3 Simple Steps to Fix Little One Waking Up at 5am

Is your little one waking at 5:00 AM every day? Maybe you feel that you’ve tried everything to overcome this, and you’ve resigned yourself to the idea that maybe your child is an early riser. Well, I can assure you they’re not. 5:00 AM is too early. You can definitely get your little one to at least 6:00 AM or beyond. So, I’m going to help you uncover why you’re getting these 5:00 AM wake-ups and what you can do to fix it.

This is as easy as 1-2-3.

Number one, if your little one is consistently waking at 5:00 AM, they’re overtired. I know that sounds crazy, right? Surely if they’re overtired, they’re tired, they’re sleepy. They’re going to sleep for longer. Why are they waking? I know. Weird, but totally true. Little ones who are overtired are more likely to have difficulty falling asleep or they’ll crash out.

They might have really wakeful nights or be quite disturbed in their sleep at night. And you also see these kinds of things like parasomnias, sleepwalking, sleep talking, even things like night terrors when they’re overtired. Their sleep is disturbed. And the other one you get is these 5:00 AM wakings. 5:00 AM wake up calls are always going to be because of some form of overtiredness. So what can you do?

Number two is you’ve got to spot it. Where is this overtiredness coming from? Is it that bedtime is too late or inconsistent and moves around a lot. So by the time they actually fall to sleep at bedtime, they’re overtired already. So is it bedtime? Have a look at bedtime. If you can consistently get your little one to sleep somewhere between probably 6:30 PM and 7:30 PM, somewhere in the hour, then you’re far more likely to be in a good place for a good night’s sleep.

The other one is naps. Naps can be a really big reason why little ones get overtired. So is your little one getting enough in the way of naps for their age right now? So are they getting enough overall nap time in the day, and are they getting those in ideal quantities? Should they be having three naps, two naps, one nap? How is it spread out? Because the nap amount is also a key factor. It’s no good if they have enough sleep, but it’s all condensed into one, when developmentally, they really ought to be spreading that over two. Why? Because then the awake time between sleeps could be too big for them. And if their awake time between sleeps is too big, even if they’re getting enough sleep, that awake time is enough to create an overtiredness that could be causing these 5:00 AM wakings.

So the nap length and the nap amount are really key as well as those windows of wait time in between sleeps.

So have a look at all of those things and the bedtime and see if you can spot it. And if you don’t know the ideals, look at our resources because we share this kind of thing and give you a good framework for what it ought to look like roughly at your child’s age and developmental stage. Once you know that, you’ve got something to work towards, then by solving that you might overcome the overtiredness.

And that brings me on to step three, which is to fix it. How do you fix it? So it might be that you decide to do an earlier bedtime. In this case, you need to decide what time the bedtime routine needs to start; so that’s going to get your little one to sleep sooner than perhaps they are currently. That’s how you can fix a bedtime running too late.

Maybe you constantly have big battles at bedtime and it takes ages to settle all this. Well then, we need to look at the sleep onset and that’s another story. But we also can address that just by getting it that bit earlier before they’re overtired and perhaps fighting it. And the naps is another way you can fix it. So it really is as easy as 1-2-3.

Look at the overtiredness. Identify it first. Once you spot it, spot where exactly it’s coming from. You can then move on to number three and fix it.

Do all of that and bear in mind that it will take a little bit of time to have all of that running smoothly, for a good week to 10 days, consistently, before you’re likely to see those 5:00 AM wake-ups pushed back out to 6:00 AM or beyond.

So don’t expect an overnight cure to this, but fix those things, stay with it, and you’ll overcome those 5:00 AM wakings and actually be able to sleep in yourself until at least 6:00 AM, which is early enough anyway.

So I hope you found these tips on overcoming these 5:00 AM wake-ups helpful. If you have, then subscribe to our YouTube channel for more helpful videos!