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Early morning wake-ups

by Kerryn on January 27th, 2011

Georgie has largely been a great sleeper. So I know that I have no right to complain, but she did start waking up pretty early a few months ago, at around 7 months old. That then became really early, around 4:30 am for a while. Scott and I got a bit desperate because it is hard to get enough sleep when you’re waking up during the night and your day then starts before the crack of dawn.

So we tried a few methods that are all over the internet to get G to sleep in later.

1. Ultimate dark. Georgie’s room has never been 100% dark, it is reasonably dark when the sun goes down, but certainly not pitch black. Desperate effort number 1 was to make it really dark. So I bought thick, black poster board and taped over her windows. That made her room look like a cave during the day. Result over the course of about 2 weeks – no major improvement in waking time.

2. More sleep during the day. I’m sure you have heard that sleep makes sleep. From the book that I read, The 90-minute baby sleep programme, it seems to hold true. So we maximised Georgie’s day time sleeps and were hoping for an improvement in the length of her sleep at night. Result – no improvement in waking time.

3. Less sleep during the day. Since more sleep didn’t work we tried to keep her awake from her lunch time sleep until bedtime so that she would be really sleepy and would theoretically sleep longer at night. Result – no improvement in waking time and a really grumpy Georgie.

4. Feed her more. I made her dinner time a bit later and fed her more. Result – no improvement in waking time.

5. Rock her back to sleep upon waking. I rocked her like I have never rocked before, but it is like rocking the Enegizer Bunny back to sleep. She is awake, happy, sometimes singing and ready to face the day. Result – no improvement in waking time.

6. Move her bedtime. We made her bedtime half an hour later. Result – no initial improvement, but then we noticed that she mostly sleeps for 10 hours from when she goes to sleep. So this one might actually work. We then had to then decide whether to move her bedtime even later and get a later start in the morning or whether to have a bit more time to ourselves in the evening. We have chosen a bit more time to ourselves in the evening.

Georgie now goes to bed at 7 pm instead of 6:30 pm. She has just dropped her afternoon nap, so I really don’t feel I could push her later than this at the moment even if I wanted to. Most mornings she wakes up at 5ish. Scott takes her from waking until 6 am. Then I take her from 6 am while he goes back to bed for an 40 mins or so. I know 5ish is not a shockingly early start for a lot of people. For us though it is tough. We are late sleepers; our pre-baby wake up time was 7 am. Has anyone got a method that worked for them?

**This week since writing this post we have had two 4:30 am wake-ups. So perhaps there is no magic solution, but just one of things to adapt to with a new baby!

From → Sleeping

  • Jenna

    I DO NOT wake up early. Even if I am out of bed and physically moving around I do not actually wake up till at least 7:30. When I was pregnant with my daughter I was terrified that she would be the early riser but we lucked out. I feel for you, it sounds like no fun.

  • Gauri

    You know, somehow, all I heard there was ‘sleeps 10 hours’ in a row. I know that wasn’t your point or your woe. I do think you have every right to complain about a 4.30am wake-up call and still… all I (from my own bubble of sleepless woe) hear is ’10 hours in a row’!!!

  • Kerryn

    Haha! Sorry that was my mistake. She doesn’t sleep 10 hours in a row, but 10 hours after going to sleep she is up for the day. We’ve been having, on average, 4 night wakings after we go to bed :(