The primary mission of this blog is to educate people on the dangers of Shaken Baby Syndrome and provide them with the information necessary to prevent it. Shaken Baby Syndrome occurs when parents become frustrated with their newborn’s crying, and resort to shaking the child. No parent should EVER resort to violence no matter how frustrating the situation may be. However, by knowing how to keep your baby on the same sleep schedule as you, you can avoid the frustration of waking up to crying altogether.
Determine if your baby is actually waking up too early
When your baby wakes up– is he restless and irritated, or energized and awake? For most newborns, a wake-up time around 6:00 AM or later is perfectly normal. However, if your baby often wakes up before this time and cries a lot in the morning, they may not be getting enough sleep.
Determine the cause of the early-rising
There are several things that can cause a baby to wake up too early including: teething, growth spurts, transitioning from a crib to a bed, illness, etc. In the summer months, early-rising can also be caused by long days. Check to make sure that there isn’t too much sunlight coming into your child’s room in the morning, and if the early-rising continues, you may have to adjust your baby’s sleeping schedule. In the worst case scenario, your baby could be waking up early due to pain caused by some form of illness, so it’s recommended to consult your doctor if the child continues to wake up exceedingly early.
Evaluate the baby’s sleeping schedule
If your baby isn’t getting enough sleep during a nap, they could be fatigued. Although it seems counterintuitive, fatigue will actually cause your baby to get less restful sleep than they would otherwise. On the other hand, their naps could also be too long or too short. Consider adjusting the amount of time you let your little one sleep until you find the sweet spot. You want to ensure that your baby is napping at strategic times throughout the day, spaced out evenly enough that they don’t interfere with their night sleep. The perfect schedule can be tricky to lockdown at first, but overtime you will get the hang of it.
One common mistake that parents make is trying to keep their baby up for longer so that they will sleep longer. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like this. When babies stay up for long periods of time, they become over-tired and wake up even earlier. If you’re having trouble pinpointing the perfect amount of time that your baby needs to sleep, try checking out this sleeping schedule.
Shift the baby’s sleeping schedule
If your baby is waking up at 5 AM every morning, and you allow them to stay awake throughout the day, you are reinforcing 5 AM as a fine time to wake up. Eventually, 5 AM will become the standard time your newborn wakes up and that can be challenging. The best way to readjust their schedule is by treating early wake-ups as night-waking. Instead of getting the baby dressed and ready for the day when they wake up too early, try gently lulling them back to sleep instead. Reassure them that it’s the time to sleep, and then leave the room. If your baby is distressed by you leaving, you can stay in the room while remaining silent. Eventually, they should slowly fall back asleep. Remember, you are trying to reassure them that it’s sleeping time.
When it finally comes time to wake up, you can perform a dramatic “wake-up” routine to create an association in child’s mind. Throw back the curtains, sing a good morning song, and turn on the lights! Overtime, your baby will get used to this behavior as the signal for when it’s time to really wake up.
These tips should help you adjust your baby’s sleeping schedule to your own, and eliminate a lot of frustration that comes with waking up to crying. Frustration is inevitable when raising a newborn baby. It’s part of the parenting process. However, it’s important to learn how to stay calm in every situation!