domino effect. When your child is overtired their cortisol levels rise. Cortisol is our fight, flight, and freeze hormone. When our children are overtired we see our kiddos jumping off the walls and hyperactive. Our bodies slowly start producing cortisol around 4 am with larger amounts being produced around 6-7 am. This rush of cortisol stays in your child’s body for around 24hrs. So when you have that layering of the healthy cortisol that your baby’s body is naturally producing in the early morning, plus the extra cortisol from the night before… you guessed it! A recipe for disaster!! 


If your baby is dependent on a sleep prop, they will often look for that sleep crutch. As your child comes into lighter sleep, bub will be looking for that very thing that helped them fall to sleep. For example, if you rocked your baby to sleep, used a dummy/pacifier to self-soothe, or aided him to sleep in some way, then your baby will yell out for you to continue this very thing. If you are struggling to remove your child’s sleep props, take advantage of my free 15 min call so we can help you resolve things. You will find my link below to book a call with me.


Sleep begets sleep!

I know such a cliche saying BUT it is soo true!!

If your child has not had long enough naps or even skipped a nap then an EARLY bedtime should follow. As mentioned previously, over-tiredness is a HUGE culprit! SO, get your little one to bed as early as 5:30 pm or 6 pm. 

For toddlers who are in the process of dropping their one nap or missed their nap for the day, then bedtime should be around 6 pm. 

Apart from having a consistent and solid bedtime routine, one instrumental tip that can make all the difference is moving their night feed to the beginning of their bedtime routine. This pertains to babies younger than 12 months old. 

Most children over 1yrs old, can drop the milk feed as part of their bedtime routine. If they are having a milk feed using a kid’s cup will be perfectly fine as you want to start steering away from the bottle around 1 yrs. of age. this can cause waking’s because of the natural sugars in milk. When they wake in those early hours they think they need milk to fall back to sleep. 

Another tip you can start implementing tonight is sending them to bed 15 minutes earlier. So, if they go to bed say 7 pm, put them to bed at 6:45 pm. Try this for 3-5 days to see if this helps. If it’s not working, then try 15 min earlier than before (6:30 pm) for another few days.

Remember to always evaluate what is happening developmentally, as they are often learning a new skill which often causes disruptions with their sleep. This can take about two weeks so be patient and remain consistent with your routine and settling methods. 

If you find you need any help or have any questions, please reach out by booking your free sleep evaluation. My calendar link is:

Sleep well!

Rosie Chiha