Bedtime Routines

Is Your Toddler Waking Up Too Early? Here's What To Do

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Discover the reasons behind your toddler's early wake-ups and explore effective solutions to help your child establish healthy sleep habits.

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Your toddler's general well-being may suffer if they routinely wake up too early, which might reduce their sleep schedule.

By comprehending the causes of early wake-ups and putting practical fixes in place,  you can ensure your child gets the sleep they require for normal growth.

Let's investigate the possible reasons for early awakening and find workable solutions to this frequent problem.

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Why is my toddler waking up so early?

Some variables, such as shifts in sleep habits, developmental milestones, and environmental effects, can be responsible for early awakening in toddlers. When addressing early waking, it is crucial to consider the following factors:

  • Sleep environment: Ensuring that the sleep environment is conducive to longer sleep durations, such as keeping curtains or blinds closed to prevent sunlight from waking your toddler, can help promote later wake-up times.
  • Developmental changes: Toddlers may experience shifts in their sleep patterns as they grow, including a decrease in night waking and a reduction in the number and length of daytime naps.
  • Sleep regression: Around the age of 2, toddlers may experience a sleep regression, leading to difficulties at bedtime, frequent night waking, and early morning wake-ups. This is a common and developmentally normal phase that typically resolves with consistency and patience.
  • Routine and discipline: Establishing consistent bedtime routines and setting clear rules can help toddlers understand sleep expectations and promote longer sleep durations.

How to handle early morning wakings from toddlers

Waking up early can be challenging, but with the right strategies, shifting to a more morning-oriented schedule is possible. By gradually adjusting your sleep habits and environment, you can train your body to wake up at a later, more desirable time. 

1. Establish a consistent bedtime routine

Toddlers need to have a regular bedtime routine in order to be encouraged to sleep well. Here is a summary of successful tactics based on research and guidance from experts:

We have this blog for you: bedtimes by age

  • Choose a bedtime that works for your child: To create a routine and make sure your child gets the right amount of sleep for their age, it's important to set a consistent bedtime that coincides with their natural sleep cycles.
  • Create a relaxing environment: Cultivating a calming sleep environment can help signal to your toddler that it's time to wind down and prepare for sleep.
  • Include stories with massage: Incorporating soothing activities such as reading bedtime stories and providing a gentle massage can help relax your toddler and create positive associations with bedtime. 

  • Put on some cool white noise sounds: White noise, which includes ambient music or soft sounds of nature, can be used to block out distracting stimuli and provide a calming.
  • Light off!: Turning off the lights at the designated bedtime signals to your toddler that it's time to settle down and prepare for sleep.

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2. Create a sleep-conducive environment

Your toddler's capacity to sleep longer and wake up later can be greatly impacted by creating a peaceful and cozy sleeping environment.

 This entails considering factors like temperature, lighting, and visual design to support long sleep periods and ideal sleep hygiene.

  • Remember that our StoryBook App has meditations, short stories, massages, and affirmations.

3. Adjust nap schedules

Making gradual adjustments to your toddler's nap schedule can help shift their sleep patterns, leading to later wake-up times. Understanding the ideal timing and duration of naps for toddlers is essential for promoting a more morning-oriented sleep schedule.

We also have this blog for you: how to extend baby naps

4. Gentle sleep training techniques

Implementing gentle sleep training methods, such as the Fading method and other low-stress approaches, can aid in promoting longer and more restful sleep for toddlers. 

These techniques focus on gradually increasing physical distance at night and providing reassurance to help toddlers feel confident and comfortable falling asleep on their own.

Is there a "normal" wake-up time for toddlers?

Wake-up times for toddlers are essential to understand that there is a range of what can be considered normal. While every child has different sleep habits, they can vary.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), toddlers should get between 11 to 14 hours of sleep in 24 hours, including naps and nighttime. However, the wake-up time can vary based on individual factors and sleep needs.

From around 24 months, most toddlers are waking between 7am and 8am.”
💡National Childbirth Trust

How much sleep does a toddler typically need?

Toddlers generally require between 11 to 14 hours of daily sleep, including naps and nighttime sleep. At the age of 2 to 3 years, toddlers typically sleep for 12 to 13 hours in 24 hours, including daytime naps of 1 to 2 hours.

According to Sleep Foundation it is recommended that toddlers between 1 and 2 years old get between 11 and 14 hours of total sleep every day.

recommended sleep duration for toddlers

Signs that my toddler might not be getting enough sleep

When toddlers are not getting enough sleep, it can manifest in various behavioral and emotional signs. Some common indicators that your toddler might not be getting sufficient sleep include:

  • Increased crankiness and irritability: Toddlers who are sleep-deprived may exhibit heightened irritability and moodiness. This can lead to more frequent outbursts and difficulties managing emotions.
  • Frequent tantrums: While the odd tantrum is common in childhood, frequent, severe tantrums that last longer than a particular age may be a sign of disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD) or other underlying problems.
  • Difficulty concentrating: Sleep deprivation can impact a toddler's ability to focus and concentrate, leading to challenges in engaging with activities and maintaining attention.
  • Hyperactivity: Lack of adequate sleep can contribute to increased impulsivity and hyperactive behavior in toddlers, resembling symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).


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