Early Morning Riser
If your child awakens before you do, you can be sure he will come and wake you up. He's excited about the new day and wants to share it with you. If you want to add a few precious minutes of sleep to your morning, here are some steps you can take:
- First: Be sure he only takes 1 nap per day and that it's less than 2 hours.
- Second: Make sure he gets plenty of exercise after his nap, so he will be tired at night.
- Third: If he's been going to sleep before 8 p.m., delay his bedtime.
That should do it---unless your child's sleep requirement is less than the average of 10 to 12 hours. In that case:
- If he's in a crib, simply keep him in there until breakfast. He can learn to play quietly with toys. If he cries, go in once to reassure him.
- If he's in a bed, give him a clock radio and set it for 6 a.m. Tell him he can play quietly until then. Help him put out special toys or books the night before.
- Also, don't forget to tell him that "It's not polite to wake up someone who's sleeping, unless it's an emergency."
- If this approach causes too much friction in the morning, expect your child to change his routine gradually. If he's been awaking at 5 a.m., help him wait until 5:15 for a few days, then 5:30, and so forth.
If you have other questions about sleep problems, consult your healthcare provider.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D. FAAP
Last Review: 6/1/2008
Last Revised: 6/1/2000
Copyright 1994-2008 Barton Schmitt, M.D. Parent Advice Messages.