Baby Sleep: Great Nights Start With Great Mornings

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  • January 10, 2013

baby sleepWritten by Irene Gouge, Loving Lessons Pediatric Sleep Consulting

A good night of baby sleep starts with a great morning.  When the new day begins, it is a new day for everyone, a fresh start.    The best way to maximize this “good morning” is to connect with your child and have a positive first interaction.     Create a dramatic wake up routine that is special and unique for your family.  Greet your child with a smile, open the blinds, and let them know you are excited to see them and begin the day.

Morning wake times

It’s not always ideal for parents, but a good wake time for most children is somewhere in the 6-7am morning hours.  When you work with your child’s natural internal clock and create routines that work with your family rhythms and have consistent meal, sleep, and active times you can actually minimize the meltdowns and tantrums by helping regulate your child.   This also allows you to follow your child’s cues to help you create more predictable routines in your home.

Children that wake up early

Typically children that wake before 6am fall into the early riser category.   Typically this happens when children have too late of a bedtime or have skipped naps during the day.  If you allow your child to wake in the 5o’clock time frame, overtime this becomes an engrained habit that can become  difficult to break.

The best way to help your little one sleep in, at least until 6am, is to treat that 5am waking just like a night waking.  Create your consistent response for all of your night wakings and be sure to follow through with it until that morning wake time- after 6am.

Start your day with a dramatic wake up! 

For babies that are sleeping in a crib, when it is wake time after 6am- come in the room, turn on the lights, do a cheerful “good morning” which sends a social cue to your child- “now it’s time to wake and start my day.”   Preschoolers that are in a bed do well with an alarm clock that changes color to let them know it is the start of a new day.

In my home we have a clock that turns green at 6:45 and it lets our boys know, it’s ok to come to mommy and daddy’s room.   We do our dramatic wake up with a good morning, talk about their  sweet dreams, and snuggle to start our day.  By having this short 10 minute morning routine it helps us to stop and connect with our children after a good night of 10-11 hours of sleep.

It’s a great kick start to another great day which leads us to a great night of sleep!  How do you start your mornings?

Irene Gouge, founder of Loving Lessons Pediatric Sleep Consulting contributes her success in coaching parents to her experiences from teaching, being a childcare provider, and a mom to her two boys.   As a  Gentle Sleep Coach  she empowers parents to coach their children to transform sleep, get more joy in parenting, and set children up for academic success though positive parenting solutions!  For more sleep tips and positive parenting inspirations follow her on Facebook or Twitter. 

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 Photography by storyvillegirl on Flickr

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