Is Your Child Waking Up Too Early?
One of the biggest concerns parents have regarding their little ones is that, at what age should their toddler waking up at night to be considered normal? Generally, most experts agree that it is perfectly fine for a child to wake up at any time between the ages of three and six months. For those children who wake up older than six months, the first concern is usually related to their health. They need to be given an entire set of medications before they can return to sleep again. If your child is older than three months and is still not sleeping through the night, there are other more serious problems you might have to deal with.
Generally, if your toddler wakes up too early, as a general rule, it is after six a.m., and he or she has been waking up quite tired and, again, quite happy and satisfied. A typical wake-up time for most infants and toddlers is around six: 00 or later, given they’re receiving adequate naps and nighttime sleep. The toddler will probably be hungry, tired and irritable, and will probably just want to go back to sleep. But, as long as he or she has not received a good night’s sleep, a doctor’s visit is in order.
There are instances when early waking is not caused by sickness, but by another reason. Some parents experience cases of extreme babies who are either spitting up or regurgitating food. These can be very alarming, especially if they occur more than a couple times per week, and if there has been no solid bedtime routine set up by the parent to help them get ready for sleep.
Often, this can be helped with a good start to bed routine, which includes setting the alarm for the same time each day. Some parents start feeding the toddler at the same time each day, while others start feeding the child earlier, and perhaps at a different time. It is important that the schedule is consistent, and if it is not, the baby may not learn to fall asleep sitting up in bed, but by being taken to a different room to lay down and go to sleep. A good start to a routine is to place the toddler in his or her bed at the same time each day. It is best to start feeding the child an hour before bedtime. Starting in early childhood is the perfect time to establish a consistent bedtime routine.
Another possible cause of toddler waking up too early is when the child is not getting enough sleep at night. Toddlers and babies need eight to ten hours of sleep at night, depending upon the age of the toddler and the length of time the toddler sleeps at night. Many experts recommend that parents start feeding their toddler before bedtime so that they are more likely to have a good night’s sleep, but even this is not guaranteed to help with early waking. It is important that you continue to feed your toddler even when he is not sleepy. This will help with his comfort and the development of a good sleeping habit.
Another common cause of toddler sleep issues is two naps in a row. The first nap may be caused by fatigue, or it may be due to the toddler not wanting to sleep. When a toddler’s mind is still tired from a previous nap, this may cause toddler to start tossing and turning. These naps in a row can be eliminated by introducing a play to your toddler that keeps both of you mentally stimulated, such as story time with your toddler.
Toddler wakings also could be caused by the onset of toddler years old. At this age, children’s bodies slow down to allow them to become more independent. For toddlers, being more independent can mean getting their way on different levels. If your child has woken up several times in a row, or has made several random awakenings, it could be a sign of a developing child. Other signs of a developing child could be regressing back to their toddler years old routine, or if they always wake up at dinnertime. If you are concerned about toddler waking up too early, you should consult your pediatrician for medical advice.
Of course, some children do not always get their desired sleep hour. For these children, having a play date with you or even going to your child’s room at night can help with his desire to go to bed. You can also try making the bedtime routine a game night with you and your baby, so that bedtime feels like a fun family activity to you and your toddler.