a guide to early waking // for toddlers and babies.

November 29, 2013

I have to be honest. I am tricky in the making of this post.

You see, you may have stumbled here thinking I have a solution for your early waking little souls. Which is partially true. I do and I don't. This is because there is a good chance that my solution will be less than music to your ears.

Are you ready?! Stop fighting it!

Sure, some little ones go through a [short] stage of waking with the sun {or as my lovely friend says "with a sparrow's fart"} but not all babies and toddlers are the same. Repeat after me, "that would be boring." So if you find a quick and painless way to keep them asleep do it, but if not, read on!

I went through a lot when Piper was a baby in an attempt to crack the early to rise code. I actually bought ebooks on the subject that promised to save me from watching the sun rise. Most of the advice was what you already know {even with little sleep}. Act like it is still nighttime, keep it dark, try feeding them, ignore them, keep the room dark, DO NOT make eye contact, use white noise, keep it quiet. Whatevs.

We then bought a clock. With the promise that my toddler would see a moon all night until the screen changed to the sun, signalling time to wake up. Great. Except even on it's dimmest setting it was so bright that she used it to find her toys and play, loudly, at 2 am. So we replaced it with another clock. This time a little monkey closes it's eyes at bedtime. Then opens it's eyes when it is time to wake. It worked for about 2 nights. Until my clever kid worked out how to make him open his eyes. She would wander through at 4 am and tell us "the monkey is awake, time to get up guys!"

My point?


Even now, I still have the kind advice given from people everywhere~ try feeding them in the dark and putting them back down, leave them to sort themselves out, hmmmm. You see Poppy is on to that one~ she won't fall for it. I know this because I had a sparrow fart adorer already. But thanks!

Here's what has worked. A little while ago something amazing happened... I got over it.

My kids are early risers. I am not {traditionally} but I was also never a woman that ate crusts of soggy [ick] bread discarded by children, or a snot wiper, or a bottom wiper for that matter. I am learning to change as a mother. To adjust and accept. Sometimes that means my eyes are forced open before 5 am. I accept this.

My advice then if all else fails and clearly the books aren't written about your kids {the ones who just wake up early}...

1. go to bed earlier- then you get more {total} sleep.
2. drink coffee, or tea, or whatever you enjoy immediately so you feel you are getting a special treat too.
3. savour watching the sun move through the sky first thing~ it is a bit slow and wobbly like the rest of us~ but also beautiful.
4. appreciate the extra time you get to sit and stare at your kids, husband, the wall before the day swoops you up and makes you move.

Finger nails on a chalkboard? Maybe, but so is fighting kids that just are what they are.

My two cents.

♡ ashley

oh... last day to enter this super giveaway!


  1. Both my kids wake at 5am every day now and it's hard for me to make them go back to sleep when it is full daylight outside and the birds are chirping.
    Luckily my husband is a morning person and finds those few hours with the kids his favourite part of the day.. Yesterday they were at the beach at 6am -way before the heat of the day hit. I was at home in bed as unfortunatly, I am not a morning person.. I can barely talk before 10am and several cups of tea!

    I did read once that the secret to getting kids to sleep later is to put them down for their morning sleep later (if they still have 2 sleeps a day). E.g if your baby usually goes down for a nap at 9.30am then you slowly move the nap to 10.30am and then after a few days they start sleeping later in the morning. It worked with my daughter years ago but I have no idea if that was just a coincidence or not!

    1. i'd bank on coincidence! but i will take your send the troops to the beach and stay in bed approach. that is guaranteed to be more effective for total sleep! xx

  2. i just read this post out to my husband and we both laughed. out loud. thank you x

    1. sometimes it's both nice to laugh and get reassurance that you don't have to try and fight things that just are. especially good is the out loud laughs. xx

  3. This is so true! I've always been an early riser (5am was my normal wake-up), so I've never struggled with it once the little one came along - it's my favourite time of day, and we play or walk or beach, and he will occasionally sleep in until 6am or similar, but what I did have to adjust to was the being up in the middle of the night, and staying up - he hasn't done it a lot, mostly in phases (i.e. a few weeks of midnight to 4am wakeups) - that's when I found the 'don't fight it' approach most useful - fighting it just made him and me so unhappy, so now I get up as if it was the morning, make tea and toast, we potter and play, watch a dvd and just have a nice time until he's ready to go back to sleep a few hours later. It's nice to ignore all the so-called 'advice' in books etc, and just go with what works for you and your little one/s : )



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