Pangs Of Babies Waking Up Early; Know How To Cope
The first few months are very challenging for new parents when it comes to the baby’s sleep routine. Newborns sleep for more than ten to twelve hours. The sleep routine, however, varies from child to child. Some may rise at around eight or as early as six in the morning. Some babies tend to have a daytime nap and be assured they will wake up early. The main worry among parents is why the baby is waking up early. There may be a lot of factors but here are some possible reasons:
They might be hungry or have growth spurts: A child’s tummy is very small and they tend to wake up at odd hours because of hunger and more so, their feeding pattern changes as they grow. Due to growth spurts, they feel more hungry. This may continue from the first two weeks till six to seven months or maybe more. As the growth spurt passes over, they tend to have a proper sleep schedule.
Babies may be tired: Parents need to understand the baby’s cue, sleep time is important and if the baby misses it then they become tired. Putting them back to sleep will be a Herculean task and the baby will have a disturbed sleep waking up regularly during the night. Do observe if the baby, waking up early, is active or cranky. If the baby is cranky, it is a sign of disturbed sleep due to tiredness. Babies are self soothers. They go back to sleep all by themselves, if they wake up early – else they need to be rocked or patted with a bit of feeding to put them back to sleep.
If the babies are not having a good sleeping pattern or routine this will affect their overall development. Thus, we need to follow a consistency for making them sleep at the same time each night making the baby used to a schedule and cues that have to be monitored by parents. Try the cry-it-out or no-cry method if the baby does not go back to sleep through its own self-soothing habit
Parents should develop a sleep routine for the baby, by making them play or do some physical activities prior to the baby’s sleeping time. This will make the baby relax for a good sleep. One should be aware that the baby’s body is very sensitive to sunlight and harsh artificial light. Thus having subdued light in the baby’s room is a good idea. Along with that, maintain a calm surrounding by keeping the windows and doors closed for blocking outside sounds.
Have a nursery where the baby can have some activity during the daytime. This will make the baby active shortening its daytime nap. When the baby gets up early, do not be tempted to play with them rather calm them down to sleep. Early waking habits due to hunger can be avoided by dream feeding the baby – this is a method to feed the child when it is sleeping, basically to ensure that the baby’s stomach is full and it does not wake up due to hunger. Observe if the child is clinging or holding on to something when they are going to sleep. Give it to them when they are waking up early this might help them to go back to sleep.
It’s quite tiring for both the parents and child if a proper sleep routine is not maintained either way. Keep on trying out the techniques and most important: things will not happen overnight. Patience is the key. One day, the child will not wake up early and will have a proper sleep routine.